Heart of the Season

New Adult

It is heart-breaking when one reads about a Marine and his dog being separated in Afghanistan. It is unique when it is used as the plot for a love story between a man and a woman.


Zachary West is a wounded veteran separated from his dog, Akilah, after he is airlifted to the United States after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Jeannie Montgomery is in charge of an animal shelter in Afghanistan. When Zach emails her about finding Akilah, their email exchanges not only bring them closer, but also makes them fall in love with one another.


The first chapter of the story was very promising where the emotions associated with losing a best friend were laid out for the readers to experience. Unfortunately, this arc was not sustained. More work needs to be done to merge the tension that comes with the race to find Akilah and the blossoming relationship between the characters.  There were paragraphs that focused on the characters’ ablutions, for example, which did nothing to add to the story. There were several pockets of tension between the two characters that could have been further explored but fell short. This would have made the story tighter, and in doing so would have made this story both a tear jerker and a page turner that readers of sweet military romances could love.


M.P. Ceja