Never Harmed Again by Glenn Rice
Glenn Rice weaves a spellbinding tale of love, mystery, and heroism in the second installment of his Sandstone Ridge romance series, Never Harmed Again. The story opens with Dart Olsen entrenched in a battle in Afghanistan, his military Marine service having called him and a friend, Braxton, to the war front. There, Dart and Braxton meet tragedy and misfortune, but ultimately escape with their lives after performing deeds of tremendous bravery. Dart loses an arm in the process, but gains his life in return. Back in Sandstone Ridge family members and beloved friends await Dart and Braxton’s arrival, all of whom possess dramatic love plots of their own, filling the pages with colorful dialogue and moments of suspense and joy. However, the events in Afghanistan have changed Dart, and Never Harmed Again combines his rollercoaster love story with Bridgette and his PTSD with Bridgette’s own troubling past. This past involves an abusive ex-boyfriend who is slated to be released from jail, and who is now bent on unleashing havoc on the love-saturated community of Sandstone Ridge.
Sandstone Ridge itself, with its country cowboy flavor, is the perfect stage for Rice’s characters and love affairs. Readers will find the people in his story relatable and humorous, with light-hearted dialogue throughout keeping what could be a morbid atmosphere more accessible and enjoyable. However, the story itself is rife with typical melodramatic clichés which may turn more critical readers off from the relatively shallow plot structure. Most of the novel is filled with back-and-forth conversation between love-bound couples with occasional scenes of subtly-handled sex. For readers looking to set down the TV remote and trade their favorite soap operas for a paper novel, Never Harmed Again is the perfect transition piece, easy to pick up and less easy to put down.
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