Cover Image: Golden Hour

Golden Hour

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A bit late with this review but I was glad I finally got to this title. A well written story, filled with a lot op depth and emotional growth. I liked how PTSD was explored and not glossed over. The story moved along at a good pace and the characters are well formed and realistic.

Was this review helpful?

Lina is in the Army and has served in the Middle East. She goes from her home in New Jersey to North Carolina to be by herself. Her friends want her to come home, but Lina is determined to be by herself dealing with PTSD and the death of her friend Brit in Afghanistan. Lina thinks she is broken and not relationship material. Lina meets Regan but is afraid of showing too much of herself. The plot is very good and the characters surrounding Lina make for a good story. I re4commend this book for romance readers. I received this ARC from Net Galley for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Lovely story of struggle and taking life back.
I loved both characters and the fact that neither gave up on the other was moving.
It has a lot of PTSD, memories that are not pleasant, and bad choices in general.
I loved the fact that all that was analyzed and put behind to create new future.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Bella Books and Net Galley for an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I say this all the time it seems but this is the first time reading anything by Kat Jackson.

I'm not to sure how I feel about this book exactly. The writing is well done. For the most part I do like the main character Lina. I like her battle buddy Keeley. I like her best friend Caitlin although I like Caitlin's girlfriend and Lina's friend Mallory more. I think the author spends too much time in the past bemoaning the breakup and state of an affair with a presumably straight married woman who doesn't reciprocate in bed. Lina's affair with Lt Candice Barrows irritated me. Why she had such intense feelings for a woman who won't return her feelings, and this seems to be a pattern of Lina's to choose women like this, befuddled me. Her episodes of PTSD are pretty frequent in the beginning, although we don't learn what event took place that causes the PTSD until too late in the book in my opinion. We get a really vivid, realistic picture of it in a scene about the 4th of July. This is really when things really do begin with Regan and Lina. Previously we meet Regan at the Farmer's market and then they are working at the hospital together but really starting to get to know each other begins kind of during and after the 4th of July scene. It takes until almost 70% of the book before Lina and Regan start to get to know each other. As I'm finally reading that part of the book it's like I sigh and say finally we are at the part of the book I've been waiting all this time to get to and finally we are at the good parts. The ending 30% of the novel is my favorite part and the ending made me smile.

So would I recommend this book? I think yes because of the last third of the book but I'm pretty sure I won't be picking up this title to reread and that is a benchmark for me—whether I see myself wanting to reread a title or not. I will give the author another try to see if I feel differently about another book with a different premise.

Was this review helpful?

This is not a romance per se. It is more a book about 18-year Army veteran, Lina Ragelis, who is closed off and keeps her distance from everyone in order to avoid being calling weak. She suffers from almost nightly nightmares and hates belng startled by anything or anyone. she is on a TDY assignment to Kitty Hawk and mts ??? who somehow slides beneath her walls and settles into Lina’s heart. When the fourth of July fireworks drive her back to Afghanistan to relive the suicide bomber who changed her life and not for the better. During one brief moment of semi-clarity during a particularly vivid episode, Lina calls Regan, who rushes to her side. While Lina does not label herself as suffering from PTSD until late in the book, most readers will pick up on it from the beginning.

If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to suffer from PTSD, read this book. Jackson puts her readers into Lina’s mind as she suffers through episode after episode of PTSD-driven feelings of inadequacy and utter terror.

While Jackson’s novel is not a romance, there are romantic elements in it. Jackson’s main character suffers from a condition few of us can even imagine and does a good job of it, but at the expense of developing Lina into a fully realized character.

My thanks to Bella Books and NetGalley for an eARC.

Was this review helpful?

