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Review: Soldier on her Doorstep by Soraya Lane

20 Jul

Soldier on her Doorstep by Soraya Lane
Harlequin (July 2011)
Mass Market: $5.75; ebook: $4.99
ISBN: 9780373177448

Favorite Lines: “Alex wasn’t sure whether to sit, stand, or just go wait outside. The two glasses of wine had started to help, but now they were just making him even more nervous. Of what? He wasn’t sure. All he knew was that there was something about being in a space alone with Lisa that made him feel in equal parts terrified and excited. Exhilarated, almost. He stood, awkward, in the middle of the room.” (p. 132, egalley)

Soldier Alex Dane promised his dying comrade he’d make sure his wife and daughter were okay, and so he finds himself on a doorstep with his heart in his mouth.

Lisa Kennedy loved her husband, but she must focus on her daughter, Lilly, who hasn’t spoken since her daddy’s death. Still, the least she can do is offer this battle-weary hero a place to rest.

When Lilly’s little hand reaches for Alex’s big, strong one, for the first time Lisa feels her buried emotions begin to stir.…

Are you tired of reading about snippy heroines? You know… the ones who argue for the sake of arguing and feel the need to kick every man’s butt. Well, you don’t find that type of woman in Soraya Lane’s Soldier on her Doorstep.

You find a strong, quiet and caring woman. A healthy woman determined to raise her fatherless child. It’s been several months since the heroine, Lisa’s husband was killed in combat. He was her best friend before becoming her husband, lover and the father of her child. His death hurt, but he was a lifelong soldier. She was always aware of the danger he faced. He was gone most of the year, but that didn’t make his death any less painful for Lisa or her daughter Lilly.

The hero, Alex, is the most damaged character in the story. He had no family or place to go, and guilt was destroying him. He is a lost, little boy trapped inside the body of a grown man. Don’t take that wrong. He is not childish in any way, but he longs for a family and fights his belief that he is undeserving of happiness. Fulfilling a promise to Lisa’s dead husband is the road to life for him.

In the past I’ve had issues with series romance stories because they seem to be the same stories set in different places. I didn’t have any of those thoughts with Soldier on her Doorstep. I loved the characters I met and was pleased to see them find love. There were no surprises in the story. What you see is what you get. I knew how the heroine would react to his big, world-changing news.

Some people might not like how predictable Soldier on her Doorstep is, but I relished it. It is a sweet, classic romance which teaches forgiveness and the healing power of love. The story is not for adrenaline junkies, or those who cannot believe a widow can find love less than a year after her husband’s death. I didn’t have any problems suspending belief. Lisa and his family knew what her deceased husband would have wanted. I imagine he sent the very damaged Alex to Lisa to be healed. I also think he knew Alex could be trusted with his wife and daughter.

If I had to summarize the book in one word, I’d say it is quiet. The characters are quiet, seeking their own counsel. The town they live in is quiet. The romance is a quiet, getting-to-know-you action. The conflict is a quiet, internal battle. What did you think about Soldier on her Doorstep?