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Review by Joey 4 Stars
I’ve said, in a previous review for a book by Jean Joachim, that I love books with a male POV. Add in a dose of angst, and I’m a happy reader. Granted, I’m not one for breast-beating and hair-tearing, but a book that can evoke emotion is always a plus for me. Ms. Joachim is very good at taking the male of point of view. And believe me, having written a story using that male angle, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do for a female author. And Ms. Joachim does a good job of engaging the reader without overpowering their senses. You feel warmth toward the characters. There’s a cozy relationship you develop with them. The Book of Danny is the second in the Now and Forever series. It’s definitely a stand-alone, because I have not read its predecessor, and had no issues with wondering about previous plots. I’ve not read many books with the soldier theme, but I have to say this is a story that definitely makes me want to
seek them out. There’s certainly a natural drama that goes with the set-up, isn’t there? With this being the second Jean Joachim story I’ve read, I have to say there is an attractive mellowness to her writing. Now, don’t take that to say that this story doesn’t have twists, because it does. I just mean to say I have a natural desire to curl up in bed with books like this and leisurely read. I like that feeling, because books should feel like old friends, shouldn’t they? And I liked The Book of Danny. I hope that 2012 brings the blog more books by Ms. Joachim to read.
An amazing love storyDecember 4, 2011
In Jean Joachim’s Now and Forever 2, Danny’s Story she takes us back to Kensington State University and all the wonderful people we met in her first Now and Forever 1, A Love Story.
This is a heartwarming story of a soldier as he reintegrates back into society after suffering PTSD, not only from his brother’s death but service in Iraq.
Her ability to portray the horrors of what Captain Danny Maine goes through while he struggles to lead a normal life as a professor and fall in love are remarkable.
There is a rumor going around that Jean will be giving us Now and Forever 3. If true that book already has a place reserved on my Kindle.
Okay, now for the score. 4 collies, a sheltie and a collie puppy which equals 4 ¾ points on the collie scale.
I did not read the first book in the Now and Forever series and it turned out to be alright with possible mild spoilers. I can see where this story brought some closure of the hero and heroine of the first.
Okay, now that I set it up for this really great sequel that did not feel like a sequel to me-
The story is about a man who comes home from the war with scars both on his body and on his mind. Danny Maine went to war for one reason only- revenge for the death of a beloved brother who was cut down by sniper fire. He had a hellish tour of duty and now due to a program that transitions the vets into regular work he has landed a job as a junior professor of English at a small college.
His first night there at a staff welcome party he first sees Eliza the administrator who takes him under her wing to show him the ropes. They are attracted to each other in spite of the fact that Eliza is Danny’s senior by ten years. Danny is not shy to ask Eliza out and she accepts.
Meanwhile Danny learns that his older brother’s former fiance is married to the Dean, Mac, and has picked up the pieces to her life after Danny’s brother Kyle died. Mac is suspicious of Danny with his wife, but they are just treating each other like brother and sister.
Danny has trouble getting settled in to his new life with nightmares from Iraq, his abusive dad getting out of jail and threatening him and those he cares about, and an old unit pal of Kyle’s needing his help. This does not stop him from jumping in and contributing to the community by volunteering with Kiwanis and other programs for kids. He must also deal with being a new professor and amorous female students.
As Danny and Eliza’s relationship progresses towards something deeper and more satisfying than the original promise to just keep it loose, they begin to feel pressures from both her grown daughters, Mac as Eliza’s friend, and from their own expectations on the relationship. Can they work it out before their differences tear them apart?
This was a sweet story that had depth to its plot and secrets that slowly come out. It touched on several issues like recovering from PTSD, growing up in an abusive alcoholic home, relationship between older woman/younger man, widowhood and death of loved ones, forgiveness, and acceptance.
Though this was a romance, there were moments of excitement and danger. It had steamy passionate moments and heartbreaking moments too. The pace fluctuated with need.
