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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
Meant to Be by Jessica James is a love story that portrays honor and devotion to the call of duty. Lauren Cantrell sits mesmerized by the ocean, she can’t believe she is finally vacationing at her childhood getaway. So much has happened... so much more to be done. One moment, onc chance encounter changes everything. Romance and a relationship was the last thing on her mind. But then, there he is – strong, handsome, magnetically charming and with such a gentle voice. Rad appeared out of the blue, swept her off her feet. In one day, he had captured her heart. How could she have let her guard down? Could they really turn one day into a lifetime? Parting, heading into their separate, covert lives, would their paths ever cross again? Both of them would lay down their lives for God and country - one a spy, the other a soldier. But nothing had prepared them for what would happen. One highly classified mission would change their lives forever. The memory of one magical day becomes the lifeline that entwines their twisted fates. Some things in life are just “Meant to Be.”
Jessica James declares the heartache and victory of the military culture in her novel, Meant to Be. The opening sequence pulls the reader immediately into the story. The polished manuscript was a captivating and mesmerizing read. I was so caught up in the story and the characters, I read it in one day! James paints her scenes with sensory descriptions, from the depiction of the power and lure of the ocean, to the horror and reality of war. Her characters are strong, dynamic, but balanced. Lauren is bold, brave, yet feminine. Rad represents the epitome of a special forces warrior, yet is calm in manner and speech. The minor characters are really not minor. Much like the cohesive brotherhood of a special forces team, they are essential to the story’s outcome. The plot is full of action, meaningful dialogues, pleading thoughts and intense external and internal conflict. Jessica James doesn’t pull any punches – she really “cowboyed up.” James portrays both sides of the warrior’s life – the home front and battlefront. She lays the military life out - the duty, guts and glory in a strikingly daring narrative. Meant to Be is one of the best books I have read!