On Broken Wings by Chanel Cleeton

On Broken Wings by Chanel CleetonOn Broken Wings by Chanel Cleeton
Series: Wild Aces #3
Published by Berkley Books on January 3rd 2017
Pages: 320
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A year after losing her husband, Joker, the squadron commander of the Wild Aces, Dani Peterson gets an offer from his best friend, Alex "Easy" Rogers, to help fix up her house. Dani accepts, and their friendship grows along with an undeniable attraction.

Racked by guilt for loving his best friend's widow, Easy's caught between what he wants and can t have. Until one night everything changes, and the woman who's always held his heart ends up in his arms.

Yet as Easy leaves for his next deployment, he and Dani are torn between their feelings and their loyalty to Joker's memory. But when Dani discovers something that sends them both into a spin, the conflicted lovers must overcome the past to navigate a future together.

‘On Broken Wings’ returns with a very unique look at the burden that military wives and girlfriends shoulder and how the military men gossip with heart-to-hearts as insanely as the women. Anticipation has always been half the fun and the build-up to Easy’s and Dani’s story over the past few months has played a huge part in it.

The storyline isn’t at all unpredictable, following a trajectory that had no major surprises I couldn’t guess, but as always, the highlight is Cleeton’s illuminating writing about a journey of unrequited love, tragedy and grief, a friendship that weathers all of it and finally, how it all goes in a different direction when feelings change. But it’s also an incredibly romantic road that Dani and Easy go down, despite the pages of angst and guilt that pour off them and I thought them both so brave in their own ways as they dealt with the death of Joker and their feelings for each other.

I read this in a single sitting, then re-read it, mesmerised by this deeply-character driven POVs, the long, emotional declarations and the ending which always makes you want more: about the more distant future, the unsold house, Easy’s future deployments and their lives post-hospital.

But Cleeton chooses to sign off just as her characters step into their deliriously happy-for-now ending where the light of the end of the tunnel just pierces the gloom, as though friends, family and the absolute present matter the most of all, rather write them into a future that none can yet predict.

It’s bittersweet, worth the wait and best of all, a fantastic reason for a sleepless night.