Monday, November 7, 2016

My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas

Fashion artist Priscilla Hutchens has traveled to Texas from Cincinnati to find and adopt the orphaned children of her estranged brother.  When she arrives at Fort Bliss, though, she discovers that the twins aren't as alone as she had thought.  Major Elliot Ryder has cared for the children of his beloved sister since her death, and has no intention of allowing Priscilla to take them back East.  Will either of them be able to put aside their prejudices in order to do what's best for their niece and nephew?  

In My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas, Erica Vetch has the potential to tell a romantic tale of sacrifice, forgiveness, and compromise against a western backdrop, but falls short.  From page one, the reader knows that Priscilla and Elliot will mend fences and overcome differences.  I anticipated them meeting in the middle: Elliot would realize that the Army is only a job, not his entire identity, and Priscilla would accept that the difficult Army life is worth embracing for true love.  Instead, Elliot gets exactly what he wants, and Priscilla sacrifices everything.  First of all, Priscilla's qualms about raising children at a remote Army outpost are absolutely valid.  Elliot has not provided them with adequate supervision, care, or education.  I struggled with the fact that Priscilla lets go of these valid objections for no good reason but that she's attracted to Elliot.  Worst of all, Elliot actually remarks that his oath to the Army with "always come first."  Wrong.  Deal Breaker.  Go back to Ohio, Priscilla.  As a military spouse myself who has so far survived 10 deployments, I concede that the life I have chosen requires sacrifice.  I also know, however, that the covenant my husband I made before God absolutely comes before his job.  The Army may need to come before Priscilla's every desire, but any real man would put her legitimate needs above a job.  As a result, I simply could not accept Elliot as a romantic lead worthy of Priscilla's devotion.  

I received a free copy from the publisher.  No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.

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