Here With Me
The Archer Brothers- Book 1
By Heidin McLaughlin
Ryley Clarke has grown up with the military in her blood, with both parents serving their country. Ryley knows the risks of being married to the military. But when the unthinkable happens, and her future husband is killed in action, Ryley can barely survive… until Evan’s twin brother, Nate, helps her pick up the pieces.
After serving on a special mission with the military for six years, Evan Archer returns home to find the unthinkable – the love of his life, Ryley Clarke – engaged to his brother, Nate. With Nate on deployment, Evan needs to figure out what happened in his absence, and more importantly, how to win Ryley back from the man he once considered his best friend, but now thinks of as his rival.
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“Evan, sometimes love has an odd way of working around pain.”
I lean forward and look her square in the eye. “What about my pain? What about my agony? Who’s going to nurse my heartbreak? How come these weren’t thoughts going through either of their heads when they started betraying me like this? How come he wasn’t scouring the ends of the earth looking for me? Someone knew we were alive out there and no one came.”
She picks up her pen and scribbles on her notepad. I don’t even care what she’s writing. I just want to be done so I can go drown my sorrows at Magoo’s. At least my favorite bartender is still working, Slick Rick. Thank God some things never change.
“Do you feel like Ryley betrayed you?”
“Yes.” My words sting, but they’re the truth.
Here With Me by Heidi McLaughlin is the first book in her new series. This series is called The Archer Brothers. Being a huge Heidi McLaughlin fan, I had to one click this book the moment it went live. I devoured the book and am experiencing the ultimate reading hangover.
Wow! Here With Me by Heidi McLaughlin is her best book yet. The writing was superb! Heidi reached deep within the realm of emotions and executed them flawlessly throughout the book. The reader instantly becomes invested in the characters and feels every emotion they are experiencing. The characters are larger than life and jump off the pages. The secondary characters are an all-star supporting cast that completely makes this story surreal. The plot has been intricately woven into a book that reaches far beyond a second chance romance. Heidi adds suspense, drama, and an impossible love triangle. She adds the important elements that make these characters lives become even more real. Their families, their friends, and their support networks validate their lives. What holds all these characters together and makes them work harder to accept the unacceptable is a young boy. The five year old son that loves unconditionally. The book is written from duel POV ‘s. It flashes from past to present. The reader gets a strong sense of what brought this young couple together. They share their young love, their passion for one another, and their growth as a couple. We see them grow from teenagers to mature adults. We see their strengths and weaknesses. The one thing the reader can count on is their love for another. It is unquestionable. Their love is not the problem, it is their lives in the present, and their futures. There are difficult choices to make. Not only will these choices determine the future, they will destroy the fragile lives they have built. There is no winner. Each person will walk away hurt in some way.
Evan Archer was a Navy Seal. His last assignment should have been easy. An in and out. That mission stretched into six long years. When his team is finally able to come home they are in for a complete surprise. There are no welcoming committees, no military personal, and no transports home. Why? Because they are dead! They have been dead and buried for over five years. The lives they once had are gone. Their loved ones have moved on in life. Imagine the shock.
The only thing Evan wants is to return home to the love of his life and meet his son face to face. Riley Clarke has held his heart since he was a teenager. Imagine his shock when he finally meets up with Riley and she is not happy to see him. Imagine finding out that she is now engaged to another man. Imagine finding out that man is your twin brother. Imagine your son calling that man daddy.
Riley Clarke lost the love of her life when Evan was killed in action. She has spent the last six years moving on from that devastating loss. She had to give birth to her son alone. She has watched him grow alone. The only thing that held her together was the support of her family and Evan’s twin brother Nate. The two of them have mourned together, supported each other, and built a strong friendship that led to a loving relationship. When the man that owned her heart rises up from the grave she is once again devastated. She is angry with the world. She feels powerless and out of control. How can she choose between the man that owned her heart and the man that brought her heart back to life. Any choice she makes will destroy one of these men. Any choice she makes is going to forever break their brotherly bonds. It is going to destroy them all.
On top of all the emotional turmoil are the underlying facts about the mission. Clearly something went wrong. As the story unfolds it will raise many more questions.
I loved all the characters in this book. I am definitely rooting for Evan. I loved how he not only loved Riley as a teenager and grown woman, but how he respected her feelings and emotions at all times. He is truly a very good man. The readers did not get know much about Nate in the present times. We got to know him through memories and passages of the present. I think we will get to know his character in the next book. I think he is going to be more complex than we are anticipating.
This book ended on an emotional cliffhanger. It left the readers with so many questions. It also left the readers wanting to know Nate’s POV. I cannot wait for the next book, Choose Me by Heidi McLaughlin. I need it now!
Heidi is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell and two Parakeets.
During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she’s writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting court-side during either daughter’s basketball games.
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