Lina Ragelis served in the US Army with honor but after leaving the army she has seemed to make it a career out of not having any kind of relationship. Now her best friends are after her to open herself up to the possibility of love. Caitlin has known Lina forever it seemed but it’s not until she enlists the help of her own girlfriend, Mallory.
Dealing with PTSD has been something she’d tried to conquer on her own. But she’s now seeing a therapist or I should say visiting her Doctor online. Lina has decided she needs a change so she took a friend's invitation to spend time at his cottage. It’s there she meets up with Regan, a nurse working at the local hospital.
With some twists and turns, along with a few laughs and tears we have ourselves a really nice read. Very, very enjoyable.
ARC via NetGalley/ Bella Books

Was this review helpful?

While writing my comments, I listened to the song Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves. What a beautiful song and an attractive woman. Just saying. I do love me some sun set and sun rise. Lina Ragelis, lab tech in the the US Army dealing with PTSD, family stuff and avoiding love. There is so much to like about Regan. She is a nurse with a caring heart and understands the value and importance of the golden hour. The read is in the third person. It took me a moment to get in the swing and then I had to keep the friends straight. Lina's best friend Catlin and her partner Mallory were so supportive and encouraging. This is a tough read with some real life issues. The butch/butch dynamic was interesting and not something I see much in lesbian reads. I thought it fit really well in this story.

Was this review helpful?

Rapidly becoming one of my favourite Lesbian authors, she writes intelligent books that explore more than just a romance. In this one we have the story of Lina who is struggling with PTSD from her last tour in Afghanistan, she has excepted to the coast for peace and quiet but just ahead of the 4th of July it's anything but. I thought her character was well developed and her PTSD portrayed well and realistically. I also enjoyed her friends who are trying to be supportive from afar. When she meets Regan at a farmers market, she proves to offer the gentle understanding Lina needs if she can allow herself to accept it. Giving hope to anyone who needs to know that you can find a trauma informed partner.

With thanks to Netgalley and to the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I really like Kat Jackson's writing style and this is the third novel I've read of hers. Golden Hour revolves around Lina, who is currently still serving in the US Army. Due to her experience serving, she has developed PTSD and this story unpacks her experience with PTSD quite a lot. At times, this book is quite heavy to read, but I still really enjoyed it. Her love interest, Regan, is possibly the sweetest character I've read in quite a while. She's so incredibly patient and kind, and due to this their romance is absolutely lovely to follow.

Although I'm not usually a fan of flashbacks, I think Kat Jackson uses them well in this novel. I'm also so happy Lina got her own story, who we are introduced as a side character in Across the Hall. Although her story went a different way than I anticipated, I still really enjoyed getting to know her more.

I'm looking forward to reading more from Jackson in the future.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bella Books for a copy of this novel. ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Kat Jackson has written another excellent book! If you've not already, check some of her other books out.
Golden hour is no exception, I love her writing style and her books have ‘drawn’ me in.

This story focuses on Lina, a veteran, who struggles with trauma, and PTSD. She struggles with the world and her emotions and keeps her circle small. The storyline is more drama based with romance and dips back into her past a few times.

I enjoyed the Golden hour, it wasn't full of angst, although, I do wish there were more ‘sparkes’ between Lina and Regan.

I've given the Golden Hour a 3.7 out of 5.

I'd love to see a sequel 😃

Was this review helpful?

This was a well written beautiful heart felt story, I loved how Kat writing addressed Lina PTSD, it really gave the story depth, Well done!! I recommend 4.5 stars

I received an ARC copy from the publisher Bella Books via NetGalley for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

3.75 stars. It’s hard to describe this book and my feelings about it. This was the first book by Jackson that I read and it won’t be my last, even though I had to get used to the writing style. Personally, I would not classify this book as a romance. It’s quite a tough read and I would classify it under drama or the road to self-healing in which a romance plays a part. Lina, the MC, has PTSD, she doesn’t acknowledge this herself though, and is therefore getting deeper and deeper in a psychological and emotional black hole.

