2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
Linda C. (Seagull) reviewed Peacekeeper ( 4 Strong Men) (Harlequin Superromance, No 655) on
Major Nick Apostalis represented everything she'd cast out of her life.
He was used to danger. He was a risk taker, a man who put his life on the line for a cause. Kara Hartman had been widowed by one such man. She would NEVER get involved with another.
But as a strange odyssey threw them together, she began to care for Nick more than she'd expected--or wanted to. And once they were home, back in their respective worlds, she found she had one more tie to this man she wished she could forget. She was having his babyb...(back cover)
This was an older book, but the challenges that faced Kara and Nick were much like those that face many of today's couples. It also had a very interesting beginning. Kara is on a Greek islands cruise with her older sister. Both of them are widows and enjoying getting away from their lingering grief. Nick and his father, Peter, are on the same cruise. Nick is an officer in the Canadian armed forces, who has served as a peacekeeper all over the world. His father had been a soldier during World War II and had served not far from where they will be touring. Peter has a special reason for being on this cruise, one that Nick doesn't approve of. Peter has also spent a lot of time with Kara's sister Lynne, and they have grown very close. Both Nick and Kara are worried when Peter and Lynne disappear during a shore excursion, though Nick has a good idea where his father is.
This part of the book was very exciting. Nick is a take-charge kind of guy and knew just what he had to do. He was not happy when Kara insisted on coming along. I liked seeing Kara stand up to Nick and how she was more intrepid than Nick expected. They certainly ran into some challenges before they caught up with Peter and Lynne. It was fascinating to hear Peter's stories of what happened during the war and what had brought him to this point.
Besides the obvious connection between Peter and Lynne, there was also a simmering attraction between Nick and Kara. This had been building for several days and finally came to a head that night as Kara watched over an ailing Nick. What they shared was intense and somewhat overwhelming. Nick had never felt like that with anyone else and found himself thinking about ways to build on their budding relationship. But Kara's reaction was the opposite. She wanted nothing to do with someone whose life is constantly at risk. Her husband had been an adrenaline junkie who died because of one of his adventures. She refuses to put herself through that kind of pain again, and lets Nick know that in no uncertain terms.
But Fate isn't done with Nick and Kara. While Nick returns to his peacekeeping duties, Kara and Lynne return to their lives in Baltimore. With Lynne and Peter continuing their relationship, Kara can't help hearing about Nick from time to time. Then she discovers that she is pregnant with his baby and doesn't know what to do. She won't allow herself to get closer to Nick for fear that she wouldn't survive if something happened to him. But she also knows that she has to tell him about the baby. I ached for the two of them when they met again. Nick wants to have Kara and the baby in his life, but to do so, he will have to give up something that is a huge part of who he is. I wanted to shake Kara for being so blind to what a huge sacrifice that would be for him. When he was called away on a mission, she was so bitter and unyielding in her attitude that I hurt for Nick. I wasn't sure how they were going to work things out. I loved seeing Nick in his element as a peacekeeper and the respect he had of the people around him. It was great to see Kara finally understand the importance of his work and realize the difference between Nick and her husband. I loved their big moment at the end and the prospects for their future.
I also enjoyed the parallel story of the relationship between Peter and Lynne. Their connection was obvious right from the start, though they also had their challenges. Peter is Canadian and Lynne is American. She has her businesses in Baltimore and can't just pack up and move to Canada to be with him. Making a success of a long distance relationship isn't easy. They also have to deal with their grown children and their opinions about the relationship. Lynne's daughter Lydia was especially obnoxious and added a great deal of strain to the relationship. I loved seeing what finally brought her around.
I thoroughly enjoyed the look at the role of peacekeepers in today's world. The dangers were intense, and I was on the edge of my seat during Nick's mission in Africa. The rewards were also realistically portrayed, and the scene with Nick and the child were especially moving. I liked the solution that Nick found that would enable him and Kara to be together.