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On November 11,  American Flags will be flying, federal offices will be closed, traffic will be light, and after a moment’s pause, we’ll realize, “Oh yes, it’s Veterans’ Day.” Veterans’ Day, Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, or Poppy Day… all different names to commemorate a day on which we honor the service of men and women of the Armed Forces. First established after World War I, which came to an end with the signing of the Armistice at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, Armistice Day evolved in the US to include all veterans after the Korean War, known to most today as simply “Veterans’ Day.”

To celebrate Veterans’ Day, The Indie Book Collective is sponsoring its “Tour de Troops,” with wonderful authors providing free eBooks to soldiers AND readers who comment on posts (details: http://www.blogtourdetroops.com). It is my privilege to participate in a small way by reviewing a wonderfully entertaining novel by Rachelle Reese and John E. Miller: The Reunion (Dime Store Novel). 

The Reunion was my first venture into the urban fantasy, paranormal romance genre. To be honest, I was not sure just what constituted an urban-fantasy-paranormal-romance. Stephen King meets Danielle Steele? As it turns out, I need not have wondered. The Reunion is a delightful tale!

Fans of paranormal romance may be familiar with the popular Dime Store Novel Series featuring an engaging cast of characters who captivate and enchant readers through five novels (thus far). The latest, The Reunion, provides a much-anticipated arc featuring Toledo Cats and Hanover Fist as young adults, but readers new to the series will enjoy The Reunion as a standalone story in itself.

From the opening chapter, The Reunion grabs the reader’s attention and refuses to loosen its grip until the final pages. A young woman’s coming of age, navigating through new and dangerous dimensions contrasts with the journey of a young man, unaware of his true heritage, battling evil with every ounce of his human being. A mother, whose love for her child causes her to put her life on hold,  yearns to be reunited with the love of her life while ancient enemies conspire and seek every option to seize her soul.

Reese and Miller’s prose pulls the reader into new realms, skillfully combining scenes of everyday life with the unexpected nymph, fairy or otherworldly intruder. Just enough back-story is provided to enable a new reader to jump into the series midway, allowing a basic understanding and history of key characters appearing in the prior Dimes Store Novels. The pace is quick, the action non-stop, pushing the reader from page to page. This is a story that begs to be read in one sitting. Beware—chores may not get done; sleep may be postponed until the final page is turned! And do not resist the urge to go back and read the other books in the series—you’ll be delighted by these, as well!

Paranormal? Yes. Fantasy? Definitely. But the story and the themes depicted in The Reunion are universal—the innocence of youth, accepting one’s destiny, the willingness to sacrifice oneself for a greater love—making this story a perfect complement to the Blog Tour de Troops. 

Throughout history, young men and women have shed youthful pursuits in answering a call to duty. The love of country above self, the willingness to put lives on hold, lives at risk to defend a cause in which they believe, earn the members of the Armed Forces the gratitude of generations. It is appropriate that we stop and remember their sacrifices, not just on specific days, but every day that we are blessed to live in freedom.

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