DISARM - June Gray
The Complete Novel
Berkley Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-425-27212-1
February 2014
Contemporary Romance

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Present Day

Elsie Sherman has loved Henry Logan for years. Elsie met Henry when she was in her early teens. He was her brother Jason's best friend and was a constant guest at her family's home for years. Elsie quickly developed a lasting crush on Henry that only grew and intensified as they both grew up. Nothing ever happened between them, but through a series of tragedies and events, Jason's death being the most traumatic, Elsie and Henry ended up being roommates. Henry became her brother and protector after Jason, a military officer, was killed in action.

Now Henry is acting strangely; he's scowling and silent and Elsie can't figure out why, so she invites him out to a club and tries to get Henry to loosen up. Elsie leads Henry out on the dance floor and suddenly things change; the mood between the two escalates and Elsie finds herself flustered and confused at her response. When Elsie finds out Henry, an Air Force Captain, is being deployed to Afghanistan in two weeks, the relationship shifts and escalates and the couple rushes headlong into an intimate relationship before Henry leaves. Ten days later, Henry is gone, leaving Elsie wondering if all will be the same when he returns, or if their new and deeper relationship will not survive.

DISARM was originally published as an e-book in a six part novella series, and is now being published in print as an entire book. E-book novella series are all the rage, but it sure is nice to have the entire series printed out for those of us who still love the (literally) printed word. DISARM is a well written, interesting romance with steamy scenes and likeable characters. The give and take between Elsie and Henry is a bit frustrating because there seems to be a constant disconnect between the two. What makes DISARM stand out and worth a look is its subplot of PTSD, which Henry suffers from as a result of his tour in Afghanistan. The author deals with this and other serious subjects, such as the death of Jason, in an interesting, mature manner. These subplots raise the level of this novel from an entertaining romance to a compelling and engrossing novel and also helps to develop the characters and make them more three dimensional and human.

The result is a strong novel that I recommend to those readers interested in deep characterization, good plot lines and, of course, romance, romance, romance!

Astrid Kinn