For four years, Grace Sullivan wrote to a Marine she never met, and fell in love. But when his deployment ended, so did the letters. Ever since that day, Grace has been coasting, academically and emotionally. The one thing she’s decided? No way is Noah Jackson — or any man — ever going to break her heart again.
Noah has always known exactly what he wants out of life. Success. Stability. Control. That’s why he joined the Marines and that’s why he’s fighting his way — literally — through college. Now that he’s got the rest of his life on track, he has one last conquest: Grace Sullivan. But since he was the one who stopped writing, he knows that winning her back will be his biggest battle yet.
This book had such a wonderful story line. Grace Sullivan was given an assignment in high school. That assignment was to write to a soldier serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Through multiple correspondence, Grace befriended and ultimately fell in love with the young marine, named Noah Jackson. The men of his unit were all jealous of the care packages and letters that Grace mailed overseas.
It started off simple. Hello. How are you? How is the weather? But with no one else to call family or friend in the States, Noah found himself telling Grace about the hardships of his present life, and even his past. He even tells her his biggest fear. But at the end of his deployment he decides to break ties with her. All of Noah’s life he was told he was nobody, and that he would amount to nothing. Joining the Marines was a way to prove to himself and others that he could become successful, and on his own terms. But he is fearful of the real world, and the world’s expectations of him. Afraid of not being good enough was really his biggest fear. He just didn’t know it.
Grace, meanwhile, is at a loss. She has no idea what brought about the sudden end of communication between them. She is torn between feeling hurt and confused, to scanning the crowd for that dark-haired young man she fell in love with. Grappling with her emotions that Noah manipulated and abandoned their friendship, she is angered when she does finally see him, and at the same college she attends.
I really loved this book. It was a sweet and romantic read for those who love HEA. It has its moments of angst and drama that offers the story believability. They overcome the hardships they both face individually when they once again connect, but this time, face to face.
The letters, I think, were my most favorite parts. A soldier with no family, who was given the gift of writing to a pen-pal during war time, was a story that was incredibly touching. I daresay, a tear or two did drop whilst reading those letters. Many thanks to the author for writing a wonderful, feel-good story.
**A copy of Undeclared was provided by the author for this honest review.