*** READ AND REVIEWED ON BEHALF OF RED CHEEKS READS ***
“Sterling, I’m one &*^@#! up mess.”
“Well, that makes two of us. …Trust me. My &*^@#! up mess could easily complete with your &*^@#! up mess.”
Ruthie was the hopeful, young bride when she entered into what turned out to be a loveless marriage with her husband, Bender. Unbeknownst to Ruthie, Bender had wanted her best friend, Lily, who was in love with his best friend, Dane. Ruthie was nothing more than a means to an end in Bender’s plan to make Lily jealous; a plan that seriously backfired on him when she turned up pregnant and his parents forced him to “do the right thing.” An enormous man, both in stature and in strength, the three-sport college athlete quickly turned his anger at the situation on Ruthie in the form of physical and verbal abuse. One day that abuse went too far, and after sustaining a particularly brutal beating, Ruthie was not only hospitalized but she also lost her baby. She returned home knowing that the abuse would continue. The next time her husband turned fists to her, though, she was ready and shot him in self-defense. Unfortunately, she was charged, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and served every minute of her ten-year sentence, eight years of which had been spent as Sawyer’s cellmate.
“…with her arms wrapped around me, everything was right in my world.”
Sterling, an active-duty Navy SEAL and a member of the Dixie Wardens MC, was abandoned as an adolescent into the foster care system by his mother. There he met his two foster brothers, Cormac and Garrison, and the three of them managed to survive a hellish experience with their abusive foster father. Sterling enlisted immediately upon turning eighteen, and in his years as a SEAL, he’s seen, been through and survived a lot. All of it, coupled with the abuse he survived in foster care, has marked him deeply, and he’s got his own demons. He met Ruthie at an impromptu Dixie Wardens surprise party in his honor when he returned from a long deployment. He knew immediately that this woman was different, special and someone he definitely wanted to know better.
”Everyone here is so freakin’ mean. … They don’t even know me.”
Ruthie is having a very hard time assimilating into life in Kilgore. To say that she is unwelcome there is putting it mildly; she’s openly scorned, ridiculed and ostracized. She’s always on guard, and she feels very much alone. One of the few bright spots in her existence is her friendship with Sterling. It’s obvious he wants more, but Ruthie is determined not to drag him into the darkness of her life. Sterling is equally determined, though, and just when he finally manages to convince Ruthie to go on a date with him, Uncle Sam, the ultimate cock-blocker for a SEAL, suddenly comes calling. Sterling, under-the-gun to report on base, takes off without saying goodbye to Ruthie for a mission that turns out to be ill conceived and goes completely FUBAR once it’s underway. Ruthie is crushed thinking Sterling stood her up, but once the news breaks that a SEAL team is missing in Iran, that disappointment turns to distress as she, like the rest of the country, is glued to the TV waiting for news.
”… What do you call it when adults go on dates?”
Both of them individually have more baggage than a Samsonite salesman, and together they could fill an entire store with it. But in each other, they find kindred spirits; Ruthie finds someone who makes her feel safe and wanted, and Sterling finds someone who is capable of not only handling his demons, but also chasing them away. As their relationship grows and progresses, they are both slowly unburdening themselves to each other. In the weeks Sterling and his SEAL team were missing, a lot was going on in Kilgore. Ruthie’s situation deteriorated, and someone from Sterling’s past showed up. When he finally returns, though, there is no rest for the weary, new couple as the hits keep coming and the drama and loss they need to wade through grows. Will they be able to stand strong in the face of all of the adversity around them? Will it unite them or tear them apart?
“We can’t see into the future and we can’t change the past. You’ll just have to learn to live with it, and hope you have someone… to see you through.”
I’ve been anxiously awaiting Right To My Wrong and Ruthie’s story since she was introduced in Counter To My Intelligence. As usual, Lani didn’t let me down, and she gave her readers an awesome ending to the fan-favorite Heroes of the Dixie Wardens series with Right To My Wrong. I absolutely adore Vale’s books; her writing style, the types of alpha heroes and smart, sassy heroines in her steamy, suspenseful plots coupled with Vale’s trademark sense of humor are always add up to a sure hit for me. Each month when her latest release hits my Kindle, I know I’m in for a treat. Ms. Vale is an immensely talented writer, and she’s at the top of her game when writing about every-day heroes like police officers, firemen and paramedics, and the evidence of that is in this wildly successful, much beloved series. While I’m sad to see this series come to an end, I am very excited about what lies ahead. 5 hard fought, ferocious, forever smooches for Lani Lynn Vale’s Right to My Wrong!