I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: A Heart of a Hero #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 2019-02-05
Length: 352 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2019, 2019 New Release Challenge
An emotionally layered novel about family, loss and what it means to be a military wife.
Harper Lee Wilcox has been marking time in her hometown of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina since her husband, Noah Wilcox’s death, nearly five years earlier. With her son Ben turning five and living at home with her mother, Harper fights a growing restlessness, worried that moving on means leaving the memory of her husband behind.
Her best friend, Allison Teague, is dealing with struggles of her own. Her husband, a former SEAL that served with Noah, was injured while deployed and has come home physically healed but fighting PTSD. With three children under foot and unable to help her husband, Allison is at her wit’s end.
In an effort to reenergize her own life, Harper sees an opportunity to help not only Allison but a network of other military wives eager to support her idea of starting a string of coffee houses close to military bases around the country.
In her pursuit of her dream, Harper crosses paths with Bennett Caldwell, Noah’s best friend and SEAL brother. A man who has a promise to keep, entangling their lives in ways neither of them can foresee. As her business grows so does an unexpected relationship with Bennett. Can Harper let go of her grief and build a future with Bennett even as the man they both loved haunts their pasts?
I picked up The Military Wife by Laura Trentham after reading Dark Harmony. I needed an HEA, a light hearted read to break my book hangover. Y’all this ain’t it! The Military Wife wrecked me. Like utterly destroyed me. I sobbed and woke my husband up needing a hug. Don’t get me wrong. This is a fantastic read, but it is heartbreaking all the same.
The Military Wife follows the story of Harper Lee Wilcox five years after the death of her Navy SEALS husband. She’s walking through life like a ghost of her former self. She’s convinced herself she’s happy, but it’s clear to the reader she isn’t. She’s living her life without taking any risks, she’s not dating, she’s wholly focused on her son and protecting what is left of her heart. When she discovers that an award her husband was given posthumously is a fake, she decides to hunt out the man who gave it to her and seek answers surrounding her husband’s death.
Bennett Caldwell was Noah Wilcox’s best friend and witnessed his death. He kept up his promise to take care of Noah’s wife and unborn child by giving the widow a bunch of money. He never expected to see her again, much less fall for her. Bennett is a deeply broken man who in the last five years discovered how to live thanks to Noah’s sacrifice. Now Harper is in his life and may derail his progress.
In addition to being a romance, the plot of the story centers around helping military wives while their husbands are deployed. It touches on the wives’ need to contribute to the household and their inability to find jobs. The guilt of forgetting to be worried when they are deployed to the sleepless nights of worry and then the adjustment when the husbands return home. I found myself aching for these families. The author writes with real-world experience and it shows in the details.
I loved the alternating time line as well. While most of the book is set in the present, some chapters are in the past. This allows the reader to fall in love with Noah as Harper did, which again utterly broke me.
Overall I really enjoyed The Military Wife. This is the first book by Laura Trentham I’ve read and it certainly won’t be the last! And y’all I’m really hoping that Darren and Allison get their own book. Their story was a side story to the main plot and ugh!!! I need more of them 😀 If you enjoy contemporary romance, I highly recommend you grab a copy with a box of tissues.