Release Day Review: Hallowed Ground by Rebecca Yarros

Hallowed Groud by Rebecca Yarros

Hallowed Ground by Rebecca Yarros
Series: Flight & Glory #4 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 25th 2016
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

There are some debts you can’t repay…

Josh Walker is loyal, reckless, and every girl’s dream. But he only has eyes for December Howard, the girl he has yearned for since his high school hockey days. Together they have survived grief, the military, distance, and time as they’ve fought for stolen weekends between his post at Ft. Rucker and her schooling at Vanderbilt. Now that Josh is a medevac pilot and Ember is headed toward graduation, they’re moving on—and in—together.

Ember never wanted the Army life, but loving Josh means accepting whatever the army dictates—even when that means saying goodbye as Josh heads to Afghanistan, a country that nearly killed him once before and that took her father. But filling their last days together with love, passion, and plans for their future doesn’t temper Ember’s fear, and if there’s one thing she’s learned from her father’s death, it’s that there are some obstacles even love can’t conquer.

Flight school is over.

This is war.

I had no idea it was possible to fall even more in love with Josh and Ember from Full Measures, but Rebecca Yarros proved me wrong. Full Measures was one of my favorite reads of last year – I fell so hard for Josh and Ember’s story! So when I heard they would be getting another book, I jumped at the chance to read it. I mean, how could I turn down more Josh Walker? And now, after reading Hallowed Ground, I love them even more than I did in Full Measures. Through the trials, the heartache, the deployments, a war, they’ve come out on top and stronger than ever. This book was incredibly emotional – I nearly cried about 3 times, and I rarely ever cry for books. There were so many ups and downs, but overall it was a beautiful, fantastic follow-up and conclusion to Josh and Ember’s story.

Here was my salvation.
December was my saving grace.

Hallowed Ground is book 4 in the Flight & Glory series, but you only need to read the first book, Full Measures, to first be introduced to Josh and Ember. Still, I highly recommend reading the series in order so you get the full effect of each of the characters’ appearances in Hallowed Ground. If you’re a fan of Ember and Josh, Paisley and Jagger, and Sam and Grayson, then you absolutely need to read this final book.

“You are my dream now, December Howard. You are everything to me. My heart beats for you, my soul is only whole when you’re near. You’re my home, my shelter, my wildest fantasy, and I cannot imagine a future where you’re not mine, because I’m yours in every sense of the word.”

I don’t want to give anything away in the book, because when you read it, you need to experience everything first-hand. Rebecca Yarros has a brilliant talent at writing and bringing emotion to life through her words, and after every book I read from her, I only become a bigger fan. Her words pack a punch, and hands down, Hallowed Ground was the most difficult to read. This book hurt – it very much ripped my heart with all the emotional, gut-wrenching scenes between Josh and Ember. You get frustrated, you laugh, you want to cry… you seriously feel a whole spectrum of emotions. But I promise, everything – all the heartache, the ups and downs – will be worth it in the end. The epilogue seriously left me with a smile on my face and I couldn’t be happier with the way things ended for Josh and Ember.

“You are a flesh-and-bone wet dream, and you owned me the first fucking moment my mouth touched yours.”

I am so, so happy I decided to read Full Measures last year. If I didn’t, I would’ve been missing out on one fantastic, beautifully-written series. Josh is still one of my all-time favorite book boyfriends, and I can only hope for many more from Rebecca Yarros. As sad as I am to see the Flight & Glory series end, I’m so excited to see what’s next from the author!

4.5 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Flight & Glory series

Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros Eyes Turned Skyward by Rebecca Yarros Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros Hallowed Groud by Rebecca Yarros

#1 ~ Full Measures: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Eyes Turned Skyward: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Beyond What is Given: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Hallowed Ground: EbookPaperback • Goodreads


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Blog Tour + Author Guest Post & Giveaway: Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros

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I only very recently read the Flight & Glory series, but I fell so, SOOOO hard for it!!! This series is a definite must-read. And huge congrats to author Rebecca Yarros – her latest book, Beyond What is Given, has just released! It can be read as a standalone, though I highly recommend reading the other books in the series too.

Now onto the blog tour! I’m thrilled to welcome Rebecca Yarros to the blog today! She’ll be sharing with us about why she chooses to write military romances.

Guest Post: Rebecca Yarros

Hi Lacey!!!

Thank you so very much for having me!

When you asked why I choose to write about the military, the army in particular,  my thoughts immediately go to family.

My grandfathers were both in the army, one a POW of Nazi Germany during WWII, and the other retiring as a General. Both my mother and father served twenty years as army officers, and then—even when I swore I never would—I fell in love and married a soldier, who later became an Apache pilot.

Simply stated: I write the Army because it’s in my blood.

Something that few people know, is that Full Measures was kind of an experiment on my part. I never actually intended to write contemporary romance. Which is funny, because I love it so much! I started writing urban fantasy, and while that novel was on submission, my husband prepared to deploy for a fourth time. And this thought came into my head: if my father had died when I was in college, would I ever have had the courage to love someone who could potentially break me?  Josh and Ember came to life from my fears of losing my husband, my memories of his notification when he was wounded in Iraq, and the recollection of too many funerals for our friends.

