Purple Hearts by Tess Wakefield


When a soldier with a troubled past and a struggling songwriter agree to a marriage of convenience for the military benefits, neither expects much after saying “I do.” Then tragedy strikes, and the line between what’s real and what’s pretend begins to blur in this smart and surprising romance perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Jojo Moyes.

Cassie Salazar and Luke Morrow couldn’t be more different. Sharp-witted Cassie works nights at a bar in Austin, Texas to make ends meet while pursuing her dream of becoming a singer/songwriter. Luke is an Army trainee, about to ship out for duty, who finds comfort in the unswerving discipline of service. But a chance encounter at Cassie’s bar changes the course of both their lives.

Cassie is drowning in medical bills after being diagnosed with diabetes. When she runs into her old friend Frankie, now enlisted in the Army, she proposes a deal: she’ll marry him in exchange for better medical insurance and they can split the increased paycheck that comes with having a “family.” When Frankie declines, his attractive but frustratingly intense friend Luke volunteers to marry Cassie instead. What she doesn’t know is that he has desperate reasons of his own to get married. In this unforgettable love story, Cassie and Luke must set aside their differences to make it look like a real marriage...unless, somewhere along the way, it becomes one...

I am so disappointed, so upset. And I hate giving out one star reviews, but for this book, I have to.

I expected to love this. The moment I read the description, I was desperate to have it. It sounded so interesting, and The Memory Book (same author) was one of my favorite reads of 2016.

But wow, what a waste of time. Here are just a couple issues I had with it: the first 40% is boring, there is an unnecessary love triangle, and Cassie, the main character, is one of the most unintentionally unsympathetic characters I've read in a long time. Luke, the second narrator and the only thing I liked about it this story, is barely hanging on--struggling with his opiate addiction and his combat injury--and Cassie makes taunts him repeatedly. Repeatedly. She tells him to "continue to waste away" and laughs at him because he was in so much pain that he wet himself.

No, I am not kidding. She does that. It was terrible. I was surprised that I made it through the whole thing. I considered DNFing it several times, and I scoffed approximately every three pages when something unrealistic happened.

As a whole, it is not horrible; it's just disappointing and not good. So if you decide to read this, don't get your hopes up.

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