Series: Flight & Glory #1
Publisher: Embrace on February 10, 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Debut Author Challenge, 2014 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge, 2014 Standalone Reading Challenge
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Three knocks can change everything…
"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.
“‘Maybe love this exquisite, this powerful isn’t meant to last forever. Maybe we’re meant to burn so brightly for each other right now to light whatever path we’re heading down, but there’s no sustaining a fire like this.’”
“His laugh nearly broke me into a pit of need again. He slowly pulled my hand out, held it in his own, and wrapped his arm around my body, cocooning me. ‘Stop trying to take advantage of my virtue,’ he teased, his breath evening out.”
“He leaned in, just inches from my mouth, and even though I’m the one who drew the line, my body wanted him to cross it. ‘Something tells me we’d be really good at doing it together.’ My mouth dropped open. ‘Josh!’An impish grin stole over his face. ‘What? We would be good at studying together.’”
The plot really interested me. I enjoy reading about characters who are into unique sports, and Josh was a hockey player…and another unique situation of December being an army brat.
“‘I love you,’ the whisper broke from me. ‘I miss you, and I don’t know what to do without you,’ I cried. I dragged the frost-bitten air through my lungs. ‘But don’t you worry about them, not Grams, or Mom, April, or Gus. I will take care of them, I promise.’”
This novel follows December Howard as she tries to live again after being notified of her father’s death over in Afghanistan. At that moment, her world shatters, and it happens on her twentieth birthday, nonetheless. Her mother becomes catonic, and its up to Ember to hold her family up. Then, she finds out that her boyfriend of three years is cheating on her, and she feels as if everything has fallen apart. But luckily, Josh Walker, her crush since freshman year in high school, is there to pick up the pieces, willing to be anything that she needs. Slowly, Ember is built back together, but Josh is harboring a secret that threatens to destroy her yet again.
This novel definitely kept me interested. Sure, there were some things that you could pick up on and guess throughout the novel, but other things completely blindsided me. I loved the surprises that were thrown in the novel. I also enjoyed the emotional journey of December pulling herself together after her life is torn apart.
“‘The fire within you is impossible to kill. The first breath you take when you’re free of all this, it will come roaring back. That’s what is so impossibly beautiful about you.’”
Ember was our leading lady. Her life is torn apart, but she takes it in stride and cares for the rest of her family, even when inside she’s shattered. Ember was a very strong and selfless character. Her mother, who went practically catatonic after the notification and did absolutely nothing for half of the novel. So Ember became the only adult in the house. On top of that, I loved that she felt the pain regardless. She didn’t just get over her father’s death. She was hurting just as much, maybe even worse, than everyone else in her family, yet she still stayed strong. Her pain was so realistic. I don’t cry much over books, maybe 5 in my life, but this one had me tearing up by the end of the first chapter.
“‘You’re so busy taking care of everyone else, you can’t see that someone needs to take care of you. So tell me what you need, and I’ll be that for you.’”
Josh was the hero of the story. He was there for Ember through thick and thin, watching out for her. Although his life wasn’t the best, his dreams from before not realized, he was intent on Ember realizing hers. He was practically perfect. He was sweet and caring and just really supportive of Ember and her little brother, Gus, who he coached in little league hockey. The only thing that irked me about his character was the secret that he was keeping from Ember. Grrr, I kind of understand where he was coming from. But still.
Gus was my favorite supporting character. Ember’s little seven year old brother, he took his father’s death in a surprisingly mature way. He was cute and really cared about his big sister. I loved reading the interactions between him, Josh, and Ember.
Riley was a jerk. Plain and simple. I makes me mad just thinking about him.
“‘Gus has my number because I’m his coach. Now you have it because I’m your whatever.’ ‘My whatever?’ The soft kiss he’d placed on my lips had me leaning in for more. ‘Whatever you need me to be,’ he whispered against my mouth. He’d opened my door and bag up the walk. ‘It’s not so easy to wash off,’ he added, ‘and neither am I.’”
There was definitely instant attraction, but it had been going on five years prior, when they had their eye on each other in high school. I loved that Ember didn’t want to be in relationship right after ending her other one. I was realistic that she resisted Josh even though in her heart she didn’t want to. It seemed natural, the progression of their relationship. Josh was amazing to her, and stayed with her no matter how much she tried to push him away. They were so cute together.
Army life was a really big portion of this novel, and I learned more about it in this novel that I have the other 17 years of my life combined. The knowledge of facts that Ember narrated or spoke just seemed natural, like the author herself was an army brat. On the flip side, we saw the not-so-good side of being an army family. It was heartbreaking to see, and it made my heart go out to all those families who lost someone at war.
A roller coaster ride of emotion and heartbreak, Full Measures was a lovely that made an imprint on my heart, maybe forever.