Once again Traci Hall has developed fully fledged, complex characters that will keep you turning the pages from the beginning of the book to the end. That said, I would say that "Returning Home by the Sea" is the BEST By The Sea book so far. This book is much more than a standard 'romance', as such. Zoe and Brayden are characters who are as unsure of themselves and the status of their relationship as they are of their standing in life. They are up in the air due to many of the events that have affected them, their families and the business of being in love. Having not had a personal romantic relationship with a person in the military, I cannot attest the trueness of dynamic that Zoe and Brayden find themselves enmeshed in, but from talking to friends who have been involved in a military-civilian spousal relationship, the marriage that Ms. Hall has created reads true to life. As one spouse, imagine questioning yourself, your role in war and how you relate to others due to damage you have suffered, both mentally and physically, as the result of your chosen profession. As the other spouse, imagine questioning yourself over the separation issues, need to continue in daily life with an absent spouse and the wanting to reengage with a returning spouse. "Returning Home By The Sea" is a primer on some of the issues that will need work in a relationship such as the one found in Zoe and Brayden. Keep us the good work, Ms. Hall!
This story felt so personal for me. I remember the stress of my husband's long deployments. Spending only 18 months with my Army husband during our first 5 years of marriage. Being married to an active duty Soldier is no cake walk. Zoe and Brayden's story touches on the struggles of a Soldier, damaged by war, who feels like he is no longer worthy of his wife's love. Zoe is a tough girl, fighting to save the family business and her marriage. Military life tends to intensify everything! Your love is bigger, your problems are massive and daily life won't cut you a break. This story highlights how keeping things from the one you love to protect them usually does more harm than good. Deployments are hard but for a military couple, the most important fight might not start until you return home. I'm a longtime fan of Traci's By the Sea series and Returning Home by the Sea is a great addition to this collection. This story is for readers who love great characters and a love story that doesn't leave you hanging!
I loved this book. I can relate to it because I come from a military family. Traci Hall shows the stress and anxiety as well as danger being on deployment and under fire and wanting to protect your spouse. She also shows the spouse's stress and anxiety by not knowing what is happening. There is so much more going on with the family dynamics, and you just want to keep reading until you find out what is going to happen next. It is a wonderful love story, but also a story of how a family regroups and support each other. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. Happy reading!