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Oct 06

A Lover’s Lament by KL Grayson & BT Urruela Review

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5 Smooches!

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Synopsis

In a matter of seconds my entire world changed, and it was in that moment that I stopped living and simply began to exist.

In my grief, I sent a letter to the first boy I ever loved. I hoped in writing it I’d find some peace from the nightmare I was living, some solace in my anger.

I didn’t expect him to write back. I wasn’t prepared for his words, and I certainly wasn’t ready for the impact this soldier would have on my life. A deep-rooted hate transformed into friendship, and then molded into a love like I’d never known before.

Sergeant Devin Ulysses Clay did what I couldn’t: he put the shattered pieces of my heart back together, restoring my faith in humanity and teaching me how to live again.

But now that I’m whole, I have a decision to make. Do I return to my life as I knew it and the fiancé I left behind, or do I walk away from it all for the only man to ever break my heart?

***

I’ve been living in hell, but you won’t hear me complain.

These men depend on me, as I do them, and this brotherhood is the only family I’ve ever known.

The Army saved me from a callous mother and a life on the wrong side of the tracks that was quickly spiraling out of control. So unlike most of the men in my platoon, going home wasn’t something I longed for.

I was content overseas, spending my days defending this country that gave me my life back. Fighting became my new normal … until her.

A letter from Katie Devora—a letter that I almost didn’t open. Her words put a fire back inside of me that I didn’t know I’d lost. She gave me hope during a time when I was fighting every day just to stay alive, and now it’s time I fight for her.

 

Review

This book, THIS BOOK… How do I start to review something that affected me so profoundly? Well, I guess I’ll start at the beginning. My BBL, Miranda, knowing of my teeny tiny, itty-bitty little crush on BT Urruela asked if I wanted to review this book. I jumped at the chance. Aside from drooling over his pictures (with much eye rolling from husband) and following him on Facebook, I don’t know this man other than to know that he’s stupid good-looking, he’s a veteran and he’s a founder of VetSports, a national non-profit aimed at helping veterans achieve better physical, mental and emotional health through sports, physical activity and community involvement. Well, it turns out that Mr. Urruela is more than a philanthropic, patriotic pretty face. The man can write. Quite well. Gorgeous (look at that smile!), helps others and can write, romance no less? Who the hell isn’t crushing on him? #TotalPackage

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Photo Credit: RLS Model Images

I know we’ll find a way to make to make it work, because there isn’t another option. … Devin and I are meant to be together.”

This is the story of Katie Devora and Devin Clay. Best friends since the first grade, their relationship is the kind of deeply rooted, naturally progressing love story that epic romances are made of. Their story begins in the prologue with that single, perfect, beautiful, teenage moment of passion. Declarations and promises are made, but unfortunately Devin has no choice but to shatter the moment with some upsetting news – news that will change everything. However, it is a conversation between Devin and Mr. Devora later that night that serves as the catalyst to dramatically alter the course of their relationship for the next decade.

“…I have to write him, because if I don’t, I’m letting him win – I’m letting the bitterness win – and I’m tired of fucking losing.”

The story opens with Katie waking up in the hospital injured and facing a devastating loss. She is angry, she is bitter, and she is lashing out at everyone. At the urging of her family and friends, she finally enters therapy, and it is her therapist who suggests that one way to deal with her anger towards the soldier who so recklessly changed the landscape of her life, she enroll in a pen pal program and correspond with another soldier. She reluctantly agrees, and color her surprised when the last name on the list is none other than Devin Ulysses Clay.

Looks like it’s going to be another long day in hell.”

Devin is a Sergeant in the U.S. Army. He’s stationed in Iraq – fighting a war he doesn’t necessarily agree with – on a combat post. He recently lost his best friend to this never-ending violence, and he’s still very much immersed in his grief. But ever the professional soldier and leader of his men, he pushes his grief and his doubts about the war aside to be strong for his men, to lead them and to get them home safely. He has not spoken to Katie since he walked away from her without a word ten years earlier. But she’s never been far from his thoughts. What he did to her, what he did to destroy them, is his life’s single greatest regret. Imagine his surprise when he receives a pen pal letter – one he nearly didn’t look at or open – from Katie.

Katie…my biggest regret. My only regret, actually, and one I’ve never quite gotten over.

Through letters, at first, then emails and finally phone calls, Katie and Devin reconnect, both coming to the same inevitable realization – what they had never really went away, neither has moved beyond their feelings for each other, and, most importantly, what they share is that once-in-a-lifetime, bring-you-to-your-knees, heart-thumping-sweaty-palms kind of love. The kind that people dream of and hope for, the kind that never goes away or fades, and, no matter what hurt one may have caused the other, this kind of love is not something you turn your back on if you’re lucky enough to find it again and have another shot at it.

How is it possible to feel such a strong connection with someone I haven’t even talked to in a decade?”

Like a freight train barreling out of control, neither is able – nor wants – to stop the rampant return of their feelings for each other. Devin knows this is his shot, and he’s taking it. He’s not messing it up, he’s got his eyes on the prize: Katie, marriage, a family. He wants her back, he wants it all with her, and this time, he’s getting it. Katie, helpless against her overwhelming feelings for Devin, is, however, a bit more hesitant. After all, she was the one who was left devastated in the wake of his wordless departure. But ultimately, the heart knows, and Katie, unable to fight her feelings for Devin, gives in to them.

In this moment, we are letting go of the past and opening ourselves up to a failure that’s full of endless possibilities.”

Weeks of phone calls and emails and a stolen weekend together secure their fate. Devin has only a few weeks left in the Army before he is discharged and then he will return to Katie. But war is unpredictable, and in the blink of an eye, or in this case, the explosion of an RPG, their lives are instantly and permanently changed.

What am I going to do with you, Sergeant?”

Love me…I just need you to love me.”

Everything about this book touched me. From the prologue straight through to the amazing dual POV epilogues, this book was gorgeous and lovely and so, so beautiful. Even the playlist was spot on and the perfect soundtrack to this amazing story. I extolled the virtues of BT Urruela earlier in this review, let me not overlook the talent that is KL Grayson. She has penned a masterpiece in this book, and it is a story that I will long remember, reread often and recommend relentlessly.

This, folks, is an epic love story. It was romantic, at times gut wrenchingly tragic, and so painfully, breathlessly rich with vivid emotion. I was literally oblivious to my surroundings while reading this book and unable to put it down. At one point, I was quietly crying, and my husband cupped and lifted my face to get my attention to see if I was all right. This book was an experience, and has moved right onto the list of my top favorites. This book is special; it’s that rare, gorgeous love story that will stay with you long after you’ve put it down. Lovely, it was positively lovely. Very well done, Ms. Grayson and Mr. Urruela, so very well done.

Five enormous, epic and emotional smooches from me for the sensational A Lover’s Lament by KL Grayson and BT Urruela.

~ Danielle Palumbo

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