Wounded by Jasinda Wilder
Date of Publishing :December 16th, 2012
Genres: Romance, Adult, Contemporary
My Rating: ★★★★★
War has taken everything from me. My family. My home. My innocence. In a country blasted by war and wracked by economic hardship, a young orphan girl like me has very few options when it comes to survival. Thus, I do what I must to live, to eat, and I try very hard to not consider the cost to my soul. My heart is empty, and my existence brutal.
The one impossibility in my life is love.
And then I meet HIM.
War is hell. It takes a chunk out of a man’s very soul to do the kinds of things war demands of you. You live with fear, you live with guilt, and you live with nightmares. If you haven’t been through it, there’s no understanding it. War leaves no room for love, no room for tenderness or softness. You gotta be hard, closed off, and ready to fight every moment of every day. Lose focus for a split second, and you’re dead.
Now the only thing that can save me is HER.
Sometimes you read a book and know. You just know. This one is going to destroy you and slowly, torturously put you back together. It’s going to change your life. You’re going to measure other books by this one and you’re going to curse up to high heavens when they disappoint.
And you’re going to remember this book—and every thing about it—for a long, long time.
Wounded is such a book. Reading it was a revelation and while I didn’t cry, I felt like I had a sock down my throat the entire time.
Wounded begins in 1993 in Iraq. A young girl Rania is left with dead parents and uncle, a catatonic aunt and a brother impatient to join the war that is going on. And in that situation, in that one moment, Rania commits a sin that will haunt her for years to come.
A little while later, we see how Rania is starving and desperate with hunger, willing to sell the only thing anyone will buy—her body. She loathes it, hates the fact that she has become a commonplace whore, detests that Allah has not helped her when she needed it most and this bitterness festers in her heart as she takes on a new identity—Sabah.
Fast forward ten years, and Sabah has created a “reputation” for herself. She sells her body not for bread anymore, but for money. She still hates it, but with no other way to keep herself alive, this is what she has resigned herself to be doing for the rest of her life.
And then she finds Hunter Lee, an injured American Marine, and there starts her journey of salvation.
Hunter Lee. Best friend to Derek, a fellow Marine. Cheated on by his girlfriend.
And captivated by this beautiful angel who, unable to let him die, brings him back to her home and heals him.
Hunter quickly realizes the sacrifice Rania has to make to survive. It troubles him, fills him with an anger he can’t justify and his jealousy almost destroys him—but he never, not once, judges Rania for it. His protective instincts swell to a point where he kills a “client” who abuses Rania.
He wants to protect me. He sees me hurt, and there is pain in his eyes, anger for me. He does not know me. He doesn’t not truly speak my language, nor I his.
While a part of him breaks every time Rania leaves him and steps out, he anticipates the time they spend together—each teaching the other their language.
And that is another thing that I loved about this book. The language barrier should be such a huge problem—but it is handled in a way so real, I can actually believe it would happen that way.
Ms. Wilder has created a story that isn’t just that—a story. A piece of fiction. No, it’s the sad reality of many girls in war-torn areas. Hell, you don’t even need to be in a country where there is war for you to be living a life of hell. And this reality is shoved into your face in Wounded.
And what can I even say about the writing? There’s more soul in this book than any other book I’ve read in this genre. The attention to detail. The feeling of being right there in that situation with Hunter and Rania. Everything, everything was pure perfection.
Any scene between Hunter and Rania, I felt like I was invading their privacy. And I won’t even talk about the smut. The descriptions, the feelings, the pure intimacy of that moment…god. I felt like such a voyeur.
This book had me intrigued from the synopsis itself, but nothing, nothing, could have prepared me for the excellence that is this book. Go do yourself a favor and read it.
About the Author
Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading.