Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Straight Reading from the Library: The Goats of Santo Domino by Robert McEvilla

The Goats of Santo Domingo was sent to The Library for review as part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Robert will be awarding a $10 GC To Wild Child Publishing to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You can see the other stops here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/08/virtual-review-tour-goats-of-santo.html.


Whenever John Romero was asked if he was wounded in Vietnam, he always got a confused look when he replied that his eye was lost in Santo Domingo.

A former baseball player with just six weeks left to serve in the army, John's plans for making a comeback are interrupted when his unit is deployed to the Dominican Republic, and he finds himself in a combat situation. While dodging bullets, he meets a beautiful Dominican woman, the aloof, Ramona. She inflames the private passions of the paratroopers that view her from their command post. Romero plots a course to win her affections, but the political intrigue and the carnage in the streets of Santo Domingo conspire to thwart his every move, forcing him to make a drastic decision.


Let me preface this review by saying that this is an interesting book, but it is not a romance. It's primarily a book about war and about its effects on the people involved.

John Romero, with only a short time left on his enlistment, is deployed to the Dominican Republic. Every morning, a mysterious beautiful woman brings a folding chair outside and sits and read for about half an hour. Who is she? Why does she read every day for a short period of time and then disappear back inside her home? All the paratroopers in the unit are intrigued by her, but only John makes it a point to try to get to know her better---and he has his chance when he is ordered to help with food dispersement and is able to help her with her brother, who is in a wheelchair.

Interspersed throughout the book are segments written from Ramona's POV--and we discover why she sits and reads. We also see her interest in John grow throughout the book.

The book is well-written with attention to detail. It gives an insight into the types of things that happen around military actions. The author's bio states he's written short stories for many literary magazines; I have to admit that if I were to categorize this novel, I would place it firmly in the literary "genre." If you are a fan of Nicholas Sparks and/or enjoy books with a military bent, then this book is for you.

For the writing itself, I give this book 4 stars.


Robert McEvilla is a retired stationary engineer who lives in a log cabin in the backwoods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. His short stories have been published in various literary magazines. This is his first novel which is based on his experiences in the Dominican Republic.

Buy the book at Wild Child Publishing and catch up with the author on his website.


  1. Good morning Librarian Judith,
    I am Bob, but you can call me Robert for short. Thank you for having me aboard. I’m looking forward to an exciting day of exchanging comments. I’m all plugged in and ready to go.

  2. The question for the readers:
    My novel, The Goats of Santo Domingo, is a romance set against the backdrop of a forgotten U.S. military operation of the 1960’s.44 U.S .Servicemen lost their lives. 283 were wounded and two were captured by a hostile force. Has anyone ever heard of the American intervention in the Dominican Republic back in 1965?

  3. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing it and the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com

    1. Dear Eva,
      Thank you for your response. I appreciate your comment.