The series spun from that, became this living, breathing thing that I used to show military life, both the realistic and the idealistic. Because I’m married to a uniformed hottie, I know how tough military life can be. I also know the absolute joy of throwing my arms around him when he gets home from a deployment, and the utter thankfulness I feel when I see the scars that remind me of how close we came to losing him.

I write military heroes because I feel that they deserve it. Are they flawed? Of course. Hot? Naturally, this is romance! But they’re also loyal, strong, protective, and fight their demons as strongly as they fight for the women they love.

Thank you so much for having me!

~ Rebecca

Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros

Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros
Series: Flight & Glory #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 28th 2015
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Lt. Grayson Masters is focused on graduating the Apache helicopter course, and the last thing he needs is his gorgeous new roommate Samantha Fitzgerald distracting him. While her smart mouth and free spirit are irresistibly irritating, he can’t deny their off-the-charts chemistry, no matter how hard he tries.

Having just been expelled from college, Sam has no business digging for Grayson’s secrets while she’s hiding her own, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to tear down his walls. Each barrier she busts through drops one of her own, though, and she’s not prepared for the truth: another woman laid claim to Grayson’s heart long ago.

Falling in love is something neither Grayson nor Sam can afford, and when that line is crossed and secrets are exposed, they’ll learn that sometimes it’s the answered prayers that will put you through hell.

Buy Links:
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Reading Order: Flight & Glory series

Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros Eyes Turned Skyward by Rebecca Yarros Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros

#1 ~ Full Measures: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Eyes Turned Skyward: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Beyond What is Given: My Review • Ebook • Goodreads

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Rebecca YarrosRebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and lover of all things chocolate, coffee, and Paleo. In addition to being a mom, military wife, and blogger, she can never choose between Young Adult and New Adult fiction, so she writes both. She’s a graduate of Troy University, where she studied European history and English, but still holds out hope for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Her blog, The Only Girl Among Boys, has been voted the Top Military Mom Blog the last two years, and celebrates the complex issues surrounding the military life she adores.

When she’s not writing, she’s tying on hockey skates for her kids, or sneaking in some guitar time. She is madly in love with her army-aviator husband of eleven years, and they’re currently stationed in Upstate NY with their gaggle of rambunctious kiddos and snoring English Bulldog, but she would always rather be home in Colorado.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

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Release Day Review: Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros

Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros

Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros
Series: Flight & Glory #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 28th 2015
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Lt. Grayson Masters is focused on graduating the Apache helicopter course, and the last thing he needs is his gorgeous new roommate Samantha Fitzgerald distracting him. While her smart mouth and free spirit are irresistibly irritating, he can’t deny their off-the-charts chemistry, no matter how hard he tries.

Having just been expelled from college, Sam has no business digging for Grayson’s secrets while she’s hiding her own, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to tear down his walls. Each barrier she busts through drops one of her own, though, and she’s not prepared for the truth: another woman laid claim to Grayson’s heart long ago.

Falling in love is something neither Grayson nor Sam can afford, and when that line is crossed and secrets are exposed, they’ll learn that sometimes it’s the answered prayers that will put you through hell.

I fell so in love with Rebecca Yarros after reading and ADORING the first book in the Flight & Glory series, Full Measures (JOSH!! *heart eyes*). Beyond What is Given is the third standalone in the series and is Grayson and Samantha’s story, who we’ve met in the previous books. I was super excited for them because I was so curious about their characters – and while I ended up liking this book, it just didn’t grip me the way the other two books in the series did.

“There are broken people in the world, Samantha. But you’re not one of them. Dinged-up maybe, but not broken, and definitely not beyond repair.”

After getting expelled from college, Samantha wants a fresh start. She finds herself moving across the country and in with three guys, two of whom are good friends. The third roommate, Grayson, is absolutely gorgeous, but he and Sam get off to a rough start. Nevertheless, she sees beneath his gruff, stoic exterior a man who puts loyalty and duty above all else. I loved Sam, I completely, wholeheartedly did. She’s sassy, awesome, funny, and overall just a fantastic, flawed heroine I loved reading about. She’s in a rough situation with college, but despite the hot mess that she herself is, she takes it upon herself to discover Grayson’s past and get him to open up. What she doesn’t expect is for the chemistry between them to turn into something sweet, something treasured, something more.

“This is not a temporary thing between us. There is no deadline. I. Am. Always. Yours.”
He kissed me softly, his tongue tracing my lower lip. “So go ahead and fall. I’ve gotten really good at catching you.”

Grayson’s past is tragic and guilt-laden, and no matter what he does, he can’t escape it. He’s always got one foot in his present life as an Apache pilot, and the other foot back home in North Carolina, the source of all his demons. The one thing that makes him forget is Sam, her lightness wearing away his darkness. But when his secrets come out from the past to haunt his present, will he be able to keep Sam in his life without letting her drown beside him?

