Book Review: The Officer and the Secret by Jeanette Murray

The Officer and the Secret by Jeanette Murray is third book of the Semper Fi Series, although it works fine as a stand alone novel. Since this is the only book I have read in the series I noticed that the only things I missed out on is some of the back story for this particular circle of friends. Captain Dwayne Robertson has just returned home from a rough deployment and just needs some down time and normalcy. A surprise party and the inclusion of Veronica Gibson, his Skype buddy that helped keep him steady during his time overseas, throws him off-kilter more than he cares to admit. As Dwayne struggles with readjusting to home life he gets closer to Veronica, but they each carry their fair share of baggage and a Veronica's silence about her past and present might be more than Dwayne can handle. An unexpected complication could force them to lay their cards on the table, or drive them apart.

The Officer and the Secret starts of with a previously established attraction between Dwayne and Veronica, but both keeping their distance for various reasons. I found Dwayne's friendships and issues acclimating to life at home realistic. His Post Traumatic Stress symptoms were true to life, and neither downplayed or over done. I liked his honesty and willingness to work on his issues. He seed to be a playful, but charming, gentleman in every sense of the word. Veronica's past and efforts to fit in are a little harder for me to swallow. I suppose there are those out there living her kind of life, but her efforts to hide her unusual childhood and struggles to better herself seem a little out of character when paired with her honesty in other aspects of her life. But, I have never been in her position or met anyone that has, so as far as I know that could be exactly how someone would behave and think. I think the final additions of Dwayne's previous relationship issue, and the ultimate complication at the end, were unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, but did force the pair to finally work things out and find their happily ever after. As with most real relationships, I felt like if they had just sat down and had a serious conversation at some point, without anyone glossing over what they wanted to hide, everything could have been resolved and everyone happy much sooner in the story.

The Officer and the Secret is a contemporary romance with characters that felt real, at least for the most part. I felt that it could have gone deeper with the original issues the main characters faced in coming together, without as much time and a larger crisis taking part in the story. However, it was still a fun summer read and one that I thing will appeal to fans of the author, particularly those that have enjoyed the previous two books in this series.
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