|Wounded by Jasinda Wilder|
December 16, 2012
Source: Review copy for honest review
Genre: Adult Romance
Contains: sexual situations including rape and prostitution, war situations
War has taken everything from me. My family. My home. My innocence. In a country blasted by war and wracked by economic hardship, a young orphan girl like me has very few options when it comes to survival. Thus, I do what I must to live, to eat, and I try very hard to not consider the cost to my soul. My heart is empty, and my existence brutal.
The one impossibility in my life is love.
And then I meet HIM.
War is hell. It takes a chunk out of a man's very soul to do the kinds of things war demands of you. You live with fear, you live with guilt, and you live with nightmares. If you haven't been through it, there's no understanding it. War leaves no room for love, no room for tenderness or softness. You gotta be hard, closed off, and ready to fight every moment of every day. Lose focus for a split second, and you're dead.
Now the only thing that can save me is HER.My Review:
This is the touching story of Rania, a woman surviving the only way she can in war-torn Iraq, and Hunter, an American soldier who is injured in combat. They are two perfect strangers who couldn't even speak each other's languages, enemies according to their countries, and two people who should be horrified by the other for what their lives represent, and yet despite these odds, a chance meeting and circumstances bring them together as unlikely allies. The story that follows is truly touching in so many ways. I was intrigued by the blurb, and once I started reading I didn't want to put this book down. I became completely captivated and read it in a day.
Ms. Wilder's characters felt so real and were developed so well. Her depictions of Rania and Hunter's backgrounds and current circumstances gripped me from the very start. My heart felt like it was in my hand the entire time. Their story was emotional and touching, particularly with respect to Rania's situation. The timeline of her life is just heart-breaking, yet she is such an incredible and brave survivor. Ms. Wilder did not shy away from her depictions of war and prostitution, yet still handled Rania's life and actions with respect to her as a person, not an object. Hunter also captured my heart with his ability to see beyond the surface and see the truth, his fierce protectiveness and strength, and also his beautiful gentle and soft side. In the midst of the war, I loved the humanity that Ms. Wilder displayed from both Rania and Hunter despite the brutality of their lives. Like me, you will be rooting for Rania and Hunter.
The pacing was great. There never seemed to be a dull moment or lag in the story. Despite what feels like a short period of time, the relationship development between Rania and Hunter felt honest and genuine, not rushed. There was also a great intensity about the storyline, not only with the anticipation of what would happen with Rania and Hunter, but even more so with their surroundings. The war, the people, the abuse - they all felt present in the story even when they weren't necessarily "present." Ms. Wilder made me feel like I was in the middle of it all. I even liked how her sentence structure seemed to change depending of what was going on - for example, it was choppier during battle scenes which helped speed up the tempo making the reader feel the intensity of the scene.
There was no shortage of romance, more so in the second half of the book. I will not go into detail, but the scenes were steamy in one moment yet tender in another. It really touched me how the author went about their relationship. What I also appreciated was how Ms. Wilder displayed the sharp contrast between sex and love-making, especially when you take into account Rania's life. I also loved the evidence of Hunter's tender treatment of Rania.
Bottomline: I loved this book. It is well-written with excellent pacing, covering sensitive and troubling topics, but with respect not sensationalism. I loved Rania and Hunter. The characters are beautifully developed and captivated my heart. If you want to read about a couple fighting against the odds of incredible circumstances, then I'd encourage you to take a chance on Wounded.
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