War has taken everything from me. My family. My home. My innocence. In a country blasted by war and wracked by economic hardship, a young orphan girl like me has very few options when it comes to survival. Thus, I do what I must to live, to eat, and I try very hard to not consider the cost to my soul. My heart is empty, and my existence brutal.
The one impossibility in my life is love.
And then I meet HIM.
War is hell. It takes a chunk out of a man’s very soul to do the kinds of things war demands of you. You live with fear, you live with guilt, and you live with nightmares. If you haven’t been through it, there’s no understanding it. War leaves no room for love, no room for tenderness or softness. You gotta be hard, closed off, and ready to fight every moment of every day. Lose focus for a split second, and you’re dead.
Now the only thing that can save me is HER.
Like so many of my books, and because of my ever growing TBR list, Wounded had been gathering dust on my bookshelf for quite some time, when I had initially intended for it to be my first Jasinda Wilder book. I’m glad I finally picked it up because I really enjoyed myself while reading it.
“Some things are free, Rania. My love for you is free. All you have to do is take it. Accept it.”
I love books about soldiers. Must be the whole uniform thing. Or maybe the fact that they have this reputation for being tough guys and I like to read about them finding a woman to love deeply and intensely. Anyhow, it just works for me for some reason. And I really wasn’t disappointed at all with our soldier!
“I touch his cheek and marvel that one man can contain such fury as I saw when he fought, along with the tenderness with which he kisses me, the strength and stubbornness to refuse pain its paralytic hold over him. So many contradictions.”
Hunter’s character, I really liked. He was rough around the edges, but so very sweet, tender and caring for a soldier. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got a dark side too. But toward Rania (and the people he loves in general) he is loyal and dedicated. He yearns to have a family of his own and to belong to someone. When we meet him in the story, he’s not in a good place at all emotionally and it’s soon after that that his and Rania’s paths cross, and it’s not in the best of settings at all.
“I hear it, the sound that will become my life: a belt jingling.”
Rania was a very interesting character, that’s for sure. Life hasn’t been kind to her and she’s always had to fend for herself and others. To survive, she was forced to do things I wouldn’t wish to my worst enemy. She is a very strong character but she hates herself for the things she has to do, for what it takes for her to survive in a country at war. War is almost all she has ever known as well as what it does to men.
“I am not a Muslim girl anymore. I am not an Arab girl anymore. I am only a prostitute, without religion, without any god but money. It is to survive, I tell myself.”
Men, for her, are cruel abusive creatures, in a lot of ways. And when she first meets Hunter, who is basically her enemy, she thinks that at some point, he’ll turn out to be just like the others.
“When boys and men are afraid, they turn it into anger, quickly.”
Everything opposes them, country, culture, religion, war, language and yet, they connect. There was nothing fancy about this and their story, but I thought it was beautiful. It really moved me and made me wish to have this kind of bound with someone. Just without the war and prostitution stuff that is.
“My heart is at once afraid and ready. I feel it opening, like an unused muscle stretching.”
I thought this book wasn’t as hot as some other by Jasinda Wilder. And by hot I mean dirty. But I think it served the story better. The scenes between Hunter and Rania were very emotional and delicate. For them, and it makes sense since Rania’s view of sex was very different from most people’s, sex was more than just fucking in order to get off. It was truly a way to show and to prove their love for each other and they took more pleasure giving pleasure to each other than taking it for themselves. And it was also very realistic that Hunter made a point giving Rania pleasure without asking for anything afterward from her due to how she was introduced to sex.
“I do what I must to survive, but in my most secret heart, I am still a little girl, innocent and pure.”
I really enjoyed this book and what Hunter and Rania found in each other was really something that spoke to me.