Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Life Rebuilt-Jean Brashear

A Life Rebuilt

Jean Brashear

Harlequin SuperRomance, Jun 5 2012, $5.50

ISBN: 9780373717873

The Foundations for Families are building their fourth house in a bad neighborhood using volunteers. Jenna MacAllister heads over to see the progress on the Marin family dream home when she spots a volunteer kid Freddie stealing copper. Someone bigger and older than Freddie grabs her from behind and orders the troubled teen to finish the job.

Suffering from PTSD, Special Forces soldier Roman Gallardo has become a night owl who cannot sleep for more than four hours at a time since he came home from Iraq. He sees the gangbanger with the knife on top of the woman and intercedes. When the cops arrive, he disappears into the darkness like a ghost. When she and her partner Teo Hernandez arrive in the morning, the sheetrock mess was removed anonymously. Roman finds Freddie who says Mako made him help by threating his little brother Damien. Freddie cons Roman into helping at the site. As Roman reluctantly gets involved with Freddie and Jenna, he finds a reason to care, which means he will need to obtain help for his PTSD.

This is a strong poignant look at the impact of PTSD on a brave war veteran so crippled by the ailment, he has become an urban recluse who cannot sleep or even shake hands. Jean Brashear makes a powerful case for more mental healthcare funding (including training professionals) for the vet and active soldier. Action-packed from the moment he intervenes in the assault on her, fans will relish this deep tale as Pollyanna shines her loving light onto the darkness that engulfs the former combat vet.

Harriet Klausner

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