Review: Faith by Andi Jaxon & AJ Alexander

faithTitle: Faith

Authors: Andi Jaxon and AJ Alexander

Year of publication: Out today! I was kindly given a copy to read and review

The heroine: Certified Nursing Assistant Becca Cunningham

The hero: Navy SEAL Justin McMillion

The blurb: Justin – I originally joined the Navy as an escape, to become more than a country farm boy. Being a Navy SEAL turned me into a man, but one without a life outside the military. I thought that was all I needed. Until everyone around began to find their Happily Ever Afters’. I realized my life was missing love, something I’ve been longing for. All it took was one simple letter from home to remind me that everything I ever needed was right there waiting for me.

Becca – Losing the love of your life before he was able to meet his child was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through. I tried to move on with my life, and find a new sense of normalcy with my daughter and myself. One simple holiday act of kindness has set my carefully choreographed life into a tailspin. I could never have guessed writing a simple letter to a deployed sailor would bring us to a place we can finally call ‘Home’ again.

Standalone or series: This is the fifth and final book in the SEAL’ed series. While it can be read as a standalone (as I did), I think it would be better to have read the four previous books first.

The review: This one was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There was a lot I liked about it – the premise of the story, in which a young woman left widowed while pregnant tries to make a life for herself and her younger daughter in a new state ends up writing to a military man for whom she falls; her daughter, who was amusing and adorable; the hero and heroine’s mutual desire to find someone to come home to, being two lonely people who just want to be loved.

What didn’t work for me, though, was the pacing and structure of the book. It seemed to jump around a bit, and sometimes it was hard for me to work out what was going on. Justin and Becca went from writing to each other on one page to having sex on the next (it ended up being a dream, which is fine, but you couldn’t have known that until it was stated and it completely threw you). Towards the end, you have them both deciding to take a leap of faith, and then suddenly it’s two years later and we never see them actually meet in person for the first time, which I would have loved to see. There seemed to be some timing issues; when Becca first started writing to Justin there were twins (heroines from a previous book) who were eight months pregnant, but then when Becca has been writing to Justin for three months, they’re still pregnant. Some of the dialogue felt unrealistic, and the heroine had no filter on her mouth, which led to her saying some rather inappropriate things. It honestly read more like a new adult book to me with young characters, rather than the age they were meant to be (30s/40s). I think a much stronger edit would have just lifted this book so much; the authors had some excellent ideas, but the execution was lacking for me. Which is a shame, because I love military romances and I did like a lot of things about it. Alas.