Monday, July 4, 2016

Review: Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton

Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton
Series: Wild Aces, Book 2
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781101986981
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Eric Jansen—call sign Thor—loves nothing more than pushing his F-16 to the limit. Returning home to South Carolina after a tragic loss, he hopes to fix the mistake he made long ago, when he chose the Air Force over his fiancĂ©e.

Becca Madison isn’t quick to welcome Thor back. She can’t forget how he shattered her heart. But Thor won’t give up once he’s set his sights on what he wants—and he wants Becca.

Thor shows Becca that he’s no longer the impulsive boy he used to be, and Becca finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But will Thor be able to walk away from his dream of flying the F-16 for their love or does his heart belong to the sky?

Becca Madison and Eric Jansen fell in love as teenagers, and broke up in their early twenties when he chose the Air Force over her. It’s been ten years, and Eric has finally returned home, on leave after a tragedy shakes him so badly he doesn’t feel right up in the air. The only thing that makes sense, feels right, is the love he has for Becca, which ten years apart has done nothing do dim. He wants to prove to her that he can be the man she needs, but Becca was burned badly and knows that she can’t trust her heart to Eric when the problems between them are still there. Their attraction is undeniable, however, and it’s not long before they’re falling into old patterns. But what do you do when love isn’t enough to make things last?

Into the Blue rocked my world! I absolutely loved Fly with Me, Chanel Cleeton’s first Wild Aces book, and there is definitely no sophomore slump for this series. If possible, I loved Into the Blue even more.

Second chance romances are a favorite of mine, and Becca and Eric’s is wonderful. The two of them have been in love since they were teenagers, and time and heartbreak has done nothing to dampen their mutual attraction or love. Each of them has tried to move on, but it’s clear from the start that they’re meant to be. They were both achingly young when they first fell in love, and even though it was painful, the time apart really helped both Becca and Eric grow into the people they were meant to be. When they see each other again, old pain mixes with familiar desire, and both Becca and Eric are so genuinely likeable that you want to see them make things work. Falling into bed and into old patterns is easy, but what I absolutely loved about this story is that they both are fully aware that love isn’t always enough to make a relationship. Ms. Cleeton kept me guessing as to how they’d make things work. And you really want to see Becca and Eric get their happily ever after. As a couple they are hot, sweet, and their chemistry is off-the-charts fantastic. I hated it whenever I had to put Into the Blue down because they both grabbed my heart and I wanted to see them beat the odds.

As with Fly with Me, there is no fake drama in Into the Blue, but rather realistic challenges a couple will face. Becca wants stability, roots, and a family; her past has made that a soul-deep need. As an F-16 pilot with a specific set of skills, Eric really can’t see himself doing anything else, and his life doesn’t offer what Becca wants. Neither is being selfish in their choices or desires, and it’s heartbreaking to watch their internal struggles because there is no easy answer for them. Ms. Cleeton’s knowledge of the military, of the risks, rewards, and hardship of day-to-day life sets the Wild Aces series apart from other romances. Falling for a fighter pilot isn’t all admiring a hot man in a flight suit, but Ms. Cleeton had me avidly turning the pages of Into the Blue because the hard work is worth it when it’s a love like Eric and Becca’s.

Into the Blue is the second book in the phenomenal Wild Aces series, and it can be read as a standalone if you don’t mind reading significant spoilers from Fly with Me. I loved seeing Eric’s fellow F-16 pilots again and the only downside to this story is that I finished it dying to get my hands on the Easy’s book, On Broken Wings. The fighter pilots of Ms. Cleeton’s Wild Aces are strong, sexy-as-sin heroes and the women who love them are equally strong, dynamite heroines. It’s impossible not to fall in love with Becca and Eric and I cannot wait to re-read their romance!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.