"She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead."
Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart.
Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.
Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.
Kindle Edition, 374 pages
Published February 10th 2014 by Entangled: EmbraceSource: Purchased
Purchase a copy: Goodreads | Amazon
Shel: I've been meaning to read Full Measures for a while and this weekend offered the perfect opportunity so I snatched; I'm so glad I did. Rebecca Yarros captured the details of living with family in the military in a way that was so authentic and precise that I just knew as a military spouse she'd lived or felt or wondered about some of the things she wrote about. I think knowing her background definitely enhanced my reading experience and if you haven't read this series yet, maybe knowing that she writes from an experience many of us don't exist in will enhance your reading as well. Court: I thought her knowledge of the military enhanced the story, as well as her obvious understanding of loss. I don't have the former, but definitely the latter was experienced this year so it was nice to find another story that really helped improve the grieving process. I feel better by reading even a fictional outlook because it helps me think at things differently be it memories, or my perception of how other people are perceiving their grief...and how different everyone is with that. It is a tough road when you either want someone to snap out of it, or if one thinks someone isn't showing "enough" of their grief that you're mad at them for that too. Or just mad in general. So, having that in our young character helped me.
Shel: When I think about why I enjoyed this novel so much the first thing that comes to mind is my emotional response. I kept trying to imagine myself in Ember's shoes and her reactions felt so real. She covered a range of emotions from deep sadness to anger to guilt to happiness and her conflict at how she felt at various stages just rang true to me. Ember sometimes felt like she couldn't or shouldn't feel certain things because it wasn't the time or it seemed too soon to feel anything remotely good and she kept trying to feel or do what she thought she was supposed to and I think many of us do that in times of grief...instead of allowing ourselves to do or feel what the emotions, we put on the public face or are the strong one for a family member. When she finally gave in to what her heart and mind was telling her to feel, I felt relief for her. Court: Amen. Ember's journey is tough. She's definitely in the in between or what we know as New Adult phase of her life, because she's still very much close in age to her siblings but moving forward in a way that they aren't yet. So, seeing her try to help her mom, teen sister and kid brother was a good story to start with. Before I knew it half of the book was gone, and they'd gone through so much already. She was trying to find her way in college, but take care of her family too.
Shel: As much as I liked all of her strength and authenticity, Ember drove me nuts sometimes. She kept denying her emotional response to Josh; she was so stubborn and insistent that she shouldn't be with him and it felt like as soon as they FINALLY started a relationship it stopped. GAHHHH. I had a feeling I knew what his 'secret' was and I was right. But you know what? The aftermath of those revealed secrets was much more painful and extended than I thought it would be and but before I knew it we were at the end and I was breathing easier ( and I'm happy to see the upcoming book in this series will return to Ember and Josh's story). Court: That was so difficult, too. Some things we could see coming a mile away...but the ending didn't feel bad for me. I enjoyed the story when sometimes the characters did things that I knew they were going to go off and do anyways. But, the genuineness and feel good times as they went on with life helped with that. Ember made things hard on herself, but I have to attribute that to her grief as well when she didn't do things that made sense.
Shel: Speaking of Josh--he was interesting. I loved how patient and he was willing to wait for her. I hated how he lied to her and I didn't really appreciate his poor reaction to one incident that involved Riley, especially when he insisted he was allll about her, but I suppose he couldn't be perfect, right? He needed some flaws, right? He had a few, but overall I liked him and I guess I understood why he felt like he had to withhold certain things. I feel like I don't know him well yet but I'm hopeful that their next book will give me more of his story. Court: I KNOW! I felt myself wishing that we had his point of view in several instances, or that "whoa this is too good to be true" right? He was a genuine guy who had some of his own secrets up his sleeve that I ALSO hope to know more about in the future, even in a small way. This is because some of his reputation seemed put on, because that isn't who he is now. So, sometimes that part of him was very hot and cold and didn't really fit the way we saw him be with Ember. True life for a 23 year old in college unattached, I suppose, but I would really like to see him be an adult and not so overshadowed by that if we get more of their story.
Shel: Ember's family was also and asset to this novel and their various subplots really seemed to add to the overall novel. Their actions and reactions to the grief they were feeling seemed so true and raw. Court: Favorite scene stealer for me was Ember's mom, June. Watch out for her. LOVE!
Shel: As I stated earlier, there are other books in this series and I'm definitely looking forward to reading them all. Court: Me too! Why? you ask...well, because it is so wonderful to venture into a new (to me) author that I haven't read before, and enjoy the experience....and more books are already out! So, my snail pace makes it so I don't have to wait for a story about Jagger. We're very excited about it, and would love to know if y'all hit this one up too.
Until next time; happy reading!