February 25, 2013

book review: when i see you

Readers looking for a good cry from a story laced with romance, heartache, sizzle and a series of complications will find a solid read in Katherine Owen's When I See You.

Orphaned at 17 when her parents, a famous Hollywood power couple, were killed, Jordan Holloway continues to deal with abandonment issues a decade later. With her husband Ethan, a Navy SEAL, about to leave on his third and final tour of Afghanistan, she is no more ready to be left alone with their 3-year-old son, Max, than when he left weeks after they met and married.

Her life changes when she meets Brock Wainwright, Ethan's childhood best friend-turned sniper partner. With his own troubled past, Jordan and Brock recognize each other as kindred spirits who perhaps have a better understanding of each other than the man who links them together despite their obvious love and devotion to him. Before they leave on tour, Jordan elicits a promise from Brock he many not be able to keep though he will try.

Told in first-person from the perspective of Jordan and Brock, When I See You evokes emotion almost from the get-go. I had my first tears a few chapters into the story, and with a few intermissions, they continued after I finished the story. When I woke up the morning after finishing the story, my first thoughts were of this story and the feelings it drew from me as a reader, which shows it has some staying power.

Jordan and Brock were both easy characters to connect with. Despite their obvious differences -- she grew up a cherished daughter to celebrities, and he grew up on a ranch -- their similarities stood out as a connection, though not always a happy one. Their connection makes for a powerful and compelling story, because no matter how many miles or issues separate them it always remains to a degree.

The other characters in the book, including Jordan's son, husband and best friends to Brock's family and military companions, offered solid development for the story. Perhaps the most interesting supporting characters were the people Jordan and Brock have lost in their past. Though both of them strive to move on every day, the ghosts and reminders of these people are a constant reminder that you can continue forward, but your past will always remain with you.

While I saw one of the major directions the book might take from the get-go, after that the story consistently found ways to surprise me. I have to be vague not to spoil any of the moments in the story, but it's my way of saying this book had plenty of unexpected turns that kept me flipping pages. The generally well-developed story carried lots of action to keep the story moving at a solid pace.

I did find one of the plot points later in the book a little abrupt and hurried, the rest of the story was so well told and believably conveyed it did not spoil the story for me. And while there were plenty pockets of happiness throughout the story, a constant theme remains that you can never take any moment for granted, because there are no guarantees of a smooth path in life.

Though I expected this book to have lots of depth and emotion, I will say it was a bit sadder than I ever imagined. Keep that in mind when you pick it up for yourself -- have tissues handy and remove your mascara before reading.

Rating: 4 of 5

Leave a comment on Katherine's Chick Lit Plus tour page (click here) for your chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card. Also, check back tomorrow for my interview with the author.

About the Author
Katherine Owen graduated with a journalism degree and a minor in English from the University of Washington and promptly went into high tech sales because someone told her it was fun and there would be stock options. For years, she damped down the urge to write and spent money like Evian water. But after a successful, storied career in high tech sales and public relations, she finally made what felt like a necessary, soul-calling leap to writing full-time in April of 2009. Owen has written three novels Seeing Julia (debut novel and Zola Award Winner), Not to Us and When I See You. She lives near Seattle in an old house with a fabulous view with her husband and two children. When she isn't writing, she can be found cheering at her son's football games or her daughter's volleyball games or heating up frozen dinners for the "fam-dam-ily" as she fondly refers to them.

Connect with Katherine
Website: www.katherineowen.net or bit.ly/KObuymereadme
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KatherineOwenAuthor
Twitter: @katherineowen01

In all these social media places, she talks about her writing life and what inspires her as well as her novels and, sometimes, her latest work-in-progress.

Buy the Book
Amazon (Paperback & Kindle): http://bit.ly/WISYbuyme
Barnes & Noble (Paperback & Nook ePub): http://bit.ly/WISYbuyBN
Kobo (ebook): http://bit.ly/WISYbuymeKobo
iBooks (ebook): https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/when-i-see-you/id588905242?mt=11

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