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MILITARY BOOKS

Elizabeth Ashtree

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Elizabeth Ashtree was a United States Army servicemember assigned to the Judge Advocate General between 1984 and 1986. Elizabeth Ashtree is the author of The Child Comes First; An Officer and a Hero; A Captain’s Honor; A Marriage of Majors; The Colonel and the Kid; and, Into Thin Air.

According to the book description of The Child Comes First, “Trial attorney Simon Montgomery rarely loses a case. But when an eleven-year-old girl stands accused of murder, the courtroom superstar faces his toughest challenge. The child's social worker, Jayda Kavanagh, thinks it's open and shut: her client didn't do it. And Jayda will stop at nothing to prove her innocence. Jayda isn't the only one who's bonding with the young girl. While he fights to win her freedom, Simon moves ahead with plans to adopt her. It means dredging up his own painful past. Coming clean about his growing feelings for Jayda. But Jayda's harboring a secret of her own--a secret that could affect their future together. And the child's.”

 

Harriet Klausner said of The Child Comes First, “In Baltimore, the state accuses eleven-year-old Tiffany Thompson of willfully killing three-year-old Derek Baldridge. The Third Circuit Court judge ruled that the preadolescent will be tried as an adult because of the shocking homicide and the accused documented history of violence. Attorney Simon Montgomery is assigned the pro bono case in which a public defender failed to get the venue changed back to Juvenile Court. Other court rulings handled poorly by his predecessor further hampers his ability to mount a strong defense.

Meanwhile social worker Jayda Kavanagh totally believes Tiffany did not kill the younger child. She demands the new lawyer do a better job than the previous one did. As Jayda and Simon begin to fall in love, both are also charmed by the young girl on trial. However, besides understanding THE CHILD COMES FIRST, all three have issues to overcome if relationships are to forge permanently.

This entertaining romantic legal thriller works because the lead couple of this aptly titled tale focuses on defending the child over their attraction. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Derek picks up the pro bono defense of Tiffany and never slows down as he struggles with issues left by the previous lawyer, his client's history and brooding reluctance to speak, and his desire for Jayda. Her idealism matches his skepticism as fans will enjoy this fine contemporary.”

Harriet Klausner said of Into Thin Air, “The G3 Logistics officer Captain Kelsey O'Roarke is inside an isolated warehouse on Fort Belvoir when she hears strange noises from the machinery. She investigates only to find a soldier where he should not be. As she goes to help him down, a shot is fired; the soldier falls thirty feet to the ground; his blood is everywhere. Kelsey is knocked unconscious with a blow to the head.

Later that evening a bewildered Kelsey explains to Criminal Investigation Division Major Julian Fordham what happened, but no corpse or other evidence is at the crime scene. Last year Kelsey and Julian dated; the kisses were incredible, but also carried a forever stipulation that scared the CID cop away. Kelsey knows she still trusts him with her heart and soul let alone her life, so he reluctantly agrees to investigate though he expects to find nothing out of the ordinary. Neither expected what they find which places their lives in danger from killers and their hearts from one another.

INTO THIN AIR is an intriguing military police romantic mystery in which readers know Kelsey witnessed a murder, but Julian firmly believes she banged her head and imagined the whole thing. The story line is fast-paced when it concentrates on the present; when the plot looks back at last year's relationship fiasco it seems out of step because Julian who has all the doubts resolves them too easily. Still following the lead couple tries to solve the military murder mystery provides a fine R&R for readers.”

 

C. Penn of WordWeaving said of The Colonel and the Kid, “Colonel Viktor Baturnov arrives in the United States prepared to spend a month learning supply movement techniques at the Pentagon. He doesn't share his hidden agenda, which involves flying his son into the United States for heart surgery. His superiors would not appreciate his manipulations that put him in the United States endeavoring to aid his son. He finds himself immediately drawn to the protocol officer acting as his escort, but Viktor cannot allow himself to be distracted. Perhaps if he keeps his actions professional and courteous, she'll aid him if he asks for help.

 

Someone has been toying with Captain Natalie Wentworth's assignments, and, consequently, her career. She ordinarily deals with generals, ambassadors and heads of states, leaving assignments like this one to lesser officers. Instead, she's currently assigned to a Colonel with a secret, and she wants to know what that secret is. Sympathy, however, could easily compromise her career. Soon she finds herself choosing between love and duty, requiring that she reevaluate both her priorities and her goals.

 

THE COLONEL AND THE KID by Elizabeth Ashtree will tug at readers' hearts. While a little slow in the beginning, the pace increases in relationship to the pressures on these dynamic characters from separate worlds. The pressure created by the child's illness, and the willingness to sacrifice anything to save him becomes a strong motivation to bring two military people from opposite sides of the world together. Secondary characters are also vividly realized, with a well meaning mother whose frequent phone calls seem timed to drive Natalie crazy. Another delightful secondary character nicknamed Angel will likewise capture readers' hearts. Indeed, she deserves her own book with her infectious personality and daring. Ashtree's resolution to the conflict doesn't disappoint, making THE COLONEL AND THE KID a terrific read.”

