Published: May 22, 2018
I was so excited to be picked for Laura Kaye’s review team because that meant I got an ARC of this book. I read it in about 2 days which is a higher than average speed for me. This novel wasn’t what I was expecting though which is what intrigued me. I heard that the series is called Warrior Fight Club and I assumed it was about an illegal fight club that only allowed veterans. Now I shouldn’t assume things about books but I do it all the time. Not only was it not an illegal fight club but we didn’t learn about it until about half way through the book.
Our first vet is a Marine, Noah Cortez. He was medically discharged after an IED took his hearing in is left ear and some of his sight on the left side as well. Noah was feeling like many vets do after their discharge and that is a feeling of “now what?” He isn’t the same man that left for the army and he doesn’t know how to adjust to civilian life. Especially when he finally sees his best friend, Kristina. He has been avoiding her since his discharge 7 months prior. He isn’t the same man but not just in the way that the war changed him. He is starting to notice Kristina not as a best friend but as a man would. He wants her but he doesn’t want to do anything to hurt their friendship. He cannot handle to lose her on top of everything else he has lost.
Kristina Moore is a teacher and is so excited to finally get to see her best friend Noah. She hasn’t talked to him more than a couple of times since his discharge and hasn’t seen him at all. But that is all going to change with the Cortez’s Annual Memorial Day cookout. Only not all is as it seems with Noah and she doesn’t know how to help. One confusing situation after another causes Kristina to really look at her relationship with Noah and decide if it can really go on.
Like I stated previously we don’t learn about the Warrior Fight Club until about halfway through the book. I think the placement of it was really well done. We see Noah in a spot where he needs this outlet and that brings home the fact that many veterans face the same problems that Noah did. I liked how Laura brought in the hard issues not just of PTSD but also of suicide among veterans. When our favorite book characters face these issues, I hope that we all will look into ways to help those who serve our country. Whether in a large or small way I think we can all help so that these men and women who come back don’t feel like they can’t be in society anymore.
The novel hit a chord with me obviously but more than that it was a well written novel. It pulled on my heartstrings every time Noah pushed Kristina away until he finally pushed so hard that he broke. The last couple of chapters were a doozy for me and I highly suggest keeping tissues handy of you are empathetic to characters at all. The book closes with a segue into the next novel (out in August) where the vet is already a part of the Warrior Fight Club but is just taking life day by day.
—“Stay stroganoff” -Kate, Kristina’s best girlfriend—