500 Miles by Parker Williams (4 Stars)

Sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants, and a smart man will listen to it.

Mark might be a young teenager, but he’s old enough to know that he loves Jase, his older brother’s best friend. When Mark’s brother and Jase leave for the war, Mark sends them wonderful care packages. In return, they send him cassette tapes with music and nice messages. One unfortunate day, the cassette bears a sad message, and Mark’s life changes. But his heart doesn’t.

The entire story is told from Mark’s point of view, which worked very well with this plot. Since Mark was too young before Jase left, we are presented with what appears to be an unrequited crush. Jase is a sweetheart who is always looking out for the younger Mark, including letting him tag along all of the time. Mark is sweet and loving, which is proven over and over again through his actions. Since you’re dealing with the nasty after-effects of war, there were some really sad parts to this story. I thought the epilogue was really sweet.

If you enjoy the concept of having one true love and watching how that love can help a person cope with a tragedy, then I think you’ll like this very romantic and memorable story.

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Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

BLURB

Since he was fourteen, Mark knew he loved Jase, his brother Eric’s best friend. As Jase and Eric leave for the Army, Jase leaves Mark something to hold onto, but when the two men are shipped to Kuwait, things change when Jase tells Mark he’s met someone.

Confused and hurt, Mark is left to wonder what happened. Eric returns, but with devastating news – and needing Mark’s help. Can Mark help the man who broke his heart? Or will he let Jase push him away – for the second time?

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