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Subject: Testing Form 1
From: Phil
Comments: this is a test
Left on: 09-12-2012

Subject: Midwest Book Review
From: Riva
Comments: A Soldier's Embrace by Julie Romero is an interesting and enjoyable romance that focuses on the best elements of romance, love, sexual tension and unfulfilled desires, while also providing a compelling story as the backdrop of the tale. Continue reading this review...
Left on: 07-05-2011

Subject: Romancing the Book Review
From: Molly
Comments: Absolutely AMAZING! Julie Romero is my new favorite historical author! She pulled me into the story, gripped me completely and kept me on a roller coaster ride throughout. I wasn't sure where I would land by the end of the book but WOW! I was quite pleased with the outcome. Continue Reading this review...
Left on: 07-04-2011

Subject: A Soldier's Embrace Brims with Action, Adventure, Romance, and, at Times, Humor.
From: Jonathan Maxwell
Comments: A Soldier's Embrace Brims with Action, Adventure, Romance, and, at Times, Humor.

Julie Romero's A Soldier's Embrace is an old-style Western in the vein of Lonesome Dove, a potent, compelling mixture of valiant heroes, dastardly villains, shocking violence, intrigue, and, finally, love against all odds. Romero's work isn't always completely original; in many ways, it's an homage to great Westerns of the past, such as The Virginian. Nevertheless, Romero clearly knows the genre, she knows what works and what doesn't, and her skillful writing makes A Soldier's Embrace a must-read for lovers of historical fiction.

The novel is centered around Elizabeth Davenport, a spoiled debutante creeping upon full adulthood. She comes from a prominent banking family that has fallen upon hard times. Her parents decide to relocate from the gentrified East to dusty, uncivilized Denver, Colorado for two reasons. One reason is to profit financially from the gold rushes that are going on in the West. The second reason is for a cynical marriage between Elizabeth and Denver resident Warren Sheffield, a seemingly cultured accountant who supposedly hails from an upper-class family back in the Eastern United States.

A depressed, angry Elizabeth is riding in a carriage going out to Colorado. Suddenly, it's accosted by a gang of bandits, led by a once-revered military officer- Captain Reynolds- who has turned into a thieving renegade. Not only are the occupants robbed; Elizabeth is kidnapped. Adding to her horror is the fact that one of the bandits- Arnie- looks virtually identical to her betrothed. She is quickly saved, however, thanks to the efforts of Lieutenant Eric Ryan, a brave but emotionally-distant junior officer from nearby Fort Laramie who tracks the gang down and boldly rescues her from the clutches of her captors. As in many novels, this relationship starts out rocky. Elizabeth complains constantly about the heat, the insects, and having to ride on a horse, much to the consternation of the tough, gritty lieutenant. Also rather predictable is the fact that the two persons fall hopelessly in love with one another.

Eventually, the squabbling pair find safe haven at the fort. Elizabeth rests there for a short while, and then moves on to Denver and to the loving arms of his timid fiancé, Warren. She may have found physical safety in the city's better neighborhoods, but she is far from secure. She realizes that she no longer loves Warren. Instead, she loves the perennial loner- Ryan- who treats her coldly. She feels as if she's cheating on Warren, but the haunting image of Arnie won't leave her mind. Secretly, she knows that Warren must be somehow related to this sadist and thief.

This is, indeed, familiar territory to the reader. Graceless, unsmiling Lieutenant Ryan instantly reminds one of the painfully shy Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, for example. Still, the book never seems clichéd or tired, thanks to Romero's vivid characterization. Both Elizabeth and Ryan are fully-realized, complex characters. Both can be irresistible, and both can be infuriating. Elizabeth is, by turns, petulant, selfish, sophomoric, brave, and tenacious, while her beloved Ryan is vulnerable, distant, taciturn, grouchy, but loyal, and quite heroic on occasion. Mystery also makes A Soldier's Embrace much more than just genre fiction. Oftentimes, the characters are not what they seem. To Elizabeth's snobbish family, Ryan is a rough-hewn soldier, good enough to save their daughter from robbers and hostile Indians, but certainly not good enough to marry into the Davenport family. Still, throughout the text, there are hints that Ryan's heritage is anything but pedestrian. Warren is complicated, too. Why, exactly, does he so closely resemble a violent felon, and why is he so enigmatic? He claims that he comes from a wealthy family, but the Davenports never see or hear from any of his family members, and only rarely does he speak about them. It's as if he's an isolated, solitary orphan.

