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OpenLibrary Review- A Soldier’s Heart

A Soldier’s Heart
by Kathleen Korbel



Blurb from Goodreads:


Over twenty years earlier, an unnamed nurse had struggled to pull Tony Riordan away from the brink of death. And now, Tony could see the confusion in Claire Henderson’s eyes, could see her struggle with the same nightmare images that had haunted him for years. Claire Henderson had saved his life, and it was time to return the favor.


This book caught my attention when I saw the Dear Author Classic Review because it’s not often you see a book with a female protagonist with PTSD from war. It was originally published in 1995, so may be one of the first, if not the actual first romance novels to tackle PTSD in women. This book is available to check out from OpenLibrary. As always with OpenLibrary, use Adobe Digital Editions to download the PDF version because it is a scanned copy of a physical book.

Tony Riorden gets the boulder moving when after 20 years, he finally seeks out Claire, the nurse who saved his life during Vietnam. Of course, that boulder was already tipping from the stress of her job as a supervisory nurse, trying to open her own bed and breakfast, and the fact that she has a 17-year-old son who is wild to join the military to become a fighter pilot all happening during the UN intervention in Somalia.

When Tony sees that he’s caused harm by his visit, he decides to stick around to see if he can help. So of course, they fall in love.

The romance part of this book is fairly light because most of the emphasis, and rightly so, is on how Claire is handling or in some of the cases, not handling, her life. The intimate scenes are pretty meager as well and for all of the interest they added, should have just been completely fade to blacks.

What worked for this book for me were the cast of secondary characters and the experience of PTSD that rang true based on what I know of the people in my life. What also worked for me was the way Tony tried to help without being a macho overbearing alpha male and then when Claire finally did decide she needed help he gave her the information she was seeking and then stepped back to allow her to heal on her own. Naturally, this made him a bit of a Mary Sue; you can’t win for losing with me.

Solid 4 stars for the story and the mustache 😉
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