**2 out of 5 Stars**
**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**
For four years, Grace Sullivan wrote to a Marine she never met, and fell in love. But when his deployment ended, so did the letters. Ever since that day, Grace has been coasting, academically and emotionally. the one thing she's decided? No way is Noah Jackson--or any man--ever going to break her heart again.
Noah has always known exactly what he wants out of life. Success. Stability. Control. That's why he joined the Marines and that's why he's fighting his way--literally-through college. Now that he's got the rest of his life on track, he has one last conquest: Grace Sullivan. But since he was the one who stopped writing, he knows that winning her back will be his biggest battle yet.
This book is written in duel POV. The book itself was ok. I had a really hard time getting into it. I didn't really connect with the characters and I found Grace very annoying at times. The writing style was good and the plot was fine. It was your simple boy and girl fall in love, something happens, then they find their way back to each other. There wasn't a lot of drama involved and knew they would eventually find their HEA. I don't know if it's because I've read so many of this type of book lately or if I'm just growing tired of reading at the moment but I just found myself skimming...a lot. This book had a "Beautiful Disaster" feel to it only much more on the safe side of writing.
Grace is coasting her way through life. She's in her 2nd year of college and still can't choose a major. She is a really great photographer but to scared to make anything of it. She doesn't date because she's in love with the Marine she spent high school writing to. With him no longer in the picture she still can't move on. She's pretty with long brown hair, hazel eyes, and curves.
Noah is a retired Marine from the wrong side of the tracks. He spent his entire enlistment writing to a girl he's never met while falling in love with her. He's in college and he's an up and coming MMA fighter. He's had a hard transition from soldier to civilian which is why he sent the "Dear John" letter to Grace. He wanted to be worthy and whole for her. He's beautiful. Built like a fighter but not the bad boy most fighters are. He knows who he wants and he's willing to do what has to be done to get her. He's got dark brown hair, and a tattoo. He's polite and well mannered.
Get out of the Marines, get a degree, get Grace.
It's been 2 years since she has written to Noah and Grace still sees him everywhere. While working with her camera in the library at her college she takes a picture of two guys who could be Noah and his best friend Bo. She convinces herself she's seeing things until a friend tells her that 2 MMA fighters have transferred from California to their school. She freaks out and runs. We find out that the mystery guys are in deed Noah and his friend. He's been in town for a few months. He transferred to her school because he's finally got his life back and he's ready to be with her. He's pretty much stalked her for weeks waiting for the right time to talk to her.
Their first meeting is not a great one. He waits for her outside of class and she runs from him and even though he follows her she won't speak to him. He gives her a letter asking her to let him try to explain and they meet for breakfast a few days later after he rescues her from a guy at a party and they talk at her apartment. They agree to be friends. Seriously though, how can you be friends with the guy you're in love with and who is also in love with you. She lies and tells him she's into another guy named Mike. He calls her bluff going so far as to set up a date with a bunch of people. She blows her lie out of the water when she has to sit between them at the movie and ends up holding Noah's hand the entire movie and falling asleep on his shoulder. The keep it to friendship for awhile both fighting their feelings for each other.
Their first kiss was hot. It's also around the time he tells her about not being worthy of her and about his surprise visit to her house after getting out of the Marines but never making it to her door. She looses her virginity to him also. He marks her with his dog tags which he doesn't get back and she wears the remaining time of the book. Their relationship blooms and they spend endless amounts of time together. Everything is going great until they fight about her not going to Vegas with him when he finally lands his first big MMA fight. She doesn't want to be the girl who waits around on him again and he doesn't like it. This fight causes a break up and he ends up going to Vegas alone.
“Grace, you’re killing me here. Don’t throw away this thing between us over some ridiculous idea of what you think I want. I want you,”
She told him she couldn't go because she had to work but at the first chance she gets she takes off to her brother's school to take pictures for the school. She couldn't take off work to go to Noah's fight but she could do this. I found it cold and uncaring and I wanted to slap her yet again. Her brother talks to her why she is with him and she goes home to get Noah back and start their future.
She doesn't have to fight hard to get him back. He was waiting on her to come to him instead of crowding her. Things start getting back to normal. They are back together and their happy. She finally declares a major with her photography. The epilogue was completely pointless in my opinion. I'm not sure what it had to do with anything.
I'm not sure what my problem was but this book just wasn't for me. It landed kind of flat and I just wasn't that into it. I'm giving it 2 stars because I know the author worked hard on it and I actually have read some of her other stuff and I'm a fan. If you're looking for simple and a love story then this book is for you. I think I'm leaning more toward angst and drama with a little darkness thrown in as well.
The Marines may have made me a man, but Grace made me human. No matter what I told her in my letters, she accepted it and wrote me back something funny or sweet. She made me realize I could have more if I wanted it. And I wanted more bad.