A Lover's Lament
by KL Grayson & BT Urruela
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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.
Reviewed by: Christyn :)
My Rating: 5 Coffee Cups!!
This book was, simply put, absolutely incredible. The emotions evoked from this story - not quite so simple. KL Grayson and BT Urruela put my heart through the wringer. It's been a long time since I've read a book that actually, physically, had me holding my breath during certain parts because I was that scared about what was going to happen next. Because I was that invested in the characters and their happiness and their well-being. And not just the main characters either. ALL OF THEM. I was brought into a world so real and a love so deep and poignant that I felt it. Every time Katie heard from Devin I felt her relief. When Devin had an exceptionally hard experience I felt his anguish.
Katie and Devin's relationship was complicated. Friends from childhood, I guess they can be easily described as childhood sweethearts. But it didn't end well. Extenuating circumstances caused the transition from friends to lovers to be cut extremely short. The relationship ended, but their love never did. Neither of them really truly moved on from it. 10 years later and simply seeing his name on a piece of paper causes Katie's heart and mind to tremble with an intense combination of feelings. That fate had put them in each other's path after all this time- right at a time when she NEEDED him to be there had her a confused jumble of emotions. She makes the decision to open a door to him, open herself to him and to the risk of getting hurt after being left once already.
Devin was taking everything day by day. First in Afghanistan, then in Iraq he has seen his fair share of loss and darkness. But he has his Brothers here. Whereas at home it's pretty empty. That emptiness and the envy of having everyone around him receiving letters and care packages from home caused him to very randomly sign up for a Military pen-pal program. To which he has actually pretty much disregarded everything he received from it. Until the return name of one of the letters catches his eye. Katie's name and handwriting in a letter that fills him so full of hope. Hope for a future he really wasn't thinking about. Re-opening and fully mending old, deep scars- scars created by both each other and by the actions of other around them- is difficult and they both have to be willing to completely open themselves up to possibility of more pain but with the results having the potential to be something so beautiful and soul-happy the past will pale in comparison.
The fact that this is BT Urruela's debut novel will have you shaking your head going "nuh-huh, don't believe it. Not fooling me." He puts so much passion and depth to the characters and the story. And the realism and emotion in every word of Devin's life in the field and with his brothers makes you feel it that much more. You see and visualize everything being described so clearly and it hits you straight in your heart.
This story will leave you a breathless, emotional wreck when you finish the last sentence of the last page. You will cry, you will laugh (Katie's BFF Maggie is a much needed comic release) but most of all you will connect. This book has easily gone to the top of my list for the year.
As a side note- the idea of military pen-pals intrigued me. I enjoy giving back whenever I can. So I did what I do best: I googled it. And I found quite a few. And because I obviously love writing I found a Letter Writing program thru a volunteer service called Soldiers' Angels and signed up. I may not be able to do much, but to send letters and care packages to deployed servicemen and women is a small thing to do in thanks for all that they do for us.
About the Authors:
K.L. Grayson resides in a small town outside of St. Louis, MO. She is entertained daily by her extraordinary husband, who will forever inspire every good quality she writes in a man. Her entire life rests in the palms of six dirty little hands, and when the day is over and those pint-sized cherubs have been washed and tucked into bed, you can find her typing away furiously on her computer. She has a love for alpha-males, brownies, reading, tattoos, sunglasses, and happy endings…and not particularly in that order.
Taylor Urruela was an infantryman in the US Army from August 2004 until February 2011. At the end of a year long tour in Baghdad, IQ, his vehicle was hit by two roadside bombs, which took his right leg below the knee and the life of his commander. He was awarded the Purple Heart for his wounds, an Army Commendation Medal and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He medically retired from the Army in 2011 and moved to Tampa, FL where he currently works as a Director and Brand Ambassador of VETSports, a veteran community sports nonprofit he co-founded in 2012. He also conducts speaking engagements and he’s a personal trainer for Tampa Sports Academy.