Eventually, the book becomes a great cat-and-mouse adventure, as Ryan tries hard to balance his love for Elizabeth with his desperate needs to seek out and subdue Captain Reynolds and Arnie, who are certainly not through with Elizabeth or her gold-laden family. This leads to a true show-stopper ending that presents everything from gunfights and attempted bank robberies to expressions of love and even a touch of philosophy as the heroine transforms into a strong, fiercely independent sort of Old West feminist. Again, Romero's work isn't terribly original, but for those persons who love a good, traditional Western, A Soldier's Embrace is as good as it gets.

-- Jonathan Maxwell is the author of Murderous Intellectuals: German Elites and the Nazi SS.
Left on: 10-11-2010

Subject: "Love Western Romances" Review
From: Rose - Reviewer for LWR Book Reviews
Comments: Elizabeth Davenport has spent her entire youth surrounded by wealth and propriety. She had accepted the life mapped out before her but all that changed the day her stagecoach was attacked. Now she shivers at the mere thought of what would have happened to her that fateful day, if Lieutenant Eric Ryan hadn’t rescued her. The Cavalry man is the most handsome man she has ever seen but that doesn’t excuse her unladylike behavior around him. Elizabeth knows what she must do – get back home to her family and continue on her path to high society – but in the brief time she was with him the lieutenant did more than save her from her attackers; he also captured her heart.

As soon as Eric saw her, he knew she was going to be trouble. Elizabeth was like no other woman he had ever met but the Lieutenant had promised himself to the army a long time ago and never again would he subject a woman to the toils of being a soldier’s wife. Eric is a strong, successful man but no matter how he tries to put his feelings to one side, he just can’t rid himself of this strange new emotion whenever his thoughts turn to the beautiful Elizabeth.

His Grandfather had always talked of the power of fate but Eric never believed him. When circumstances keep pushing two people from seemingly different worlds into each other’s arms, it’s difficult for Eric to continue dismissing the warning. As he learns more about the woman who intrigues him so, Eric starts to wonder if perhaps the attack that brought them together was more than just a horrible coincidence. Eric may be in dangerous new territory, in more ways than one.

A Soldier’s Embrace is a compelling read, with an extravagant plot line that really drew me in. The obvious level of research that was put into the period and setting made for a rich and detailed world inhabited by captivating characters. Eric and Elizabeth were very strong and well rounded individuals with chemistry. The passion with which they fought and made up was evident from their first encounter. The apparent gap in their social status is highlighted well by the descriptive comparisons of army and society life. The imagery was superb as I could just picture how prim and proper every part of Elizabeth’s life was and almost smell the Lieutenant and his men on their hard, torturous journeys, fraught with danger. There is a large supporting cast of characters that was a little overwhelming to begin with but after a while this settled down. The pace of the writing was such that I found myself wanting to hurry the characters on at times but this can be put down to my curiosity at wanting to see how fate would treat Eric and Elizabeth. I was not disappointed with the enjoyable, unpredictable outcome.
Love Western Romances
Left on: 04-14-2010

Subject: Great Book !
From: Rita Daoud
Comments: I have not read a book that was as captivating as "A Soldier's Embrace". It was my bed time reader and I could hardly wait to go to bed! You did a marvelous job of revealing the plot! I will be anxious to read your next book! Well done, Julie A+
Left on: 04-13-2010

Subject: Great First Novel
From: Rebecca
Comments: The beautiful daughter of a wealthy banker, Elizabeth Davenport is kidnapped by a dangerous band of stagecoach bandits, their leader a former captain in the US Army. His longtime rival, Lieutenant Eric Ryan, is sent to intercept him and finds himself rescuing Elizabeth and fleeing through Indian territory to the safety of Fort Laramie, a virtual wilderness for Elizabeth. Terrified and totally out of her element, she nevertheless realizes she is falling in love with the handsome, aloof lieutenant.

Julie Romero's first novel is a thrilling, romantic, and historically accurate tale of life in the wild, wild west. More than a romance novel, it is a true love story, filled with solid characters, vivid imagery, and enough mystery and twists to hold the readers' interest.

There are love triangles, family hardship, intrigue, and conflict between characters and within the characters themselves. Eric must struggle with ghosts from his past, while Elizabeth must find the courage to defy her elders and follow her heart.

Julie Romero's A Soldier's Embrace contrasts sharply in a genre where so many novels have one-dimensional characters and predictable outcomes. We should look forward to future works by this accomplished author.
Left on: 04-01-2010