Thursday, January 10, 2013

Don't Cry For Me by Sharon Sala

Don’t Cry For Me:
Mariah Conrad has come home. Badly wounded on active duty in Afghanistan and finally released stateside, she has no family to call on and nowhere to go—until Quinn Walker arrives at her bedside. Quinn, her brother-in-arms, ex-lover and now maybe her future.

Quinn brings Mariah to his log cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky to rest and recuperate, both physically and emotionally. While she's incredibly grateful, Mariah is also confused and frustrated. She's always stood on her own two feet, but now even that can literally be torture. She's having flashbacks and blackouts, hearing helicopter noises in the night. She wants to push Quinn away—and hold him closer than ever.

But will she get the chance? Those helicopters are more than just post-traumatic stress; they're real—and dangerous. Bad things are happening on the mountain. Suddenly there's a battle to be fought on the home front, and no guarantee of survival.

This was a story that constantly tugged on my heartstrings, the history and romance between Quinn and Mariah was genuine and the emotions were deep and fulfilling. Sharon Sala has this incredible talent for turning her scenery into a third-party character, giving us a whole new perspective of Rebel Ridge. Both Quinn and Mariah have returned from Afghanistan with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and although Quinn has had a few years to come to terms with his disorder, he still suffers episodes leaving him in a cold sweat. When he learns that Mariah is injured and has nowhere to go, his first instinct is to bring her home to the mountain where he grew up to heal. Despite, or maybe because of, Mariah’s PTSD breakdowns she was an incredible, strong character and one I connected to immediately. Although the story mostly revolves around Quinn’s actions, Mariah’s role in the story was just as important. Part of Quinn’s appealing strength was his understanding and compassion, not a constant need to “fix” Mariah, he accepted her fully into his heart—imperfections and all.

Don’t Cry For Me was a fast paced, non-stop action book: during the beginning of this book Quinn is hunting a rogue bear that has turned into a man-killer, quickly his search leads him onto the trail of a poacher hunting illegally on Rebel Ridge. Being a park ranger gives Quinn an advantage against the poacher and the trail ends at an abandoned mine that has recently been bought by a nefarious company. When a drug overdose is the cause of death and destruction on the mountain, the authorities quickly trace the illegal substances back to the mine. Determined to stop the illegal poaching, Quinn’s impulsive need to question the workers at the mine end up with him being caught and beaten to within an inch of his life. It’s up to Mariah and her instincts to save him. Fighting to keep her mind in the here-and-now, pushing back her PTSD, she follows an unknown cavern into the mine to find Quinn and it will take every ounce of strength of her broken mind and body to save him.

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