*Minor Spoiler alert.* We have all seen that iconic picture of a sailor kissing a nurse after the end of WWII was announced. While You Were Mine by Ann Howard Creel takes that picture and breathes life into it. Who was that Nurse? What was her life like? Where did she go directly after this picture? Gwen Mullen is caught up in the celebration like everyone else. It is over, there’s so much joy. She is pulled into a kiss by a stranger, this kiss gets captured. Laughing and happy, Gwen is part of the celebration. Suddenly something feels off. She has to get home to Mary, the little girl that needs her desperately. Her mother, Gwen’s old roommate Alice, had abandoned her a year ago; and her father… was on her doorstep when she got home from the celebration.
John McKee, who had been thought dead, had survived a POW camp and made it home. But the home was a shambles. His wife, Alice, has left him and the only saving grace is that not only did she not take his daughter away but someone watched over Mary. It’s an uphill battle getting through the legal work of getting a divorce when Alice isn’t around. Then there’s trying to bond with his sweet Mary. The two work together to get things in a good place for the baby and while doing so the unexpected happen: they fall in love.
Their courtship is sweet and beautiful. Mary grows by the day and we get to witness it all. There’s only one issue. Alice comes back. Once she realizes John is still alive, she makes her ultimatum. John comes back to her, or she sues for custody of Mary. How far will one go to keep and protect their child? John agrees to try, though it obviously kills both him and Gwen. When Alice once again leaves John, Gwen has to decide if she can forgive him. Can they have a life together?
This novel absolutely wrecked me. It was beautiful and poignant; bringing this time in history to life through some unforgettable characters. Honestly, I cannot say enough good things about this book! It was fast paced and riveting, I was spellbound.
This novel comes out April 1, 2016. Be Ready!
On the adult content scale I give it a four, more for cursing and the memory of violence than the sexual content which was very tame.
Link to book: