Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review: Embattled Hearts ( Lost and Found #1 ) by J. M. Madden

Embattled Hearts by J. M. Madden

John Palmer hasn’t felt like a real man since he was injured during combat in Iraq. Though not content with his new life, he is mostly adapting, just like the other vets at the Lost ‘N’ Found Investigative Service. When Shannon Murphy is hired on as the new office manager, life suddenly gets a lot more interesting. Before long, John finds himself wondering if he could ever be the kind of man Shannon needs.

Shannon Murphy wasn’t really looking for love when she hired on at LNF, but finds herself hopelessly attracted to the sex-on-wheels former Marine, John Palmer. The man is grumpy and nearly impossible to work with, but his brand of masculinity appeals to her on a basic level. Soon Shannon is wondering just what it would take for John to want her the way she wants him.

When an old enemy tries to settle a vendetta against Shannon, John insists on protecting her. He moves into her house, fanning the spark of attraction into a blaze. But the danger continues to escalate. Even with all the resources at their disposal, they’re thrust into a fight for their lives.




I've read the prequel novella Embattled Road and love the premise of this series that center around the Lost 'N' Found Investigation Service set up by Duncan, whom was discharged from the Marine after his injury in Iraq. His partners, Chad and John, along with the employees they recruited were mostly discharged who had suffered certain injury rendered them unable to service in the military any longer.

In this Book 1, we have John Palmer, a paraplegic who is one of Duncan's business partner. He appeared to be a grumpy guy in general and hating everyone who look at him the wrong way. He had too much pride in himself and constantly feeling bitter about his condition.

Shannon Murphy had been working at the company for six months and she was having a big crush on the sex-on-wheelchair, John. Their relationship seems to be heading nowhere, until she started to get harassed by a stalker, whom she believed might or might not be her ex-psychotic stalker.

When Shannon safety was being threaten, John offered to protect and watch out for her, which include camping in her house, much to her pleasure. One thing that bug me about Shannon was her constant 'tears'. She didn't downright sob or wail, but she often had short moments of 'tears in her eyes'. Besides that minor annoyance, she was generally a likable character, who doesn't perform any dumb move or create unnecessary drama.

I started this series believing it to be a romantic suspense. But I need to point out that the suspense plot on the stalker issue was not a strong one and it rather serve as a subplot to get the story going. During the climatic ending and revelation, I find the reason to be kinda far-fetched. If you are looking for a good suspense, this is not the book.

What I like in this book was the way the author tackled the handicap issue within the relationship. I know I will sound totally shallow because the only reason I kept reading this book was to see how they work out the sex scene. And I gotta tell you it was GOOD. The author tried to make it realistic for us. John had been a paraplegic and celibate for 6 years and of course he won't miraculously had great sex during his first attempt post-injury. Well, Shannon was very accepting when it comes to John, she help him whenever he allowed her.

In the end, John is learning how to accept help from others and tried not to be an ass most of the time. Shannon will make sure of that. I find that their relationship towards the end got a little too rush in order to wrap up with a HEA. Is a pretty good read for those who like to read about handicap heroes, like me. I will definitely follow this series through and can't wait to read Duncan's story.  

Rating 3.5/5