5 Hearts

Ravel by Shari J. Ryan


At twenty-three, I’m left with a decision. The outcome could be life or death.

Trent hit me once, and I cried. Then he hit me again. And again. After a while, I got used to it, as I slept on the floor beside his bed, night after night.

Everyone told me to leave him, but I can’t. He won’t let me. 

The moment I wanted to give up on myself and any form of hope, Kemper—a tall, sexy Marine just home from Afghanistan walked into my bar. With one look in his eyes, I saw pain that mirrored my own.

At first, I thought maybe he would be my prince charming, riding in to save me, but all it took was one tragedy for me to remember…fairy tales don’t exist in real life.

*The content in this book discusses domestic violence and is suitable for readers over 18.*

Personal Thoughts 

You ever read one of those books, that you end up staying up all night reading, because you become so invested in their struggles. Yeah that was this kind of book for me. 
I am not sure how I find these military romance books, but I am glad I do.  This one has so much in it. We have domestic abuse, PTSD, rape, stalking, all warped up with a sweet romance story.

I really like the main character Daphne. She grew up with a crappy home life. Her parents were verbally and emotional abusive. They would tell her that she was the cause of them not being able to follow their dreams and ambitions.
Kemper grew up not knowing what happened to his biological father. He had a step-farther and step brother. Their lives weren’t easy either.

There were so many good things about this book. I enjoyed the struggles that the couple went through.  Military life isn’t something that is easy to deal with. Deployments can make or break many relationships. Kemper had this situation already. His girlfriend said, she would write to him and wait, but stopped.  To many times affairs happen because the spouse becomes lonely and scared that their loved one will not return.

Daphne is stuck. Stuck in a town she hates. Stuck living with parents that don’t love her. Stuck with a boyfriend that beats, rapes, and verbal abuses her. Reading some of the scenes with Daphne and Trent were so difficult. Daphne’s view of herself makes it difficult for her to trust anyone or even move on. She feels that this is the best she can do and that is so disheartening.

I hate Trent. I am glad what happens to him in the end, but at the same time, finding out his back story was heart wrenching.  It just proves that people may want to do well, but outside influences can alter a person interior and exterior.
Kemper deals with PTSD because he lost his best friend while they were serving in Afghanistan.  He suffers from nightmares. His depression eats away at him and makes it difficult for him to allow others in. That is until he meets Daphne. They become friends, but they know there is a deeper connection between them that is difficult to deny. Kemper won’t make a move on Daphne until she is no longer with Trent. 


Daphne Bell

I’ve spend most of my life hoping for a fairy tale, and I might not have a white horse and a castel, but I found my destiny. It turns out a happily-ever-after isn’t that moment where a man sweeps you off your feet and kisses you senseless as the lights dim around you. It’s the moment you can say  “I’m happy,” and if my life were to end today, it would most definitely be a happy ending.”
​- Daphne


Staff Sergent Kemper Anderson, Marine

 ​Daphne’s always preaching all this crap about fairy tales being real, and while I’d never admit it to her, I can’t help but think that she might be onto something.”  
​- Kemper

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