As mentioned, I had to get used to the writing style. Third person, one POV is not my favorite and the narrative felt chaotic at the start. This also largely due to Lina’s state of mind. Once I got used to it I appreciated the writing. The first half of the book had its ups and downs for me. Obviously, the theme is not light, but thoughts were jumbled and there were many flashbacks, some I found interesting and important to the story, others like the romance with Candice (that you know is a crash and burn from the start) couldn’t really capture my attention. I was also not certain how much I liked Lena herself.

In the second half of the book the romance between Lina and Regan takes off. The storyline shifts more to the present and this part of the book made it for me. Largely because of Regan, she is the best, what a wonderful and patient character, and she is the perfect match for the wounded Lina. Also, in the second part Lina becomes more comfortable in her own skin and I liked seeing her heal (I also liked her as a person better). The (sort of) butch-butch paring was a nice detail, something that Lina seemed to struggle a bit with herself.

Lina and her friends Caitlin and Mallory make their appearance in the book “Across the Hall” which I have not read (something I did not realize as I like to read books in order), but I could follow it easily. I do want to note that the names in this book were very confusing for me, they were too much alike (Caitlin, Carolyn, and Candice) and I kept mixing them up.

All in all, this book is definitely not the average romance, it captured my attention and I especially liked the second half a great deal. I can recommend this if you’re looking for that slightly messy emotional read.

<i>I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.</i>

Was this review helpful?

Too dark, too slow. I was 53% into the story and still nothing much was happening. Just Lina moaning over past deployments and an affair with a married woman. And then there's the endless nightmares that don't make any sense to the reader and Lina won't talk about them to her psychiatrist. I was something was going to brighten up after Regan appeared but then that just dragged on and Lina kept being weird. If J was Regan I would have avoided Lina.
Not my cup of gea.

Was this review helpful?

Lina isn’t sure what she expects to happen when she leaves New Jersey for Kitty Hawk, North Carolina for eleven months. She just knows she needs a change. If only she could run away from herself and the nightmares that plague her existence. She can’t call it what it is because that would make it too real. She never plans on someone like Regan coming into her life. Regan, who is unlike anyone Lina has ever known and may be exactly the person she’s always needed.

This is my first Kat Jackson book and it will certainly not be my last. PTSD is not an easy subject to tackle, but Jackson handles the subject with sensitivity and while doing so brings to life a heartbreaking character who I am certain not to forget. Using flashbacks to Lina’s time in the military complete the picture of how Lina has got to this point. And her sessions with her therapist shows how far she has to go to pull herself out of the darkness.

Fortunately for Lina, she has a wonderfully supportive group of friends, her best friend Caitlin and her gf Mallory, from Jackson’s earlier book, Across the Hall and her military pal, Keeley. But it’s the ray of sunshine that is Regan, who comes along at exactly the right moment, and shows Lina that her failed relationships may be a thing of the past, if she can accept that she deserves to be treated well.

I became invested in this story and in Lina immediately. I wanted to reach in and just give her a hug. There are so many veterans who suffer from PTSD and only a few brave authors have dared to write about it. I applaud Kat Jackson for writing this book. This is a subject that isn’t easy but in ignoring its existence, we do a disservice to all those who risked their lives for our freedom, who suffer from PTSD. Golden Hour is more than a story of a character trying to cope with her past, it is a book that is laced with laugh out loud moments, beautiful coastal views and characters who will stay with you long after you have read the last page.

An ARC was received from Bella Books via NetGalley for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This is a story about Army veteran Lina who is still on active duty working in a research lab. She has spent 2 tours in Afghanistan and 1 in Syria. She suffers from PTSD and has terrible nightmares. While working in North Carolina she meets Regan who is an RN at a local hospital. Regan is super sweet and kind and help ms Lina overcome her demons.

This was a book filled with many flashbacks of Lina’s time in a war zone and with ex partners who treated her poorly. And the third party narration was a bit odd. Overall I liked this book very much and would recommend it. I have a very close family member who served in the Army in Iraq and can relate well to the feelings Lina has. Also having spent time jn North Carolina I really enjoyed the beach house and the beautiful sunsets.

