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Monday, December 28, 2015

Book Review: Rescue Me by Lara Van Hulzen

Rescue Me (Men of Honor #3) by Lara Van Hulzen
Genre: Adult (Contemporary Romance/Christian Fiction)
Date Published: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Self

Keith is a soldier with a wounded heart. 
Torie’s secrets haunt her. 
Can they trust love enough to mend what’s broken? 

Torie Walker is a police officer with a past she’d like to stay hidden from. Staying at her best friend’s cabin in the mountains over Christmas is just what she needs. However, when a handsome cowboy saunters into her life, she takes the risk and trusts him with her secrets. 

Keith Scott is a United States Marine. Home for the holidays, he intends to spend a quiet Christmas with his family. What he doesn’t plan on is Torie Walker, a woman who mends his heart and makes him want to love again. 

Rescue Me is the third book in the Men of Honor series by Lara Van Hulzen. Keith and Torie both have baggage, and quite a bit of it. I wish I'd read the previous two books to see how these two met, but it back tracks a little bit and gives us enough info that this book stands alone just fine.

Keith just makes you feel safe. Even though he's fictional, you can feel his fictional presence. Is that even a thing? Well.. it is now. Torie really grew as a character as she expanded her comfort zone to include more people and learned to trust and depend on others rather than only herself.  I really enjoyed watching Keith and Torie work through their issues both together and apart. I love the chemistry. These two are steamy without even trying. It was pretty intoxicating. I love books like this.

Rescue Me by Lara Van Hulzen was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

He bent down and picked up the book she’d dropped and handed it to her. “Here you go.” He looked at the cover.  “Historical fiction? Hmmm, I’d see you more as a True Crime kind of girl.”

She smiled, her heart rate slowed, returning to normal. “One would think so, right? But no, I get enough of that at work.”

He nodded at shoved his hands in his jean pockets. “Makes sense now that you say it. People always think I’d want a military book to escape. Not sure how they figure that, but they mean well.” Sadness flashed in his eyes for a moment then was gone. Torie could only imagine what he’d seen and done as a soldier. The idea of Keith in harm’s way made her stomach turn. She shivered at the thought of the danger he faced in his job.

“Are you cold? They have fresh coffee here. It’s good too.” He winked at her.

She shook her head. “Um, no thanks. I’m good. I’m jumpy as it is, apparently. No more caffeine for me.”

He smiled. “What kind of book are you looking for if you don’t read military?”

“Well, I know it’s sort of stereotypical, but I like old westerns. Louis L’Amour, that kind of thing.” He leaned towards her and whispered, “And sometimes I like Science Fiction. But let’s keep that between us.”

“Your secret is safe with me,” Torie whispered back. She couldn’t help but soak in the irony of this enormous mountain of a man whispering like a little boy about his secret love of Science Fiction. Keith was living proof that you can’t always judge a book by its cover. His cover was enticing and the inside story was something she definitely wanted to read more about.

He stood straight again. “I’m here today though looking for a book for my mom for Christmas.”

“Oh, that’s nice. What does she like to read?”

He frowned. “Romance novels.”

Torie laughed out loud. The woman working behind the desk gave them a look but then continued with her task.

“Hey now. I didn’t say I was reading them.”

“I know.” Torie couldn’t stop laughing. “I’m just picturing you standing in front of the romance novel section of a store and getting some . . . stares.” But mainly because he belonged on a cover. She didn’t add that last part, of course, but her brain sure went there. Keith without a shirt on had to be romance novel worthy. Her cheeks warmed at the thought. “I don’t know much about that genre but Aimee reads them all the time. I could try and help you pick some for your mom.” The relief that washed over his features was priceless. This fierce warrior in front of her wound up tighter than a drum over picking a book had her laughing again.

“What? Why are you laughing again?”

“Nothing. I think it’s nice, actually, that you would go to such lengths of discomfort to get your mom a Christmas gift.”

 He smiled and looked at his boots. “Yeah, well . . .”

Ah, a rough exterior with a soft, gooey center. Keith was becoming more and more appealing by the minute.

Lara Van Hulzen received her BA in Journalism from Point Loma Nazarene University in 1994. Her first published article was when she was a senior in high school. She has worked as a book reviewer for the past 18 years with various organizations such as Crossings Doubleday, YouthWorker Journal, and Radian Lit. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Inspired Christian Writers, and American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband three children in Northern California.

To learn more about Lara Van Hulzen and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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