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Breaking His Code (Away From Keyboard Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 192 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
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Disclaimer: I'm personally acquainted with the author via social media.
I fell in deep like with Cam; she's a dogged, persistent heroine with some shadows in her past that make her hesitant to believe yummy West is really interested in her. Plus a body that is scarred (and tattooed). There are also some great relationships with her boss and comrade in arms/coding. The writing is smooth, and even if you are NOT savvy in computer coding *raises hand* it doesn't get so technical it goes over your head. The sex scenes are hot, and the ending feels satisfying. If you like hot military heroes and geeky heroines, you'll love this story.
Oh how I love a book whose main H&h are computer geeks! As a programmer myself it's just fun to see how the world of coders & coding is portrayed. I really liked this book. Ms Eddy did a very good job of building this story world. The references to the idiosyncrasies of a programmers life were spot on! There are very long hours with lots of talking to your screen ("Come on baby, show me what you've got").
Cam & West are both military veterans, with all the baggage that comes with having served our country during hostile times. They meet online and spend weeks gaming together, making a bunch of aliens pay for sticking their heads out. They have fun getting to know each other in the virtual world and West decides it's time to meet in person. Talking Cam into meeting him for coffee, what else would you do in Seattle? And things don't go as smoothly as West was hoping (there's that baggage I eluded to). It's not just between the two of them either, there's work problems to deal with, adding immeasurably to the pressure Cam is feeling. With financial trouble dogging West's business everything seems to be headed toward disastrous consequences for all of them. But it wouldn't be a proper romance without the HEA we all love. They get there, you know they will, but they have to work through the difficulties first. The secondary characters are also well developed and interesting. The story was fast paced and kept me turning the pages well into the night.
Ms Eddy has done a great job on this first in a new series. I highly recommend this book.
Going in… Happy to report that despite my fears about the proofreading, I found not a single thing to distress me on that point. <whew>
Something that jolts me out of a story is the mention of a name or an event without any context. This happened to me when I read “Royce is late.” Who is Royce, why does it matter if he is late. I found my mind circling back to that instead of concentrating on what I was reading. Three pages later, I still have no idea who Royce is, but West is introduced as a former SEAL and gaming partner. Why not simply insert something that identifies Royce? I am guessing he is her business partner but I don’t like to guess because guesses lead to misunderstandings.
There are several references to Cam’s cane and pain, but no reason is offered until well into the first chapter and she signs onto something called VetNet, which I personally have never heard of but eventually deduce that it is social media for veterans. Is Cam a veteran? I assume so, but I don’t like to make assumptions because assumptions lead to misunderstandings.
Must admit to a certain bemusement over the coffeehouse scene in Chapter Two. At last, I learn she was in the army. She and West “met” on VetNet, have been gaming for a few weeks and now they are meeting for a coffee date. Another customer makes a loud noise, it startles Cam, she drops her coffee mug, splashing coffee all over herself, and falls off her chair when she attempts to pick up a broken piece of the cup. She is so embarrassed she fakes a work emergency and leaves, determined never to see West again, despite her instant and strong physical attraction to him. I don’t understand why she is so embarrassed. We are told that she is, but surely a combat veteran has endured worse things than stained clothing. In fact, we know Cam has because of all the references to her cane and her pain so why not offer an explanation for this embarrassment? Just doesn’t seem real to me. And I still have no idea who Royce is.
Having completed Chapter Three, I have learned that Royce is Cam’s boss. I’ve also learned that Cam, Royce, and West all have PTSD and the reason Cam was so freaked out by the coffee stains and falling off her chair is that she doesn’t wish to appear weak. To which my reaction is that while I am not a Vet, I have known plenty of people with PTSD who have met together in groups and they all cut each other some slack, just as Cam sits slack for HuskyFan on VetNets, which I learned is not an actual thing but a social media thing Cam created. All the explanations seem to sneak in and in the meantime, I am constantly jolted out of the story thinking, “well, why didn’t you just say that when you first mentioned so and so." As in, my boss, Royce, is late. As in VetNet the social media thingie I started, we support each other. As I, I can’t appear weak just because I live in constant pain. Honestly, leaving out such details makes the story confusing to follow.
By Chapter Five, the story is flowing better. I have a much better sense of who people are now and I am not continuing to be jolted out of the story muttering “huh?”
However, in one scene West has gone to Cam’s apartment, bringing Thai and beer. Cam has a positive thought about his beard stubble. I personally hate beard stubble. For one thing, I do not find beard burn a turn on. For another beard stubble feels to me like a failure to commit. Either shave or grow a beard, make up your mind, fella.
There are a lot of hurting people in this book they all seem to talk around their hurt instead of engaging in conversation about it. While I suppose it lends itself to the drama of the story, in some cases it feels forced. Let’s take Cam as an example. Eddy makes it clear that Cam is active in therapy and a support group in VetNet. Ten years in therapy and she is still in the same place, has not made progress, hasn’t resolved her issues, and still has this idea that she can’t appear weak? I really can’t say more because “Spoilers, sweetie,” channeling River Song there for a moment.
Cam’s issues with Royce actively hurt her. Now, I get it that PTSD is not something that just goes away. I am aware that some issues are lifelong. But many of us have PTSD and we have been able to resolve many of the worst of our symptoms.
There is one scene toward the end of the book that I simply can’t believe could ever be real. But again channeling River Song, “Spoilers, sweetie!” If a person has what West has at the end of the book, I fail to understand how he could have done what he did with Cam without some very negative results. Just sayin’.
On the whole, I am glad I read it, especially as it was free. I will give the author a great deal of credit for avoiding a serious mistake that too many romance authors writing about PTSD have made. Eddy understands that the love of a good woman, a good friend, or a good man will not cure anyone’s PTSD and that PTSD is much more complicated than that. On behalf of all with PTSD, thank you.
Something I really enjoyed is that even secondary characters are well-developed with personalities and problems just like real people. I did guess quite early on who the bad guy was, but then that’s pretty much why I gave up reading mysteries because it’s not much fun when I figure it out so early. I’ve never read anything by this author before, but I’d be willing to.
Thank you for the introduction to your work, Ms. Eddy.
Most recent customer reviews
Exciting, suspenseful, loving, sexy romance with a great plot to pull the reader into the story.
It has been a while since I last read a book by Ms. Eddy and I forgot how much I enjoyed her writing.Read more
I have previously only read Patricia’s Elemental series so was new to this series.Read more