Review: Waiting For You by Abigail Strom

Publication Date: January 1st, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
For Jake Landry, Erin Shaw was always off-limits–too young, too innocent, and his kid sister’s best friend. Home now after a decade of military service, Jake finds Erin all grown up…but she’s still off-limits. War has left him with scars invisible to anyone but him, and a relationship is the last thing he’s looking for.
As a teenager, Erin had a hopeless crush on her friend’s big brother. Now that she’s an adult, she thinks she’s put all that behind her. But when she sees Jake again, she discovers her old feelings are alive and well…and blossoming into something new.
Jake doesn’t believe in happily-ever-after. And since he can’t give Erin what she deserves, he tries to stay away from her. But when the attraction between them turns explosive, his resistance starts to crumble. Will Erin find a way past Jake’s armor all the way to his heart?

This book follows the story of Jake, an ex-military man who’d been through so much, seen so much that he’s convinced there’s nothing left of him to give; no love, no kindness, no heart. Erin had known him since they were kids, and for as long as she could remember, she’d harboured feelings from him that had nothing to do with brotherly love. When they finally meet up again, the chemistry between them was truly undeniable. Erin knew at once that there was an intense pain lurking behind Jake’s eyes which only strenghtened the pull she felt toward him. But she had to let him go, help himself before she could even entertain the thought of a future with him.

This was a sad, romantic tale of a broken man suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Jake struggled to come back to the world of the living after going through harrowing experiences of being in military service. Because this wasn’t a lengthy book, I felt that Jake’s illness wasn’t really explored. And I felt that this created a barrier between Jake himself and the reader reading this book. I found it lack the needed empathy to fully experience what Jake was going through.  I couldn’t feel his desperate need to help himself so he could be free of his nightmares. I also felt that this moved fast – too fast and I’m not talking about the relationship between him and Erin. I thought that the nightmares weren’t that traumatizing. I mean, don’t get me wrong, watching your friends die in front of your eyes were disturbing to say the least, but I felt that there was some sort of emotional disconnect with Jake as he told the tales of his experience. I wish Ms. Strom delved much deeper into his psyche.

Perhaps the author’s intent was to focus the story on the romance, in which case, I thought she did splendidly well. Erin and Jake’s immediate connection worked, all thanks to a past they shared. I admired Erin’s unselfishness. She knew what she had to do to help Jake, even risking a life spent without him. She was innocence and experience all rolled into one and yes, she gave in to Jake quite easily but when you’ve been in love with a man for as long as you could remember, I guess I would do the same too.

Over all, Waiting For You was a good, realistic, romantic read that would give you a brief glimpse of what it would be like for a man living with his demons and a woman whose choices when it comes to the man she loves didn’t really leave much room for her own desires.