After loving the first book of this fantastic sweet, contemporary romance series, I adore C.J. Pinard’s ‘Tour of Duty (When Riley Met Cara #2)’. A little darker and serious than before, Tour of Duty is hotter and more sensual as well as taking heart-warming to another level.
Hot soldier, Riley, is to be in California for the summer only, before he is due back in Colorado to prepare for his next tour. During a night out he meets single mum and recent divorcee, Cara Reid. However, after spending a night with Cara he begins to realise he wants to spend his whole summer with her. But what will happen once the summer is over and his nine month tour of Afghanistan begins?
Whereas the first story, Patriotic Duty, introduced the characters and was told from Cara’s point of view, in Tour of Duty we enter the mind of Riley, seeing their relationship from his point of view. The reader has an insight into the basic daily routine that Riley has when on tour in Afghanistan and his feelings and emotions he has for Cara (from meeting her, spending summer with her and leaving Cara to tour Afghanistan). Being in Riley’s mind was HOTTER and more SEXIER than Cara’s, as everything appears more dramatic and the more direct, hands-on approach. Oh yes, I LOVED this one even more!!!
As suspected, Tour of Duty is a little darker and dramatic than Patriotic Duty (When Riley Met Cara, Book 1) as the reader truly understands the danger that Riley is in when on tour, experiencing every moment that Riley has in Afghanistan. The reader fully appreciates his need to protect Cara from knowing all of the horrors of war. However, the reader is still provided with the fun, cheeky and hot aspects of their relationship, as in Book 1. And I love how C.J. Pinard can fill her romantic novels with so many emotions. C.J. also has the ability to write some fantastic HOT scenes and, although these characters are falling quite seriously for each other, these scenes are so fun to read, adding a little enlightenment to the fear that their relationship may not last.
Cara is enjoying her summer of fun with Riley, although underneath fearing his departure. I love how Cara is so relaxed and can be herself around Riley. She is fun and very lovable, and as any parent would, she takes care in introducing Riley to her son. Riley is very sweet, although can appear the strong, silent type when he wants to protect Cara from being hurt, as he too fears his departure may mean the end for them. Cara is his world and the reader feels his sincerity towards her throughout the story.
The characters are quite real in many senses. They are a bundle of emotion, going through the extremes of love and in some ways may be flawed. Their longing to protect each other, especially on Riley’s side, can mean miscommunication or lack of communication, causing both sides to feel neglected, paranoid and hurt at times. This does make the characters easy to relate to and also, reading both books of the series, will show the thoughts and mind set of each character throughout each step of their relationship. This allows the reader to be completely understanding of Cara and Riley, wanting for them both so much to forget their fears and just go for it!
Tour of Duty is a short, sweet contemporary romance and it is an absolute pleasure to read a sexy, romantic story told from the male’s side and realising all of their true emotions. To sum up, Riley is that hot, cute soldier from Book 1 who’s looking for more than somewhere to spend the night or the summer – he wants to spend his life with Cara Reid. Due to the hot love scenes this book is recommended for those above the age of 18 yrs.
A Reader’s Review Blog received a copy of Tour of Duty from the author in return for an honest and fair review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker