Embracing Love by Alison Mello

Embracing Love by Alison MelloEmbracing Love by Alison Mello
Series: Once Broken #1
Published by Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Publishing on March 28th 2017
Pages: 323
Buy on Amazon

McKenzie McCormick moved back home for one reason only, and falling for a soldier isn’t it…
Fort Stewart is only a few miles away, which means her hometown has its fair share of soldiers. But Kenzie chooses to steer clear of them, as she still struggles to cope with the grief of losing her father to war. All she wants to do is help her aunt take care of her ill grandmother—until a gorgeous green-eyed Army Captain moves back into town.
The last thing Captain Remington Bennett expects to find is a pretty brunette while out on his morning run…
Intrigued by the woman he passes almost every morning, Remy is determined to get to know the brown-eyed beauty. Kenzie is reluctant to get too close, but his persistence in pursuing her slowly breaks down her defenses, turning what started out as nothing more than a nod and a shy smile into something neither of them could have predicted.
War has already taken too much from her, and Kenzie can’t afford to lose her heart to a soldier…
Even though the mutual attraction becomes too strong to ignore, Kenzie keeps fighting her feelings for the handsome Captain. But when Remy is called out on a mission and she’s faced with the possibility he might not come back, Kenzie realizes she may have let her only chance at love slip through her fingers.
Now that Kenzie is finally ready to embrace love with the kind of man she has spent her entire life avoiding, it might just be too late…

Remy is exactly the kind of man Kenzie wouldn’t date because of her fear that he’d be exactly like her father—military to the core, and gave his life in service to it. Her life is full with responsibilities and duties too, which leaves dating a remote possibility. But the attraction to the mystery jogger in the morning grows into something deeper when he starts turning up at events that involve her, and their steadily evolving relationship is only held hostage by this particular fear.

Mello’s characters are by and large likeable: Remy’s the sort that defies all military stereotypes that have pretty much defined the male protagonists in romantic suspense. He’s also rock solid, enviably stable and sweet…the adjectives could go on really, finding his match in Kenzie who is thankfully, mature enough not to throw outrageous fits and tantrums when it comes to the inevitable question of whether she has staked everything on Remy always being there for her.

This is a sweet story though with a very, very slow burn; Mello puts a great deal of effort into showing the tight bonds of family in this book, but it seemed to compromise the number of scenes that Remy and Kenzie had together. Fewer scenes between Remy’s own family and Kenzie’s repetitive, consuming thoughts about hers would have worked better, as they soon felt as though I could have skipped those and still be caught up in Remy/Kenzie’s story. A lot of the book felt ‘superfluous’ in a way that had me skimming the pages, which I thought interrupted the build-up of their relationship. As a result, the convivial ‘family atmosphere’ makes ‘Embracing Love’ a near angst-free read, save for the brief separation and conflict that felt more like regret on Kenzie’s part than anger or a complete emotional breakdown.

It isn’t a bad read, to be honest, but it felt as though this book could have worked better as a novella, where the narrative (without the unnecessarily repetition of events from differing POVs) could have been whittled down a lot more—to the point where Remy/Kenzie actually take centre stage.