Arc received for a voluntary and honest review from Bella Books via NetGalley.

Was this review helpful?

This is a new to me author. And after checking GR I know why. I must say this story wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, I think it surpassed my expectations, but it wasn’t the easiest read. That goes for both the subject and the writing.

Lina is a character you just hope gets it right but she has trouble dealing with, or even admitting she has, PTSD. The way this story is told borders on clinical retelling sometimes and it was hard for me to get into. The chapter, or partial chapters, that flashback to the reasons for Linda’s PTSD and general behaviour aren’t chronological and come when it suits the present day story, or so it seems. I don’t care for those chapters. I do understand them as a vehicle to get the general feeling across, but maybe it could have been different? Regan is what seems to be the opposite of Lina, aside from them both being on the butch side, she’s this ray of sunshine. We know she’s a nurse, about her best friend, but we don’t learn a lot about her. Just that she is a solid person who Lina can depend on.
Oh, extra points for this butch-butch pairing by the way!
Anyway, what makes this story for me is Regan, she offers quiet support, grounds Lina and leaves me with this overall feeling of contentment I suppose.
I guess that was the author’s intention with this character, but I am not sure it was intended to be so strong, more for a balance.

This book is a little messy, but in a good sorta emotional way. This sentence makes no sense but I’m sticking with it. It’s a captivating read, but not comfortable or easy. It’s good though

Was this review helpful?

When I see a book by this author I just dive right in, I don’t read any synopsis… None are needed because I just know that this book will grab hold of me and keep me turning Pages way until the night, and this book was no exception!

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely lucked into reading Kat Jackson's debut novel, Begin Again, a couple of years ago, and since then she has become one of my favorite authors. Among her now four books, there is not one cookie-cutter or standard trope used, and I have to say it's really refreshing. I can't imagine many other authors out there brave enough to tackle an army PTSD story, especially today, when the definitive series on the subject has already been written and knocked out of the park (I'm looking at you, Emily Noyes). Kat Jackson does it masterfully.

There are so many aspects to Golden Hour that make this a completely different story. Obviously, when a character is dealing with PTSD we have to know what caused the trauma in their earlier life. Jackson intersperses the flashbacks so perfectly well-timed that it's almost impossible to stop reading because we MUST know what happened. The flashbacks are told in past tense, but the present day is told in third person present tense from Lina's POV, and it really works.

The peripheral characters, who are friends and co-workers of the MCs, are extremely well developed. But what I really loved about this book is that Lina and Regan "aren't each others' type", so the friends-to-reluctant-lovers is perfection. I never wanted this book to end.

Was this review helpful?

This is a beautiful book full of joy and heartbreak. Lina, who we met (and I fell love with) in Across The Hall is our protagonist, and Jackson really puts her through the wringer. Reading this genuinely made me cry, but also laugh my ass off at times. Kat Jackson genuinely is one of the most talented authors out there right now.

Was this review helpful?

The Golden Hour surprised and impressed me by its depth and gritty narration. Lina is a veteran and not all is glory. Even as a lab technician she payed a steep price. With great skill Jackson immerses the reader into Lina‘s mental struggles. We are taken on a fascinating journey. With flashbacks to the past and revisiting former relationships this story feels like an adult coming of age story: Lina cleans house inside and outside. The budding romance is delicate and far from insta-love or the trite ‚love heals all‘. Love becomes incrementally part of Lina‘s journey.
This is not always an easy read but so rewarding. I loved how Jackson lets us experience Lina’s struggles „first hand“. The character development is excellent. The darker aspects were balanced by the setting and sun-setting of the story in the Outer Banks, the caring of Lina‘s friends (cameo-appearances from Across The Hall) and the slow emergence of a new life and love. An excellent and compelling read.

Was this review helpful?