One reader of An Officer and a Hero said, “Capt. Kaitlin McCord is the newest JAG lawyer on base. Daniel Wilson is the first man she meets who both attracts and intrigues her. She admits to herself and to him very early on that she would like to get to know him better and explore the attraction. Unfortunately, Daniel is an enlisted man and the Army doesn't allow fraternization between officers and enlisted personnel. Especially not when the enlisted man is a legal specialist and falls directly within the officer's chain of command.

Kaitlin and Daniel understand that they are off-limits to each other and make several attempts to respect the boundaries the Army has established. They manage (not without some struggle) until a personal tragedy in Daniel's life brings Kaitlin to his side, into his bed and right on into his heart. I can't say much more about the plot without giving away too much. Let me just say, that from this point, this book has a long way to go until the end. Most of it is very, very good.

Some of it is a little rough and pressed my ability to suspend disbelief. Kaitlin is a little too naive about a couple of things. I felt it took her too long to figure out a permanent solution to there fraternization difficulties - the same solution I had come up with within the first couple of chapters. She also resisted realizing who the villain was for too long when that, too, was fairly obvious (and should have been even more so to a lawyer).

These things detracted only slightly from my enjoyment of the story. I'm glad. I would hate to have given up before the end, because the last 75-100 pages of this book are spectacular. They go well beyond the scope of many category romances and they showcase Kaitlin and Daniel to perfection. I wish I could say more, but there's just no way without revealing too much. Ms. Ashtree will only get better and I only hope she plans to give us more military romances. They'll be worth reading. This one surely was.”


The Child Comes First (Harlequin Superromance)
Elizabeth Ashtree  More Info

A Captain's Honor : In Uniform (Harlequin Superromance No. 1089)
Elizabeth Ashtree  More Info

A Marriage of Majors : In Uniform (Harlequin Superromance No. 1216)
Elizabeth Ashtree  More Info

An Officer and a Hero: In Uniform (Harlequin Superromance No. 828)
Elizabeth Ashtree  More Info

The Colonel and the Kid: In Uniform (Harlequin Superromance No. 1036)
Elizabeth Ashtree  More Info

Into Thin Air: In Uniform (Harlequin Superromance No. 1264)
Elizabeth Ashtree  More Info

Harriet Klausner said of A Marriage of Majors, “Major Kristen Clark looks forward to the return of her husband Ranger Major Anthony Gariatano who has been in Afghanistan for about eighteen months. Anthony has not even met his daughter Amy born after he left. While capturing enemy combatants, a terrorist Taaouen warns Anthony that he will kill him and his family one day before fleeing into the caves. Not long afterward, an explosion rocks Anthony's unit killing several and severely wounding Anthony. He physically recovers in a hospital but the scars on his face go deeper as he mentally has not recovered from the trauma and expects to divorce Kristen.

Kristen realizes that her beloved is not the same man. She offers comfort, but he rejects her and frightens their daughter who looked forward to seeing daddy. As he pushes Kristen towards divorce, fulfilling his prophesy, Anthony realizes that Taaouen's threat was not idle and now he must protect the two females he loves so much that he plans to still give up both of them because they deserve better.

Though why the hero was not evacuated to Germany for better care is not fully explained, fans will enjoy this fine military romance. The tale salutes the soldiers and family members for their sacrifices. The exciting story line is filled with angst as a somewhat broken Anthony feels he is no longer suitable for the two females who desperately want him in their lives and behaves accordingly in a Pygmalion Effect way. Fans will appreciate this solid relationship drama with the terrorist serving as either a widowmaker or matchmaker depending on who triumphs.”

One reader of A Captain’s Honor said, “Chief Warrant Officer Rachel Southwell has been offered a position in the Pentagon which will bring her closer to home and her parents.  Yet her assignment has as much danger as a war zone. Captain Nathan Fordham is getting advise from his brother, Julian in CID on what methods to use to entrap the abusive General Donner. He hopes to have Rachel's help in getting the evidence needed to bring down the two star General.

The trouble is that the General could ruin both of their careers or even have them shipped out of the country. Nathan has emotional baggage from his own father's neglect and Rachel has issues with men and their staying power. She has learned to depend on no one other than herself.  With her father recovering from a stroke and her mother needing help she doesn't want to cross the General too strongly but the tension of waiting for Donner to make advances was telling on her.

Nathan was determined to watch Rachel's back but Donner kept sending him on other errands. [sneaky little devil] Of course the General's wife was no help at all. She liked the status quo.  Then there was Allison, Rachel wanted to protect her from Donner.  And Donner was a puzzle - exhibiting little signs that Rachel failed to pick up on when they were in Hawaii - though she did make a life threatening jump to get away from him. They unexpectedly bumped into Senator Zemin when she was least expected, which displeased General Donner.  Quite an intriguing story - really neat characters, especially Adam-Ant - decently paced action - confused hormones [again] - what a way to end.”

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