Author: Jasinda Wilder
Source: Received through blog tour in exchange for an honest review
War has taken everything from me. My family. My home. My innocence. In a country blasted by war and wracked by economic hardship, a young orphan girl like me has very few options when it comes to survival. Thus, I do what I must to live, to eat, and I try very hard to not consider the cost to my soul. My heart is empty, and my existence brutal.
The one impossibility in my life is love.
And then I meet HIM.
War is hell. It takes a chunk out of a man's very soul to do the kinds of things war demands of you. You live with fear, you live with guilt, and you live with nightmares. If you haven't been through it, there's no understanding it. War leaves no room for love, no room for tenderness or softness. You gotta be hard, closed off, and ready to fight every moment of every day. Lose focus for a split second, and you're dead.
Now the only thing that can save me is HER.
Wounded by Jasinda Wilder is a powerful story about two people finding love during a brutal war. Rania is a broken woman who leads an awful life. Her family has been killed in the war and she lives all alone. At a very young age, she has to sell her body so that she can have money to buy food. Hunter is an American soldier stationed in Iraq. When he gets injured, she takes him to her home to care for him.
Against all odds, a beautiful relationship happens between these two. It's a forbidden relationship really – they should be enemies. There is also a huge language barrier in the way. They don't speak each other's language, but they somehow find a way to still communicate with one another. While Hunter is staying with her, Rania must still go next door where she “works”, whenever an Iraqi man is ready for her. Not only does she do this to be able to feed herself, she does it to buy food and medicine for Hunter.
This story is told from alternating points of view, which I think is essential in this book. I really liked each of these characters. If I was in Rania's shoes, I would probably rather die than have to live that way. She is a mentally strong woman, but yet feels like she is worthless. Hunter is perfect for her – he is patient, loving, and gentle. From the beginning, he hated what she did for a living...but he did not judge her for it.
The beginning was a little slow for me, but I understand the need for it in order to set up the story. Especially from Rania's standpoint. Her childhood plays a large part for readers to understand why she makes the choices she does, and how she got to be to this point. The author did an amazing job with the world building. The details of the surroundings in Iraq are descriptive, but not overly so. It shows the horrid conditions that these people must live in. Of course, I don't live there, so I don't know how accurate everything is – but it seems very believable to me.
Hunter and Rania end up having such an intense connection. There was a lot of steam during the second half of the book. There were many erotic moments, but it wasn't just about the sex. It was about teaching Rania the difference between sex and making love. This is a very passionate story that I recommend to any adults that aren't squeamish about reading sex scenes. The ending is wrapped up nicely, and ends perfectly.
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