Oct 29

If You Say So by Lani Lynn Vale Review


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Gabriel Luca Maldonado, III and Francesca Leandra Solomon were meant to be. They were so in love that everybody prayed for what they had.

Everything was glorious. They would get married, have children and live a perfect life. She would be a doctor in the emergency room once she finished her doctorate, and he would be a badass Navy SEAL and save people for a living.

But then Luca is deployed across the world, and per military regulations, Frankie isn’t allowed to follow.

They’ve overcome a lot in their short relationship, and they can overcome this, too. Two years was a piece of cake. She’d finish her schooling and wait for him. And when he finally returned home, they would marry.

But two months into Luca’s deployment, the unthinkable happens, and Frankie is left alone and heartbroken, knowing that she’ll have to face the rest of life without Luca at her side.


Fast forward two years, and Frankie is exactly where her fiancé’s father left her, in a pit of despair that she has no hope of ever finding her way out of.

She lives life one second at a time, depressed and alone, hoping tomorrow won’t hurt like today.

She finds a job, moves, and hopes that the nightmares won’t swallow her whole.

But just as she thinks that she’s getting better, one of her nightmares walks through the doors of her ER, and that nightmare has a name.

Gabriel Luca Maldonado, III. In the flesh.

Also healthy and whole, and definitely no longer missing.

Sadly, it only takes her a half a second to realize that the man that left her isn’t the same man that returned.

The old one wanted her. The new one? Well, he’s definitely not interested anymore.

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A new Lani Lynn Vale book for me is like a trip to my favorite fictional town to catch up with some old friends. I’ve been reading Vale’s books and her characters’ stories on a monthly basis since she released the first one, and now, years later, I’m completely invested in them and this world. The KPD Motorcycle Patrol series is what Lani has dubbed a next generation series because the stories are about the children of the lead couples from some of her early series, like Freebirds, The Heroes of the Dixie Wardens MC and Code 11-KPD SWAT.

Vale gives readers her own take on the second-chance romance in If You Say So, the sixth book in the series. A hero returns from war after suffering gravely in captivity. He comes back battered, horrifically scarred and with no memories of his time in enemy hands or his life prior to it. All is not what it seems in this soldier’s story, though. He feels like an imposter in his own life, nothing really fits, but it’s the guilt he feels over the way he is drawn to his deceased best friend’s fiancée that he struggles with the most.

Deeply immersed in her grief, Frankie Solomon is doing her best to get through each day, hoping and praying that the military is wrong, and that Luca, the love of her life, will come back to her. When his best friend shows up unrecognizably scarred and with no memory of his captivity, what happened to her fiancé or his life before that, it’s not surprising that she can’t help but reach out to her fiancé’s friend—but the way that her heart calls out to him is a surprise.

Vale crafted a heart-tugging, emotional story in If You Say So with surprises at every turn. An underlying secondary suspense plot, along with the mystery of this soldier’s captivity and a beautiful slow-burn romance, Vale packed in all the feels here as this couple tries to make sense of the unthinkable. I devoured this story in a day—I simply couldn’t put it down. Five smooches from me for If You Say So by Lani Lynn Vale!

~Danielle Palumbo


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