Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Review: Chains of Command by Lily Harlem

Chains of Command by Lily Harlem

My rating: star star star star star

Heat rating: Flame  Flame  Flame  Flame 

Chains of Command by Lily Harlem blurb

Lily Harlem brings us a sexy, poignant, and moving story in Chains of Command where the demands of a career in the military is measured in loss, trauma, hope, and love. Where dating a fellow soldier is frowned upon, but how do you deny the desires of the heart?

I don't know what I was expecting when I saw Ms Harlem announce that she had written a military romance. I knew it would be sexy because, hey, everything she writes is sexy, but I was not expecting the poignancy and heartache that came along with it. And I certainly was not expecting Seb.

I don't know why I had it in my head that Seb would be a tough, macho, alpha male, military guy. I had this expectation that he would be demanding and controlling and possibly as hardasc but he's not. Yes, he's tough, and he's a seasoned officer of the British Army, so he's got skills. He's obviously, hunky, gorgeous, and sexy. Well, duh! Military man!! But what surprised me was his courtesy, his manners, his sweetness, and his raw animal sexuality. He did mess up on this first parting with Jenna and Jenna made him work to make up for it. But he was tenacious and determined to win Jenna back, and he did it with a caring and gallantry that melted my heart. Like a lot of Ms Harlem's heroes, Seb was an genuinely decent guy. And he kind of reminded me of one of my all time favorite Lily Harlem heroes, Lewis Tate, from Scored, in particular the scene where Jenna had to tell him to keep watch because she was doing something naughty to him. By the end of the book, I was utterly in love and lust with him. He's quite possible my new favorite book boyfriend and tied in number one place of my favorite Lily Harlem heroes alongside Lewis Tate from Scored. Lily, if you're reading this, I call dibs! I read him first! I can have both Seb and Lewis right?

QuotesThere was something about Seb’s embrace, even though she didn’t know him well, that made her feel safe. He was tough, but also gentle, his kindness shone through and she sensed there was a fierce protective streak in him. Heaven help anyone who hurt someone he cared for.

Quotes“I’m with you,” she repeated. “Yes.” He nodded and took a sip of his drink. “You’re with me now, Jenna.” She stabbed the middle of the pie and maintained his eye contact. There was something there that thrilled her. It wasn’t just the conviction in his statement, it was also the passion, desire, the need to put right what had happened and his determination to overcome the situation they’d found themselves in.

Quotes“It’s a feeling here.” He clenched his fist and pressed it to his sternum. “I haven’t felt it before, and never thought I would in the middle of Iraq.”

Quotes“What I’m saying, Jenna, as a guy, I’d always protect my woman. Look after her, make sure she’s happy and satisfied. What’s wrong with that?” “There’s nothing wrong with that, Seb, in fact it’s sweet.”

Jenna made me think of Ms Harlem because at one point in her career, Ms Harlem was a nurse too. She definitely drew upon her nursing experience to make Jenna a completely authentic member of the health care profession. Everything Jenna did in her capacity as a military nurse rang true and more importantly, the pain and suffering of the patients she cared and her compassion for shone with accuracy. I felt deeply moved by the plight of the wounded soldiers as she cared for them and helped them deal with their trauma. And Jenna was a fantastic nurse. Dedicated to serving her country, making a difference, and her career. It was so much more than just a job for her. It was a calling. Both she and Seb had that in common in how they felt about their chosen fields of service. She didn't think she had time or a place in her life for love, but Seb changed that for her with his persistence and irresistibility.

Quotes“But you’ll get forty-eight hours with him. Make it count,” Isabel said. “Yeah, behind every strong man is a strong woman,” Marie added. “Teamwork,” Jenna said. “They make each other strong.” She’d never thought she’d say that. So many years of being single, of making her own way, had ingrained independence into her psyche. But Seb did make her feel strong. All the crap that was going on, knowing she was going to be with him, even for a short time in the UK, gave her an inner strength. The next few days would be hard, as would be the next few months, but they’d get through it…together.

QuotesStanding outside room fifteen, she hesitated. The man she was falling in love with was behind that door. And although he was physically going to be okay, he needed to work through his demons of guilt if he was ever going to get back out there and fight. I don’t want him back out there. She shoved that thought down. Seb was a soldier. She couldn’t change who he was. She didn’t want to. But what she could do was support him so he was the best he could be, and thinking straight when on the front line was essential.

This is a relatively short and quick read, but I enjoyed every moment of it. Every word brought me immense joy. I was breathless with anticipation as the story unfolded, racing my way to Seb and Jenna’s happy ending. I can't wait to see what Ms Harlem releases next.

Chains of Command teaser

* teaser courtesy of Lily Harlem

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  1. Thank you, Deanna, for such an in-depth review of Chains of Command. I'm thrilled you enjoyed Seb and Jenna's story.
    Lily x

    1. I loved this book. It's a new favorite of mine by you.

  2. Oh wow. Sounds like she did an awesome job of it.

    1. She really did. So much love for this book.

  3. That definitely sounds like it would be good.