FTC Review Disclosure


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lost and Found series by J.M. Madden & Wounded Warrior Ramble.

A little background before I get into what I really want to talk about. Author J.M. Madden has three books out currently in her Lost and Found series. The books are about a group of military veterens with various handicaps that work for a security company. The company is founded by three men, whom you meet in the prequel, The Embattled Road. Sure, you can skip this book and understand the series but I really advise against it. The prequel showed you the struggle of the LNF founders as they began the road to recovery from injury. This insight makes the rest of the series better, in my opinion.

Book 1, Embattled Hearts, is John and Shannon's story. John is in a wheelchair from an incomplete spinal cord injury.

Book 2, Embattled Minds, is Zeke and Ember. Zeke has major scarring to his face and a brain injury that causes a stutter.

PTSD is a common problem they all deal with. My favorite character has not gotten his book yet but I am eager to see the women who shows him loosing a leg didn't mean he lost anything else.

I am not doing a full review but I have included links to the books for you to check out and scoring the series.

Forbidden Fruit Rating

Now that I whizzed through the review, what could I possibly planning to say? I. Love. J.M. Madden.
This series speaks to me. Sure, we read the books with the super hot guy and blah blah blah. It's romance, no one wants to read about the slob who forgot to shower. Are the heroes in the LNF series good looking? Sure. John has great upper body strength, Zeke is scarred but still very fit, a disability doesn't make them unattractive. Madden portrays them realistically though. John's lower body is understandbly not in the same condition as his upper body. You cannot exercise limbs that don't move that well. Zeke' scars are pretty harsh. She doesn't say he is scarred and then describe him with a small little nothing injury. He is really beat up. That won't change. In romance novels, the measure of a man can get wrapped up in his looks and not so much on who he is.

Madden sets the bar higher for her heroes.

The heroines are not left on the sidelines. She demands more of them as well. Ember gets mad at Zeke for having surgery because it will change he face she fell in love with. The horribly scarred face. He would still be scarred so why go through it when she loves that face. She loves that face because it belongs to that man. Both Shannon and Ember scold the men for even hinting that they might pity them. What's to pity? A soldier who fought for his country and was wounded. That is a strong man. We don't pity strong men.

Now to discuss the difference between empathy and pity. The heroines do not pity the heroes but they have empathy for them. The dictionary lists pity as: 
1. sympathetic sorrow for one suffering, distressed, or unhappy. 
2. something to be regretted. 
The person being pitied sees definition number two, not number one. That is why I am not using the word pity. It has a bad connotation that it does not deserve. 

What's empathy, then?
Empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. 

Break that down. To understand, be aware of and sensitive to another's feelings of experiences. It is a fine line. Pity makes you want to help the man in the wheelchair get onto the bed. Empathy makes you question if he wants your help. Pity, we do because we feel bad and want to make something right. Empathy, we wonder if in the same situation how would we want others to treat us.There is nothing wrong with pity, the person feeling pity is not wrong to feel it. Just like the person being pitied is not wrong to want to be treated like they are not somehow in need of your help. No one said any of it made sense. 

My mother is handicap. She's the strongest person I know. 
There is a veteran at the gym I go to who is a double amputee. He can do things in the weight room that put the biggest muscle heads to shame. 

What's the point to this loooong ramble? The measure of a man is who he is inside. An Adonis can become hideous once you get to know him. Quasimodo can become beautiful for the same reason. Loyalty, friendship, kindness, selflessness, strength. These qualities are attractive. 

Madden writes strong heroes. Her wounded warriors are smoking hot.  

Wounded Warrior Project. Dedicated to giving back to those who have already given. 

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