£2.44 “The Cost Of War” by Emjay Smith
Ebook Deal of the Day:
£2.44 “The Cost Of War” by Emjay Smith
Genre: Literary, Contemporary Fiction
The Cost Of War is an epic tale of several wayward, world-weary souls strangers whose lives, by a simple twist of fate, miraculously intersect, in a way that helps all of them find, at last, what they’ve been searching for.
Manny is a successful area crime boss who’s ready to get out of the game and seek new avenues of fulfillment. As he nears his retirement, he crosses paths in a train station with London, a tough, resilient young girl who fled home (and the guardianship of her perverted uncle) after the death of her mother leaves her an orphan.
Terry is a respect psychologist who works tirelessly to mend the broken souls that come into her office. She and husband Alex enjoy a seemingly ideal marriage, until, in a moment of passion, she has sex with one of her patients, Will, a war hero whose scars, emotional as well as physical, run deep. Unbeknownst to her, Alex happens to witness the betrayal, and leaves that night without a single word.
Abby is a doctor of a different sort, handling medical emergencies at the local hospital. The cosmic forces that underpin a tale of close calls, near misses, random connections, and mind-blowing coincidences bring Abby in contact with Lynn and Kathy. Lynn is a grieving widow who loses all hope when a miscarriage takes the life of her unborn child, despite Abby’s promises to save the baby. Kathy is a “feisty femme” who is brought to the ER after she suffers a brutal beating at the hands of some of Manny’s underlings. Both women will survive the trauma.
Manny’s an unrepentant player, but when he offers to take London under his wing and provide her safety and shelter, his interest in her is different, motivated by deeper feelings he’s not used to experiencing. London, though suspicious at first, develops feelings for Manny too. Though they take their time, eventually, their passion brings them together in love. With London the embodiment of the new life on which he seeks to embark, he hands over the reins of his empire and the two lovers slip away.
Terry is filled with regret and guilt. She tries to piece back together her marriage and her career, both of which took a hit after her foolish error. Alex, meanwhile, is far away, and soon starts seeing a woman named Charlotte he meets in the hotel bar. Their affair is passionate and carefree, helping to ease the pain of the implosion of his marriage and his wife’s infidelity, but their love persists in the face of their estrangement, and eventually, they reunite, putting the past behind them.
Will continues to struggle with his demons. One night he finds himself in the diner where Kathy works, and that chance encounter (in which he saves her from an aggressive group of customers) is the spark of a new, redemptive romance. They find in each other all that has been missing in their lives.
As for Lynn, though at first she’s consumed with hatred for Abby (who is herself pregnant), she forgives the doctor, who invites Lynn to stay in her home. Their relationship is a complicated one, made more so by their mutual attraction to each other, and soon they, too, experience a healing kind of love. When Abby eventually gives birth, Lynn takes up the role of second parent, and they promise to raise the child together.
There is one more character in the novel who, though deceased, looms large over all of them, and is the lynchpin through which their stories are miraculously connected. Lt. Col. Baxter Montgomery – father to London, commanding officer to Will, colleague of Kathy’s deceased son (killed in action). Manny, too, is distantly linked to him – not directly, but Manny’s own beloved sister perished in the war, and Manny maintains an intense reverence for servicemembers everywhere.
The road is a winding, difficult one, but in the end, the protagonists find redemption.