Monday, March 5, 2018

Book Review: 'The Soldier’s Final Mission' by Laura M. Baird

Bob had met Becca, his cousin’s room-mate, years ago, before he’d been deployed and shared one special night together. Out of the country far more than in, Bob and Becca had drifted apart until an accident ended Bob’s military career. Broken, but home, Bob was determined to try and turn the chemistry between them into something more than just the one night they’d shared.
This is an interesting short story that I enjoyed reading. Bob was a dedicated solider and most of the story was from his perspective so I liked getting a good understanding of his character and understanding why he acted the way he did. I found the back-and-forth mental time jumps a little choppy, often not following clearly whether Bob was recalling the past – ie how he met Becca – or whether it was present day. Quite a few times I had to back-track and pick up the thread again and sort out whether Bob was reminiscing or whether the story was in the current time. This made the story feel a bit jolted to me, personally, though I admit I enjoyed learning about Bob and Becca’s past. Their history made their relationship more complicated and interesting, but a part of me just wished the author had started with their meeting then jumped forward (only the once) in time while Bob was deployed. I feel this could have easily made the whole story feel smoother to me and helped me not get lost in the timeline.
Once the past and present merged, however, I really enjoyed watching Bob and Becca get to know each other properly. They’d both gone on living their lives, Bob in the military and Becca on the West Coast, far from Bob’s family and her old life. They each have a child and I found it both romantic and satisfying to read them both coming together to form a loving family unit.
There’s only a couple of sex scenes, though I was pleased to find them both descriptive and explicitly written. Readers wanting a hot-and-heavy, highly sexual story might find the erotic side of this story a little lacking, but I personally was pleased that the character development and plot aspects of the story were more heavily portrayed than the sex itself. This made the story feel more complex and emotional to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought this was a good read and an author I will happily read again in the future.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.