3 out of 4 stars
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Ramona’s Man begins with Ramona searching for the perfect date for her parent’s Christmas party. Angry with her father for having driven away the only man she loved (because he didn’t earn the required $100,000 per year), Ramona decides it’s time to get even. For this perfect date, she drives to the homeless shelter and chooses Harley. He is wearing over-sized sweats, an ill-fitting flannel shirt, and a ski cap, in an attempt to contain his long and unruly hair. Perfect!
At the party, Ramona introduces Harley as her boyfriend and relishes in the startled looks that she garners from her parents’ friends and business associates. But when her dad has a heart attack at the party, Harley’s medic training kicks in, and he is credited with saving her dad’s life. When Ramona shaves Harley’s beard, trims his hair, and outfits him in more stylish clothing, she soon begins to see him as more than just her homeless date.
Meanwhile, Harley is dealing with flashbacks from his military tour in Afghanistan, as a lieutenant in covert operations. Although he volunteered for “The Ultimate Warrior Project,” he was unaware that expertise and training from other soldiers were removed from their memory and planted into his. Once the project was terminated, someone who arranged for Harley to die in Afghanistan has just learned that he is very much alive. Will this person manage to locate Harley and terminate him for good? Will her parents end Ramona’s romance with someone deemed as unsuitable as Harley?
In the beginning, I thought this book would strictly be a romance that began in a most unusual way. Then the mysterious aspect of “The Ultimate Warrior Project” kicked in and took this story to another level. That was probably what I liked most about the novel, as I never saw the project drama or its consequences coming. At just over 250 pages, this book quickly became a page-turner for me. I could not wait to see what would happen with the unlikely pair and how they would fare against Ramona’s family, as well as those tracking Harley down.
Yoder did a thorough job of developing the personalities of both Ramona and Harley. By delving into their backgrounds, the reader can understand their fears as well as their choices. This effort resulted in more believable and relatable characters. Additionally, the author made the plot and scenes so believable, that readers will feel as if they are accompanying Ramona and Harley along on their journey. Revenge and forgiveness take their turns as the overall themes of this novel.
My biggest disappointment of the book was that I discovered more than ten errors. However, they were not significant enough to detract from my enjoyment of this story. So in the end, I award Ramona’s Man by D. L. Yoder 3 out of 4 stars. It was too unique, humorous, and fast-paced for me to award any less.
This book will appeal to those who love a good romance, a thriller, or a bit of a mystery. Readers who do not fall under either of these genres may wish to look further. The absence of curse words in this novel will appeal to many readers also. The author would state a phrase such as “he swore loudly” to cover any perceived need for profanity. Additionally, this novel was void of any sex scenes or graphic violence, rendering it appropriate for a broad audience. If romance, humor, and a dose of mystery appeal to you, you will find it all in this book. Christians will also enjoy the spiritual component in this engaging story.
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