Forbidden love cures all in Gray’s latest, following Come Back to Me (2015).
Didi Monroe is on her way to happily-ever-after. The white doctoral student is on track for her Ph.D. in psychology, is being wooed by a hot movie star, and is interning at a hospital for wounded soldiers. Then Didi meets Lt. Noel Walker, an angry, injured Marine, one of two survivors of an ambush in the most dangerous territory in Afghanistan. Walker suffers from PTSD, survivor’s guilt, a broken knee, and a case of psychosomatic blindness. When the two meet, professional and personal boundaries blur, and as their attraction grows, they struggle to suppress their feelings in every erotically charged encounter. The will-they–won’t-they–of-course-they-will plot keeps the tension high. Gray makes it easy for Didi, giving Walker only a wounded leg and temporary blindness rather than a missing limb or limbs like many of the other soldiers in the hospital. Didi and Walker appear to be white in the cover smooch; characters of color include physiotherapist José; wounded soldier Jésus Sanchez, the only other surviving member of Walker’s unit; Sanchez’s wife (who slaps him way too much); and her cousin, a disturbingly overbearing Latina in a kaftan who sets her sights on any soldier with a heartbeat and is the butt of jokes because she doesn’t meet the dominant beauty ideal.
Pure wish fulfillment for readers seeking steamy escapism. (Fiction. 16 & up)