Sunday, May 28, 2017


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In order to truly save him, I need to redefine us. Xander Dixon was my best friend. Loyal and dependable. A brave warrior. A permanent presence in my life until that fateful day he boarded a plane headed overseas. Xander’s unwelcome silence haunted me for three years… Until he suddenly resurfaces. Blinded by misplaced fury. Trapped in a pool of darkness. Unable to escape the perpetual pain. Though it would be easy to walk away, I refuse to give up on him. I want to know his misery and torment, so I can rescue him. Then Xander will finally be mine.


Pain. Debilitatingain is all I feel as I attempt to keep my emotions in check. Saying goodbye to my best friend was never a thought I entertained. Now it's my reality. “Wills.” His voice takes on a pleading tone as he stares into my tear filled eyes. “Please don’t make this harder for me than it already is.” He continues to look at me as the saltwater drips down my cheeks. “I’m sorry, X, but you have no idea how difficult life will be here without you.” I can’t catch my breath as the hysteria threatens to take over. I try to take deep inhales between puffs of pitiful exhales. He presses his forehead to mine and I don’t think he understands how much that involuntary, ingrained move means to me at that moment. Xander is one of the greats and I’m about to lose him. “Promise me,” I begin in a begging voice. “Swear to me that you’ll come back and everything will be the same.” “Willow Shae, I could never stay away from you longer than necessary, so you don’t even have to ask. But yes, I promise and swear I will be back as soon as possible to return to our regularly scheduled friendship.” With that remark, he has me cracking a smile. Even through the tears. Gosh, I will miss this man. “Will you write me? Does that sound cheesy? I see it in all the old time movies and I always wanted to say it.” Maybe it is the dreamy lilt to my voice that has his lips quirking into a smile. “Wills, I will write you every chance I get and I expect the same. Now, give me a hug that means everything you feel because I won’t see you for at least a year.” His eyebrows crease with that devastating blow, even though I’d heard that timeline before. I can tell he’s still very worried about how I’m feeling based on the telling nonverbal cues radiating off him. We embrace easily, like so many times before, yet this is different. His hands linger on my hips before settling on the middle of my back. His breath holds until he blows it slowly across my neck. His eyes find my gaze like he had more to say than his voice would allow. I indulge these rare affections and give a few curve balls of my own. “I’ll miss you every day, Xander. I will never go a single moment without a thought of you. Best friend or not, you mean more to me than any other person in this world. Please be careful. I will be waiting for you.” I pull away before he’s able to reply. I can’t stand to further delay this inevitable separation. Xander looks down at me once more before picking up his pack and hoisting it over his shoulder. Then he tosses out the toughest blow ever dealt. “When I am having a bad day, or we get into brutal battle, or a friend gets hurt, or… just something awful happens, I will think of your smile because it always makes me happy.” Then he turns and walks toward the airline gate. This was it. I have to tell him. It is now or never. As he passes through the threshold, I gain my courage. “Xander!” I scream. He turns around immediately and looks startled by my outburst. It’s then I realize he had planned to keep walking until I called out. I can’t lay out my heart then just watch him leave. Instead of telling him exactly how I feel, I blow him a kiss. Maybe for good luck or maybe for all the kisses I wish we had actually shared. He catches it and smiles. Then continues on his way. Xander is much braver than I am, he's an amazing man, and he will make our country proud. But my most forefront thought is worry that I will never get to tell him how much I love him.

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 Harloe Rae is a new author and just released her debut romance novel, Redefining Us. The idea for this book has been building in her mind for years and she finally decided to let the story out. Harloe is married to an amazing man and they have an adorable little boy. Family is what makes her life worth living and she cherishes the special moments together. She is also passionate about horses, reading, blogging, and having fun! Interaction is really important to Harloe, so make sure to follow her pages and say hello!



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Wow, I was shocked to find out this was from a debut author! For this being her first book, you would never tell and it hooks you from the beginning to end. You will be shattered right along with Xander and your emotions will be tested when it comes to the feels you experience between Xander and Willow. This is not your typical BF to lover’s book; it touches on some sensitive topics such as battling demons when you return from the war zone. It is truly heartbreaking and this book may help others who have been in this situation when it comes to a relationship and coming home. 
We get a dark, emotional and HAWT as heck passion read with this one. Willow and Xander who are so different even from childhood bonded as kids and have been BF since. There is a secret that is kept between both and even you wonder if it will go beyond the explosion or if it was a one time hard hit. Haha you must read the book to get this one. They are separated by his departure and learning of his return, Willow knows that she must go to him. Hold onto your heart when you read this cause, not only do you feel for his mom, you feel the hurt and battle scars that Xander is fighting as well as what Willow is experiencing during this time. Willow is his exotic tree and healer! I had a blond moment during the tattoo reveal cause I was just like Willow and couldn’t figure it out, hello it’s staring at our faces. Duh, but that is so sweet. 
I loved the dual POV cause we got to share their feelings and see the suffering that others struggle with and how it impacts both the veteran and the family/friends. I wanted to hug him at times, well except during that one time and all I could think was OK while that was HAWT, but the smell had to be strong. Not saying what cause my gag reflex was kicking in just reading it. This story is powerful, emotional and healing and leaves you feeling happy at the end. You can no go eat some cheese and rice now too! Haha
I cannot wait to read more from the author and hopefully we can see more of Xander and Willow down the road. You will truly be redefined after reading this. My only suggestion is that you have nothing planned as you will want to devour in one sitting. 


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