Saturday, June 6, 2015

Aloha to Jessica James and MEANT TO BE - Book Review


It started as a chance encounter on the beach, and ended 24 hours later when they parted to go their separate ways.

Or so they thought.

Actually it was just the beginning.

WHEN LAUREN CANTRELL said goodbye to the guy she had just met on the beach, she had no way of knowing their paths would ever cross again. But fate had another unexpected meeting in store for them—this time in a place where danger was part of the culture and the stakes were life and death.

THE LAST PERSON in the world Rad expected to see at a special ops briefing in Afghanistan is the girl he met at the beach two weeks ago—the one he can’t stop thinking about.

From the sundrenched beaches of Ocean City, Md., to the snowcapped mountains of Afghanistan, this thrilling tale of espionage and intrigue takes readers on a spellbinding journey into the secret lives of our nation’s quiet heroes—and answers the question:

What do you do when the person you most want to protect is the one risking everything to make sure you survive?

MEANT TO BE recounts the dedication of our military, the honor and sacrifice of our soldiers, and a relationship that is tested and sustained by the powerful forces of love, courage and resolve.

MEANT TO BE opens in Ocean City with Lauren sitting quietly on the beach, lost to her thoughts.  The winds blows her hat down the beach ... and it is rescued by a passing jogger, Rad.   This chance encounter leads to 24 hours of frolicking in the seaside resort.  James paints an all American picture of a lonely woman, orphaned by 9/11, and the vivacious man who sees something special in her.   It is a foreshadowing of their reunion when both Lauren and Rad meet again in Afghanistan to employ their talents to neutralize a very real threat.

James captures the innocent bliss of Ocean City only to jar my emotions with the dangerous mission in Afghanistan.  MEANT TO BE is a love letter to the men and women who serve and sacrifice for the freedom we enjoy.

I received an ARC from the author for an honest review.

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash, plus military swag, to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about your favorite "junk food" found on the boardwalk - saltwater taffy?  corn dogs?  popcorn?

During their time in Ocean City, Lauren and Rad indulge in the local favorite Thrasher's Fries.  

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, July 13, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, July 14.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


  1. Replies
    1. I love funnel cakes ... too made my thighs do, too!

  2. I wonder if fish & chips count. Nothing like freshly caught fish.

    1. Yes, fish & chips count and yes, it is delicious!

  3. Definitely the caramel popcorn!!

  4. Nothing like munching on caramel popcorn as you walk down the boardwalk!

  5. I'd have to go with the salt water taffy - haven't had that in years.

  6. Popcorn and every once in while Salt Water Taffy

  7. Dolle's saltwater taffy or Candy Kitchen, Fisher's popcorn, sometimes fudge, and steamed blue crabs--I grew up going to Rehoboth, but we usually take our family "downy ocean, hon!" to Ocean City.


  8. Two of my favorite childhood memories are of vacations in Wildwood, New Jersey. My favorite treat from the boardwalk..." What else..? Salt water taffy!!

  9. I always enjoyed a stick of rock when we went to the seaside. I only live 12 miles from the beach here, but rarely go.

  10. I have to go with funnel cake - I can't remember the last time I had it which makes me want it even more.

  11. the best thing on the NJ Boardwalk is a Grilled Porkroll with cheese sandwich

  12. Funnel cake is my favorite.

  13. I keep seeing people say funnel cakes and I've never had one. I really want to try one of those.

  14. Corndogs, taffy, and funnel cakes

  15. Reese's PB Cups.
    Karen T.