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Morgan McClain and his brother are shipping out to Europe in the last year of WWII. They spend their last night in the States at a USO dance where they meet Liz Stephens. Liz and Morgan immediately feel a connection, despite the fact that Liz is practically engaged to someone else. Complicated circumstances arise, as they do, and Morgan unwittingly finds himself dancing with Liz’s friend, Betty, although he doesn’t know the two women are friends. Betty promises to write him overseas. Flighty Betty asks Liz to help her write to Morgan. She intends to write one letter and be done with him. But when Morgan writes back, Liz receives the letter and can’t get the author out of her head. She continues to write him as Betty throughout the war.
It sounds more complicated than it is. It’s a Cyrano story set in WWII. 3.5 stars.
I liked it. The writing could be more polished, but I liked the characters and cared what happened to them. The snooty non-romance reader inside me would occasionally scoff at the likelihood of some of these events ever happening, but mostly I was able to shove that voice down and enjoy a charming story. We all need a dose of romance now and then, whether we admit it or not. And who am I to say this would never happen? We all agree that truth is stranger than fiction, right?
I really liked Morgan. He has no pretensions of being anything other than he is–a farm boy, albeit one with above-average intelligence. His ambitions are small and homey, and his interactions with others are honest and sincere. Liz was a good match for him, but the tone of her letters was overblown. I found myself rolling my eyes at her prose sometimes. Betty just might have sneaked her way in as my favorite character, at least right up until the very end. She takes an unexpected path and surprises herself at the inner strength she finds. Her actions at the end seem very out of character and I wasn’t happy with that. There’s another story about a third friend, Julia, and her sailor-fiance, Christian, but that took a backseat for me. I liked Julia though and I liked the way her story showed the way that women’s roles in society were changing during this time.
If you’re in the mood for a nice romance and you like the backdrop of WWII, go ahead and pick this up. I was left with a smile on my face.
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I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.