Title: Challenge Me
Series: Me: Book Four
Author: Kris Jacen
Publisher: MLR Press
Length: 124 Pages
At a Glance: In the Author’s Note, readers get a feel for how passionate Kris Jacen is about the series. I’m definitely excited about the way this novel ended and am looking forward to the next story in the Me series.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Briar Mason joined the Army to find himself after he believed the lies that had gone around about his best friend, Carter, and his sister. He should have known that Carter wouldn’t do those things but family was family, right? He’ll find out who his real family is when he’s injured and sent back to the states.
Not-telling-you-my-first-name Randolph was about to hit ten years in the Army and had some amazing assignments but one had eluded him until now â€“ Ranger School. Coming from being assigned to the Presidential Salute Battery was going to be the best thing for him since training was emphasized. Should be easy, right?
Briar and Randolph met when Briar had stopped to apologize to Carter and Randolph was in full-on protective mode. Can these two find a middle ground while challenging themselves and each other to be better?
Review: Briar Mason has been seriously injured while on a military assignment where he basically became a hero by saving one of his fellow soldiers. Carter and Siah have gone to the hospital, but they’ve been keeping Briar’s information a secret from the others in their crew. It seems that Carter has the impression the other members of the crew don’t like Briar.
Randolph is chomping at the bit. He doesn’t understand why Briar’s condition and where he is, is being kept from him. Randolph and Briar made a connection that the others aren’t aware of, and Randolph is fuming when he finally arrives at the hospital. He takes charge and sends Carter and Siah home, ready to dedicate his time to Briar. Briar is doing fairly well but has lost a limb and is having seizures, and he needs rehab so he can eventually be fitted for a prothesis. For Briar, it can’t come quick enough because he needs to feel useful again, so he’s set goals for himself—walking again, getting help with his seizures, but most of all, being there for Randolph. But with Randolph getting ready to become a Ranger, he’ll have to leave Briar for ninety days.
Briar is a good guy and wants to pull his own weight and help in any way he can, but when he starts to feel he has nowhere to go, lucky for him Jack is there with a positive outlook. Jack Dillon becomes a friend and a positive influence in both Randolph’s and Briar’s lives. He always has a way of helping his friends, from opening up his home to finding help and even a job for Briar. But even though there’s a tight brotherhood between all these men, they fail at one thing—they really need to open the lines of communication.
I haven’t read any other novels in the Me series yet, so when I started readingChallenge Me, I became curious about Josiah Trent and Carter May. While I was entertained by this book, I also don’t necessarily consider it a standalone either. There’s a connection between the characters that began in Learn with Me, which introduces how they live in the military, their growing relationship, friends and families they meet along the way, and it also reflects on how the conflict between Carter and Briar began. There’s also a little squabble that takes place when Briar and Randolph first meet, and it adds to the conflict with Carter. Plus, there are many great characters who are part of the mil crew, civ crew and heptad that left me intrigued. At first I thought this novel would be more about war, but it’s really about this group of great men and women and how their relationships and friendships come about. There are moments sprinkled with snarky humor and love along with information about the military, military families and how they connect, the Arlington National Cemetery and various sites to see in Washington, DC.
In the Author’s Note, readers get a feel for how passionate Kris Jacen is about the series. I’m definitely excited about the way this novel ended and am looking forward to the next story in the Me series.
You can buy Challenge Me here:
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