Beyond What is Given is no less emotional than the other two books, but there was a spark that was missing that prevented me from fully loving the book. While I completely adored Sam, connected with her straight from the start, Grayson I took a long while to warm up to. His past consumes him, so much so that at times I wasn’t sure he’d be able to get out of it. There were also parts about this book that annoyed the hell out of me. Grayson’s family is… god-awful. It was mostly his sister Parker who got on my last nerves. I HATED Parker. I honestly hated her so much. She’s a petty, mean, bully of a girl who does nothing but force more guilt onto Grayson, keep him drowning in the past, and create rifts between him and Sam. I would’ve enjoyed the book so much more if Parker didn’t exist… but she did, and her character sometimes made me want to throw my kindle at the wall in frustration.

I still love Rebecca Yarros though – she knows how to write, how to pack a punch with her words… but this book was not what I was expecting it to be. While the romance isn’t particularly slow, it was the whole overlying plot that dragged too much for my taste. The twist in the middle I was able to predict too, sadly. STILL – Sam and Grayson’s romance is sweet and heart-wrenching, the highlight of the book. Rebecca Yarros can write swoony characters SO well, and even when I wasn’t 100% sold on Grayson, my heart fluttered at some of the things he said.

“I’m in love with you, Samantha. You own me, body, heart, mind, soul, what there is to give, it’s yours.”

If you’re a fan of the series, I would suggest reading Beyond What is Given. I feel like it’s an it’s-me-not-you kind of book. I really did like it, but compared to the previous two books, I can’t really say it was as captivating or compelling. I will still be eagerly awaiting any else Rebecca Yarros has in the works – her writing is absolutely amazing and definitely worth the read!

3.5 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Flight & Glory series

Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros Eyes Turned Skyward by Rebecca Yarros Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros Hallowed Groud by Rebecca Yarros

#1 ~ Full Measures: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Eyes Turned Skyward: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Beyond What is Given: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Hallowed Ground: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads


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Review: Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros

Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros

Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros
Series: Flight & Glory #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 10th 2014
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

Three knocks can change everything…

“She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead.”

Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart.

Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.

Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.

“The fire you have within you is impossible to kill. The first breath you take when you’re free of all this, it will come roaring back. That’s what is so impossibly beautiful about you.”

WHY HAVE I NOT READ THIS BOOK SOONER!?

God, I loved this book. It’s been a while since I wholeheartedly LOVED a book as much as I loved Full Measures, but Rebecca Yarros has stunned me with this emotional, incredible, unforgettable read. I’m kind of mad at myself for not reading this when it first came out – but whatever, I’m now fully on the bandwagon that is the Flight & Glory series. And I have to say it: I LOVE JOSH WALKER!!!!

“It is the business of the living to keep on doing so. We are no exception. We are not the first family to lose a man to war, and I fear we will not be the last. But we will be resilient.”

Already in the first chapter, Rebecaa Yarros wrings out all the feels – three knocks on the front door shatters and changes Ember Howard’s life as she knows it. The death of her father, a doctor in the army, leaves Ember to have to pick up the broken pieces of her family. I had tears welling up at the pain and devastation Ember and her family were going through – the author truly has a talent at writing emotional scenes.

I liked Ember, I really did. I admired her inner strength, the continuous support for her mother and two younger siblings. She’s stubborn and a bit frustrating at times, but totally forgivable and understandable given her situation. But the true star of this book was Josh. Josh Walker, Ember’s crush back in high school, the bad boy senior to her freshman, who steps in to give Ember the love and support she never knew she needed.

“You’re so busy taking care of everyone else, you can’t see that someone needs to take care of you. So tell me what you need, and I’ll be that for you.”

Josh has changed a lot since high school. Now a mature, reliable man who’s a hockey coach to Ember’s brother, Josh is literally the perfect hero. Not in that too-perfect way, since he has his flaws and secrets, but in that remarkably sweet, loving, and swoonworthy way. I fell head-over-heels in love with Josh and his unwavering love and faith in Ember. He’s always there when she needs him, willing to do whatever it takes to make her live the happiest life. And I absolutely LOVED that Josh actually had a crush on Ember too back then – can he be any sweeter!?

“Just let me love you, December, because I can’t stop anyways. I’ve been at your mercy since I was eighteen.”

I enjoyed every minute of this book. I was hooked throughout the whole thing – my emotions were going crazy, wanting to cry one moment, then swooning the next. Equal parts heart-wrenching and sweet, Full Measures is undoubtedly an incredible read that fans of romances should not miss. And I’m so glad that I have the next two books in the series ready for me to read, because I just can’t get enough of the author’s writing and storytelling!

5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Flight & Glory series

Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros Eyes Turned Skyward by Rebecca Yarros Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros Hallowed Groud by Rebecca Yarros

#1 ~ Full Measures: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Eyes Turned Skyward: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Beyond What is Given: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Hallowed Ground: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads


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