*****5++ ‘Bubblegum Kisses & Tulip Wishes’ STARS*****

A beautiful love story that sings of pain and hope, beauty from ashes, I’m not sure I can adequately tell you what this book conveys any more than I can put the beat of my heart to paper.  This is a stunning tale of redemption and love, faith and family.  And so very much more.  While this is a love story, at heart this is a life story…and KC Lynn delivers it exquisitely.

“Lis,
 Over the years I’ve realized there are moments in our life that irrevocably change us, but there is one in particular that changed mine forever.  It was the first day I laid eyes on you.  The day I found a piece of heaven to help me get through the hell I was living in.”

Sometimes the most horrific wounds cannot be seen or touched, only felt.  Navy veteran Christopher Walker knows all about it.  He’s got miles and miles of regrets cloaked in guilt and shame.  It’s just a matter of time before that endless cycle of blame comes crashing down around him – not even his music, the heartbeat of his drums, can save him.  Alyssa/Lis Malone’s battled with the pain of losing Christopher for years.  She’s on a first name basis with hurt and abandonment.  Moving forward has never been so hard.  Their second chance at love…it decimated my heart.  And then lit me from within, feeling the full force of their love and devotion to one another.  Of prevailing.  Of overcoming the darkness.

“I will walk it every day with him, every second I will suffer alongside of him until he finds the light once again.”

Overcoming, however, always comes with a price.  Echoes and threads of pain and sorrow compete with the absolute regret Christopher and Alyssa wish they could escape.  The pain of seeing the man you love more than life itself drowning knowing you’re not the life jacket, you can’t help, is utterly devastating in its powerlessness.  Watching the adopted son you loved from the moment you rescued him from hell struggle with the most horrific choice he could make – all while sitting at his table, feet from you, powerless to take away the shame and guilt.  The raw, naked vulnerability of another human being reaching and grasping, hoping his reach will take hold – that absolution is near.

“I never forgot you, Christopher.  I never forgot what it felt like to be yours.”

And it is – the soothing comfort of music, family and love are never far.  Sometimes in the raging tones of his drums.  Sometimes in the strong grasp of Cade Walker’s hand on his shoulder and deep voice telling him he’ll always be there.  The healing balm of Faith’s love.  The sweet innocent laughter of Mia.  In Ruthie’s steadfast devotion and adoration of her big brother – her hero.  In the acceptance of Anna’s outreach and ear of his therapist.  And the wholly devoted love of a woman who would sacrifice anything for him – that would wait lifetimes for him.  While this isn’t an easy story, it’s a beautiful worthwhile story.  The moments of light balance the dark, love winning the day.  To say I was emotionally invested would be putting it mildly.  I haven’t sobbed, laughed, screamed and sat numbly staring at my Kindle in a while.  I’ve probably overused the words raw, visceral and painful and that’s what this story evokes.  But it’s also so incredibly lovely.  It felt like the moment the sun banks the horizon at dawn.  That infinitesimal moment where the dark of night is eclipsed by the warmth of the sun lifting in the skies.  The possibilities of the day endless and all the hopes and dreams you have seem possible.  The moment the sun hits your skin and warms you from within…that, that moment is what I captured and relived when reading this story.

“I pull her in close to comfort her and she loves every wound with her lips, healing them more than time ever will.”

When it comes to tortured heroes and the families and friends that surround them I’m of the opinion that no one – no one – transfers the raw, visceral emotion to paper like Ms. Lynn.  The absolute agony of Christopher’s battle shattered my heart into a million pieces, waiting for the moment, the second she would deliver the sweet oblivion of redemption – of hope full circling to completion –  the lynchpin of this story.  While the circumstances may not be unique, that’s not what this is about.  This is about pain, anger, guilt, love, forgiveness, loyalty, brotherhood and family…in all the ways they can conquer you – or heal you.  Rebirth can happen in a myriad of ways, but I have to say that Ms. Lynn’s methods are among my favorite.

“The one girl who has always calmed the beast.  With just a touch or a look, her light outshines my dark.  It always has.”

The care, compassion, love and empathy conveyed by this not so simple tale of a struggling solider and his girl is what separates the great reads from the excellent.  That antsy feeling that if you don’t turn one more page, pick up one more piece to the puzzle that you won’t be complete, that you’ll toss and turn at night agonizing over the choices and outcomes of  fictional characters made real – that is excellence – and it’s why I’ve automatically read every work produced by Ms. Lynn.  Recommended without reservation and a Top Pick for 2017.

“I loved you then, and I love you now.  I never stopped.”

K’s Category:  Serial Dater – I’ve read every novel/novella released to date.

Characters: M/F

Sex: Yes, descriptive

OW/OM: No

HEA: Yes

Standalone: Although this book can standalone you’ll have a richer character experience by reading Resisting Temptation, Men of Honor #3 prior.  This is where a young Christopher and Ruthie are introduced and taken in by Cade and Faith Walker.

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

iBooks | Kobo | B&N – Pending


Recommended Reading PRIOR:

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→My Review←

More in the Acts of Honor Series (Recommended Reading Order):

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From Dates With K’s Playlist:

About the Author:

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K.C. Lynn is a small town girl living in Western Canada. She grew up in a family of four children—two sisters and a brother. Her mother was the lady who baked homemade goods for everyone on the street and her father was a respected man who worked in the RCMP. He’s since retired and now works for the criminal justice system. This being one of the things that inspires K.C. to write romantic suspense about the trials and triumphs of our heroes.

K.C. married her high school sweetheart and they started a big family of their own—two adorable girls and a set of handsome twin boys. They still reside in the same small town but K.C.’s heart has always longed for the south, where everyone says ‘y’all’ and eats biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

It was her love for romance books that gave K.C. the courage to sit down and write her own novel. It was then a beautiful world opened up and she found what she was meant to do…write.

When K.C.’s not spending time with her beautiful family she can be found in her writing cave, living in the fabulous minds of her characters and their stories.

For a list of K.C. Lynn’s signings please visit her website. http://www.authorkclynn.com/index.html

Connect with KC:

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