The characters were very well written. There were so many and each had their own little history and part to play behind the main characters. There are two sets of stories here with Danny and Eliza taking the forefront. Mac and Callie as the good friends also had a smaller side story. Callie was hilarious with her blunt matchmaking and patch up schemes. There was so much to love about Danny and Eliza is so perfect for him though she is shy of commitment after the pain of losing her husband. I loved little Jason, Mac and Callie’s boy. He steals every scene he’s in. Eliza’s twin daughters were great foils for Danny and Eliza’s romance with their opposing views and personalities.
All in all, it was a wonderful read that tore me up in the middle, but left me satisfied in the end.
Captain Danny Maine leaves the Army and gets a job teaching English at Kensington State University. While there he connects with, Callie the one woman who understands the pain of Army life and the losses joined with it. Callie, who is like a sister to him, was once his deceased brother’s fiance, and is one of the few people he has left to call family.
While striving to lead a normal life he meets love interest Eliza Baines and is instantly smitten. She’s beautiful,intellegent, and there is wicked crazy chemistry between the two, but just as life begins to look up, past horrors and unwelcome visitors seek him out. While struggling to hold on to everything that’s good, Danny is faced with tough choices, dark forces, and emotional turmoil. Will good intentions, new found family,and most importantly the love of a woman perfect for him be enough? Find out.
I read Now and Forever: A Love Story and I couldn’t resist the temptation to read this one too. I absolutely love this series and The Book of Danny NAF 2 doesn’t disappoint. It’s well written and unique plot captured me right from the start, had me emotional during the middle, and ended with a surprising, yet pleasing twist at the end.
Well done, Ms. Joachim, I’m looking forward to the next installment.
Great romance storyNovember 20, 2011
This is a love story. The twists and turns in the story really take you on a journey. I also loved visiting Mac, Callie, Jason, & Jonesy. I thoroughly enjoyed this story & look forward to the next one in the series.
Danny Maine is a testament to endurance. Raised in a dysfunctional home to neglectful and abusive parents, Danny and his brother, Kyle, survived. Then, while Danny was in college, Kyle was killed in action in the Middle East. His brother’s death, Danny’s only caring quasi-parent, changes the trajectory of his life. After finishing graduate school, Danny enlists in the military. His heart is heavy and burning with the cold desire for vengeance. He wants nothing more than to destroy those responsible for taking his brother from him.Now, Danny has returned home having been wounded in action. He’s physically, mentally and emotionally battered. Danny has led men, engaged the enemy and killed many but none of it has repaired the damage to his heart. The violence wasn’t an answer to the caged anger birthed by the death of his brother. But, Danny’s trying to put it all behind him, his parents, Kyle’s death, the killing, and the living of a half-life. He attempts to put as many physical and emotional miles behind him as possible. So he moves to Willow Falls, a small college town to teach and be near Callie, the woman Kyle loved, and was to have married. He considers her family and wants to be near should she need him.Then, as if by providence, at the reception for new professors, Danny meets Dean Eliza. Danny and Eliza are attracted to each other like bees to honey. Yet Eliza has concerns about having a relationship with Danny. She is a widow with two college age daughters and is concerned with appearing to be a “cougar” as Danny is younger than her. In addition, Eliza is mindful of her role as Dean, a position for which she diligently worked. Danny has no such worries and sees in Eliza a future he never dreamed possible.However, their pasts threaten to thwart their new found love before it is fully set. Misunderstandings and obstinate behaviors on all sides may be their undoing. Added to Danny and Eliza’s stormy relationship is the danger. A danger from Danny’s past has followed him to his new life.Now and Forever 2: The Book of Danny will engage readers to champion those who have given so much for this country, for Danny to find relief from his deep emotional scars and hope that he and Eliza’s love endures. Jean C. Joachim has written an adventurous story that combines the elements of romance with action. Now and Forever 2: The Book of Danny is more than a love story, it’s a journey of survival, rebirth and triumphs. Romance lovers will be drawn to Danny and Eliza. New fans of Jean C. Joachim will be happy with their discovery.