Dana reviews Grounded (Cookies, Book 2) by Teodora Kostova ( Self-published January 13, 2019. 305 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this: I have read a few books by this author and have enjoyed them. While this book is labeled as a standalone, the main characters both played a large part in the book Cookies by Teodora Kostova. I had been wanting to find out what happened to them, so I was excited to read this book. To read my review of Cookies, click here.
Book title: Grounded
Series: sequel to Cookies but can be read as a stand-alone
Release date: 17 January 2019
Cover photo: Varian Krylov at Strangeland Photography
Cover Design: Jay Aheer at Simply Defined Art
A chance encounter.
A passionate night.
An intense connection.
When medical student Shane Sanford and RAF pilot Greg Becker meet the air between them sizzles with mutual attraction. There’s nothing holding them back as they give in to their desire. But once their paths lead them into a different direction, neither of them can forget the intense connection they’d shared.
When fate brings them together again a year later, they have a choice to make: try and make a long-distance relationship work or let this be a one-night stand again.
With war, tragedy and fear standing in their way, can Shane and Greg overcome the challenges life keeps throwing their way? Is their bond strong enough to survive?
Is love enough?
I remember really enjoying the book Cookies but I had been surprised at the low angst factor considering one of the characters was a veteran with an amputation. The way that character, Amir, had mostly pulled himself together was explained in this book Grounded. Grounded is a stand-alone novel that begins before Cookies and runs alongside it. There are some repeated conversations in this book that also took place in Cookies but from another person’s perspective. This book also seems to take place after the ending of Cookies but a big event that happened in Cookies isn’t mentioned and I don’t know if the author didn’t think it was important or thought that the character of Shane was too wrapped up in his own head to make a big deal of it. It was just suspicious to me.
If Cookies was low angst, then Grounded had some to spare. Greg is a Royal Air Force pilot. When we first see him, it is apparent that he didn’t have a good relationship with his family but not really why. I would have liked a little more information but it didn’t really feel that important to me. Greg’s biggest love is flying. There are parts of his job that he really doesn’t like, like dropping bombs near innocent civilians. It tears him up and makes him angry at his commanding officers, but he can’t stand the idea of not flying so he does what he’s told. Shane is a doctor whose brother served in the military and came back injured and suffering from PTSD. His brother’s untimely death is the reason Shane opens a Veteran’s center.
Both guys are very attracted to each other and their chemistry is explosive and immediate, but the timing never seems to be right for them. Shane is busy at work, and Greg is often deployed. There is a lot of back and forth with the two guys trying to move on, but ultimately they are always drawn back together. Eventually, they decide to commit even though they know they won’t be together physically. It definitely seems like they are meant to be together and I really love them as a couple, but their relationship is a painful process. Greg isn’t able to come home when he thought he would, there are attacks on his base, and when he does make it home, Shane sees him falling into the same depression as his brother had. They might only want each other but it is an angsty ride.
Overall, I really liked the book. Shane and Greg are good characters. Amir and Jay from Cookies appear often and it is interesting to see the relationship dynamics between Amir and his two friends Shane and Greg. There are a few new characters that I really want to learn more about, too. Evan who served with Greg, and Seth who is a patient of Shane’s. They were both sweet and intriguing characters that I definitely want to see more of. I definitely hope the author plans on expanding this series. Despite the few plot holes that I mentioned in the first paragraph, I really loved this story. I was sucked into the romance and the action scenes. I would definitely recommend the book.
8.5/10 Pots of Gold (85% Recommended) – Compares to 4.25/5 Stars
Teodora is a bestselling, award winning author writing across genres, but has a soft spot for contemporary romance. As a passionate and vocal supporter of equal rights, LGBTQ+ themes are explored in most of her novels. A Creative Writing and English graduate, Teodora began writing full length novels in college, but only got the courage to show some of them to the world long after she graduated. She’s now been published by several publishers in five languages, and has attended book signings around the world. She loves travelling, and her wanderlust has inspired several of her novels. Her other passion is musical theatre and she can often be found in London’s West End trying to score a last minute ticket for a musical.
When she’s not writing, Teodora loves watching anime, rearranging her enormous bookshelves or walking around London, always looking for a cosy, quirky coffee shop to settle in with her Kindle and a cup of tea.