With The Showboat Reunion being released by Solstice in February, I’ll revisit the January release by the Wild Rose Press, Ruthann’s War one more time.
A World Forever Changed
It’s a vintage, May-December romance set just as World War II ends. The war changed everyone’s life in different ways, but the pre-war world had gone forever. Growing up in the post-war era, those years weren’t yet history for us but rather something we lived with every day. Many of our fathers had gone to war, and some didn’t come back. Rationing ended in the United States but not in the UK where groceries we took for granted were severely limited or unavailable. But both countries had to deal with men returning from service, expecting to find their old jobs waiting and instead discovering their wives had left home and hearth (often by necessity) for the marketplace.
Drew Mallory, now superintendent of the Camden Schools, had fought in France during the first World War, popularly called the war to end all wars. For him, that past time became his present and his future as his leg injury worsened year by year, and he fought the inevitable amputation.
A Girl Left Behind
Ruthann Cooper, a self-admitted wall flower in high school, had fallen head over heels in love with a man in uniform, a young man whose plane never returned from its ninth daylight bombing mission over Germany. Now she wonders if she loved the man or the uniform and suffers a deep guilt because she no longer grieves his loss. She resists Drew’s overtures as much out of self-punishment as fear of causing a scandal in the small town of Camden where she’s been hired to teach.
Once Upon a Time
Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Girl falls in love with boy. And they live happily-ever-after.
While the school community seems quite happy for their respected superintendent to find new meaning to his life outside the business of school, others seem determined to turn the relationship into a battlefield. The question is, who and why?
Drew stumbled to his feet. “Ruthann, I’d give my life to erase this horrible thing. I blame myself.”
She drew back as he reached to touch her. “Don’t. Please don’t.”
“We’ve all been bullied long enough. We need to stand together now and end it.”
“And you want me to be your Joan of Arc?” She sprang from her chair and retreated across the room. “I’ve already been burned enough, don’t you think?”
“Listen to me, precious girl.” He followed her with his arms outstretched.
“I’m not your precious girl or your Joan of Arc. I’m just a silly first-year teacher who should’ve known better than to get herself in over her head!” She heard her voice rising as if it came from someone else.
He stared at her and let his arms fall to his sides. “That’s what I should’ve done from the beginning, isn’t it? Leave you alone.”
She buried her face in her hands.
"...a sweet love story...like spending time with a friend..."
"...like wandering into the neighborhood Bijou Theater and watching a swift-paced movie from by-gone days..."
"...a clean, sweet, and enduring story of true love...not your typical predictable romance..."
A solid five stars so far...
A solid five stars so far...