Review: The Military Wife by Laura Trentham (Heart of a Hero #1)


Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by St. Martin's Press.

“You scare the hell out of me.”
“Why?” A whisper was all she could manage with her heart in her throat.
“Because until now, I’ve always been able to walk away.”
Until now. The words raced through her heart and veins like the “Hallelujah Chorus.” She tingled all over and hoped she wasn’t going to embarrass herself by needing medical attention. “You’re not walking this time?” 
“I tried. After that first day, I tried.” His lips quirked. “You tracked me down.”

Would it sound weird if I said I missed Laura Trentham's writing? I've read everything this author has published, and I know that it's only been a few months since she published the sixth Cottonbloom novel, but there's always been something extraordinary about her stories--they make me feel...at home. If this opening salvo in her new Heart of a Hero series is going to be the barometer going forward, I'm going to have to make sure I've got extra boxes of tissues ready and waiting. I had astronomically high expectations going into The Military Wife; afterwards, all those expectations--and some I didn't even realize at the time that I had--were surpassed and by a wide margin! This beautifully written contemporary romance is about a woman named Harper who survives an immeasurable loss and learns to live again; it isn't until she meets Bennett that feelings she thought were long gone come to life.

When she was eighteen, Harper Lee Frazier met nineteen-year-old Noah Wilcox, a young man on his way to SEAL training. At twenty-two and a fresh double major college graduate, Harper became Harper Lee Wilcox and followed the man she loved to Virginia. Five years later, Harper learned she was a widow, losing her brave SEAL to a bullet while she was carrying their son. In the nearly five years since then, Harper's life has been about Ben, their now-five-year-old boy. When she becomes curious about money she received courtesy of a non-existent award after Noah's death, she searches out the man who gave it to her--thirty-seven-year-old Bennett Caldwell, who turns out to be "Grizzly", Noah's best friend and fellow SEAL teammate. She's drawn to him in ways she wasn't to Noah, but as much as she relishes the stirrings of love and passion, she feels guilt as well about moving forward with another man, especially since that very same man has ties to her late husband. And Bennett is keeping secrets...secrets which he refuses to share with the woman he's falling for. Will all the guilt and secrets end what is just beginning?

Oh my heart! This story gave me all the feels, and when I say "feels", I'm not just talking about the kind you get when there's romance going on. I smiled and laughed, but I also got teary-eyed and cried more than once. This was really Harper's story to tell, and it isn't just one story either. We get chunks of her love story with Noah through flashbacks, while a huge bit of it is her blossoming romance with Bennett. Then there's her story as a mother and a daughter, as well as that of a friend and military wife--then and now. Plus there's another story regarding a military family, but I don't want to spill all the beans. My word of advice is simple: READ THIS BOOK ASAP. Seriously, I could not recommend this novel enough. It's already on my list of best books for this year, and if you've yet to discover the wonderfulness that is Laura Trentham's writing, then you can do no wrong with this latest release of hers. The Military Wife is a tale of first loves and last loves and the always enduring love of family and friends. Five-plus stars. ♥

Date Read: 10 October 2018

Learn more about Laura Trentham.

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