Fly With Me (Wild Aces) – book review

Fly With Me
by Chanel Cleeton
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Book #1 in the Wild Aces series
Number of Pages: 295
Contemporary Romance/Military
Ages 15 and up
CW: grief, military death
U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.

Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down.

One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…

I’m the type of reader/reviewer that tries to give adequate content warnings but never thought I would need them for my own protection. While I’ve experienced some pretty traumatic things in my life, for whatever reason when I run across those things in books it doesn’t trigger a bad response. Well, I’ve found the thing that is hard for me to read. And while I don’t believe that this warning will spoil the story as a whole, it is a romance with a HEA for both main characters so the incident doesn’t directly involve them, I am giving a heads up that this review may be construed as a tad bit spoiler-ish. I’ll give notification before I get into that particular part of my review.

This book would seem like a quick read. For me, it wasn’t. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but I’ve also, in a way, lived adjacent to this story. I was a military spouse for 10 years. I have been a military mom for 6 years. My brother, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law all retired from the military. I know the hardships of having a relationship with someone in the military. It’s odd to say, but my problem with reading this book was the author did such a good job of portraying the thoughts and feelings of being in a military relationship that it was hard for me to read. It brought up all of my past insecurities from when my husband was still in the service. At the same time, since Jordan and her family were not familiar with how the military worked and the sacrifices that had to be made by loved ones of service members, the story sometimes annoyed me. Yet, these are true feelings I have heard myself from those “outside” of military life.

Noah and Jordan have undeniable chemistry. The way they get together is actually quite sweet. It could have started with a bang, but instead started with a smolder. Don’t worry, it’s followed by a bang soon after. But Jordan decides to tease Noah a bit and he is so enamored with her he doesn’t mind at all. Then their day in and day out of trying to navigate a long-distance relationship that has not had a chance to be established before they’re separated tugs at the heartstrings. Noah learns about compromise and putting something other than flying first, and Jordan figures out what is most important in her life and what she is and isn’t willing to give up for love. This leads me to my sort of spoiler-ish paragraph next…

One of the catalysts that help Jordan to see how much Noah means to her, but also how much she will sacrifice to be with him, is a plane crash. It is the greatest fear of a military spouse to get those uniformed people at your door with their “we regret to inform you” speech. There were times when my husband was deployed (this was the 90s so no cell phones, internet, or social media to get info) when we’d hear something happened to someone and then wait. And wait and wait and wait. It’s excruciating and this book brought those feeling so close to the surface I had to continuously put it down. Since I knew there was a HEA I knew it wouldn’t be Noah that perished, but at the same time, I had gotten to know all of his teammates and didn’t want any of them to die either. At one point I knew it was going to happen but didn’t realize how much I was going to be bothered by it. I haven’t seen a lot of reviews that warn about this, and I can only think a lot of reviewers have never been embroiled with someone in the military on this level. So if you have, I caution you that the last few chapters of this book can be very disturbing.

Do I still think this book is great? Of course. In fact, my reactions to the story prove to me that it is well-written. The author really had me in the moment with the characters and that is not an easy thing to do.

4 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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3 Responses to Fly With Me (Wild Aces) – book review

  1. I can only imagine how hard this one must have been for you to read it. I read and loved it, but I wasn’t under the same amount of pressure you were when reading it. (I still cried a bunch.) Are you planning on reading the next two books or skipping them?

    • Cheri says:

      I will read the others. The funny thing is, I know what the 3rd one is about so while I was kind of expecting it, I wasn’t expecting it from that perspective or for it to shake me so much. I guess I thought it would happen between books, not during a book.

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