Release Date: August 31, 2013
Publisher: Entranced Publishing
Genre: Military Contemporary
Can you choose between fighting for your life and fighting for your heart?
Twenty-two year old Corpsman Emme Sawyer doesn’t follow rules. She’s always been the best and no one will die if she has anything to say about it.
Emme refuses to hang around the hospital waiting for the wounded to come to her and joins a Marine unit heading into Helmand Providence, the largest opium producer in Afghanistan. Shutting off her emotions, Emme focuses on what she does best…keeping her men safe. When her best friend is obliterated by a roadside bomb, Emme begins to realize she can’t save everyone. Seeking comfort from Raven, her commanding officer, Emme develops feelings that don’t belong in a combat zone where each step could be your last. As Raven reciprocates, Emme learns you can’t choose when and where love finds you.
Riveting. I guess that's the most appropriate word to describe Connie Ann Michael's military romance, 1000 SLEEPLESS NIGHTS. I've read a few military romances and most of them are not set in the middle of the Afghan war. This was dead center of that and I felt the sense of urgency that Emma and the rest of the characters are feeling on a daily basis. That carpe diem attitude because who knows, you might find yourself blown to pieces because of landmines and other attacks. And the huge task of being responsible for other people's lives. I've never given protocol on this level much thought but after reading 1000 SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, I sure did find a whole new appreciation for military SOP in their glorious OCD-ness.
Emma Sawyer is such a compelling heroine to follow. She's a doctor and everywhere her unit goes, she's with them to treat wounds and other casualties on site ASAP. She's not a soldier, she's not a fighter, she's really a trained civilian and really exemplified what survival means. I don't know anybody in the military personally and I only have the slightest idea of what it feels like to be in the middle of a war zone like Emma at but let me tell you, I felt the constant feeling of danger through her. The feeling of Death hovering behind you at all times and witnessing first hand his skill with his scythe is horrible and heartbreaking. And not just that, the type of "living", for lack of a better word, these soldiers endure on the field is below the bare minimum. No sleep, crappy food, always on the defense, they can't even afford to take a breather lest the enemy takes that opportunity to attack them. Emma in particular, as the only woman in her group, has to take extra precautions because of rape threats not just from the Afghans but from some of the men in her group as well. Tough shiz through and through!
The part where Emma's bestfriend died was so instantaneous I had to read the part twice just to make sure I read it right the first time. And to give praise CAMichael, I'm happy she made the scene quick and didn't draw it out and gave it too much pomp. It made me feel the point she's driving at that war is gruesome and what our soldiers are going through on a daily basis overseas in the middle of various battlefields is heroic, admirable and flucking awe inspiring and heartrending at the same time.
As for Emma and Raven, theirs is a poignant romance. At first I didn't understand why "fraternizing" is discouraged within the military or their unit in particular but eventually I understood and again, I developed a new level of sympathy for our troops. You can't even afford to fall in love or dodge it when it finds you because it comes with a great price. How horrible is that?! Anyway, Emma and Raven's romance wasn't hot and heavy, it wasn't dramatic nor was it full of angst. It was momentous given their circumstances and in some ways, it was intense due to the nature of their job and environment.
1000 SLEEPLESS NIGHTS is a riveting military contemporary romance. I love the feeling CAMichael gave me throughout the novel, I love that the romance is light but just as intense as those hot and heavy love stories we read. I loved that inasmuch as CAMichael gave the characters their HEA, she also gave us civilians a good illustration of what our troops go through on a daily basis. I'm sure some conditions are worse than what Emma's story provided but just the same, the idea was told and executed beyond satisfactory.
Connie Ann Michael was raised a city girl, but was converted to a country girl after college and now resides in a speck of a town in Central Washington State. She is married to her former boss as she worked at the local Pizza place and has two college age boys that provide endless material for her books. She loves the outdoors and can be found mountain biking, kayaking, or camping with her family. Being a busy family, she can be found working on her newest novel while on long road trips.
$10 Amazon gift card
2 e-copies of 1000 Sleepless Nights by Connie Ann Michael
1 military beanie baby
2 bookmarks and dogtags