Author: Harper Logan
Release Date: September 19, 2017 Price: $3.99
Cover Art: The rainbow colors behind the author’s name really help the cover pop. It is almost a photo montage, with a man in a camo hat and wife beater in front. At first, I thought he looks angry, but at second glance it seems as if he is filled with emotional pain, and this suits Adrian to a tee. The other character in the background appears to be smiling shyly, and the third photo in the cluster shows a man holding up a little girl, both smiling playfully. It reflects Chandler’s character well.
Blurb: Short and to the point, the summary gives us the needed information. There is no 18+ warning.
Main Characters: Adrian Stokes, long haul trucker, served in the Army
Chandler Longman, bartender, served in the Army
Adrian and Chandler are lost and rudderless after they were discharged from the Army. While Chandler has his daughter to keep himself busy, he is gun shy to take any risks. Unfortunately, he is under such crappy circumstances he frustrates me by not making a leap of faith. Both men are so stubborn in their own ways that it really left me wanting. They have pined for each other during the few years since they left the service; we are told this, but I didn’t feel a real connection between Adrian or Chandler.
Secondary Characters: Both men have loner tendencies, so there are not too many secondary characters hanging around. We have Lexie, Chandler’s co-worker and babysitter, and April, Chandler’s 4-year-old daughter. Like most children in fiction, she is a perfect child who is intellectually gifted. While she is cute and engaging, flawless children in a story drive me up a wall. I have never met one of these fantastical creatures in real life; I have to wonder why they are so prolific in fiction? Think of all the plot bunnies and comedic relief a less than perfect child can bring to the table.
Plot: In a nutshell, the story is about two army buddies getting their second chance if they can set aside their fears and trust in their feelings. Not a unique plot, it is simple and straightforward.
Flow/Continuity: Dream sequences of Iraq are interspersed within the story. There is no change in the format to identify it as a dream, which breaks up the pacing a bit. It is not terribly disconcerting, but I feel it would flow better if it were formatted slightly differently, perhaps in italics.
Conflict and Climax: Simple plot with no twists and turns, the struggle is straightforward. The resolution to the climax is one that I am skeptical about, however. More to the point, I don’t believe that Chandler would have made the decision in quite the manner that he did. I can’t say more due to spoilers, but he ultimately acted outside the norm, and I don’t believe how he moved on the decision suited his character. Especially with a child.
Writing Style: Third person
Editing: Done well. There were no editing errors that took me out of the story.
Formatting: Except for the dream sequences, the format was clear and well done. Paragraphs and chapters are clearly defined, and very easy to read. The dreams were not formatted differently than the rest of the book, and that interrupted the flow just a tiny bit.
Conclusion: Long Haul is a short, quick read that a reader can snuggle in for a few hours to enjoy. There are plenty of sexy scenes, although I do not feel they really add any depth to the story. So much so that I ended up skipping a few.
I give this a 7 out of 10