Series: Flight & Glory, #5
Published by Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Publishing, Independently Published, Yarros Ink, LLC on 24th August 2020
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Two years after the man she loved was killed in Afghanistan, Morgan Bartley is trying to put the pieces of her life back together. The reno on her dilapidated beach house in the Outer Banks might be just the distraction she needs to keep her debilitating anxiety attacks at bay and begin to heal her heart...if she can ignore the ridiculously handsome guy next door.
At twenty-eight, single-dad Jackson Montgomery’s life revolves around his five-year-old daughter and his job as a search-and-rescue pilot for the coast guard. He’s no stranger to saving a damsel in distress, and though his gorgeous new neighbor is clearly in distress, she’s no damsel. She’s stubborn as hell with walls a mile thick, and the dog tags hanging from her rearview mirror give him a pretty good clue as to why.
It doesn’t matter that their attraction is undeniable―she swore she’d never fall for another pilot, let alone a military man. There are some wounds time can’t heal, and some fears too consuming to conquer.
She’s a barely breathing heartbreak on the edge of recovery. He’s a crash waiting to happen. Together they could have it all...if they can endure the coming storm.
The last few Rebecca Yarros books tore me apart, I think. And I knew that going into ‘The Reality of Everything’ would probably get me to that point as well, especially after reading the blurb.
And as I suspected, it is a breathtaking look into grief and mourning and regret, made all the more complicated because it involves a lopsided love that was on the cusp of fulfilment and then it wasn’t. Yarros however, handles this complexity with such nuance, teasing out the finer emotions associated with grief that it wasn’t hard to get lost in Morgan Bartley’s confronting circumstances, while letting you get swept away in a male protagonist who’s steadier than the hurricane winds that lash the haven they seem to have found together.
Yet what I really loved was the very clear trajectory of Morgan’s personal growth that moved from angry disbelief to acceptance…and the courage that it took for her to go from one point to another while Jackson remained the rock that she needed.
I haven’t been a firm follower of the Flight & Glory series, but ‘The Reality of Everything’ generally doesn’t need any prior knowledge of the previous books to get into. It’s simply enough to know that the secondary characters have had stories of their own – and it is with a group of friends – and there’s that odd choice there to take it or leave it as Yarros draws out Morgan’s and Jackson’s journey together that culminates in a sequence of events that makes the last third of the book too engrossing to put down.
With a longer length that’s entirely justifiable, I did find that their conclusion came a little too abruptly nevertheless, as the scenes shifted from the aftermath of a hurricane to a pitch-perfect HEA in the space of a chapter. But it’s such a minor nitpick from me really, especially after Yarros delivered a chest-spearing experience in this one.