This YA romance features a love-hate relationship--which I love! Our main characters are Cami, a 17-year-old with dreams of becoming a chef after graduation, and Julian, the ex-Marine who moves in with her family after being injured in the war. And when I say "injured," I mean he literally had to have part of his leg amputated after an IED attack where the rest of his unit was killed. Heavy stuff for YA. Elkins didn't shy away from actually giving Julian a jerk-y, at times hostile personality as well as a true injury. And through it all, he was HOT as heck! Whenever Julian trash-talked Cami, she gave as good as she got. Their arguments (which could get pretty steamy; the first kiss was the result of an impassioned yelling match *swoon*) were some of the best parts in the book. And again, steamy romance abounds with a 20-year-old male lead and the girl who won't take any of his crap. Quick, snappy dialogue, loads of tension, and two main characters you want to see end up together. Can't ask for more than that!
Here's an NA that I actually enjoyed! (Quick sidenote: My favorite is still Easy by Tammara Webber. It was the first NA I read--again, THE BEST--and most of the others have been a bit …disappointing L.) But anyway, Undeclared broke the streak! This one features another ex-Marine. Grace Sullivan has been writing to Noah for years. They've never met; he's a Marine overseas, and she falls in love with him through their letters. But then he breaks it off with her, telling her he sees her as more of a "kid sister." Gah! Brutal, right? The story starts off right where it should. It's two years later; Grace is in college but still head-over-heels for Noah--and he's come to win her back J. Throughout the novel, we get to read letters from Noah's deployment, which add much to the story. These letters gave the book a personal touch. Plus, in this romance, we get two characters who've never met, but who have this amazing backstory. Loved seeing Noah insert himself into Grace's life, and Grace trying to deny her true feelings while making him earn her trust. The plot was unique for NA (at least it was to me), and I really enjoyed it!
So, two good romance reads...I guess, I need to be on the lookout for books with military heroes ;-).