A young widow embraces a second chance at life when she reconnects with those who understand the sacrifices made by American soldiers and their families in award-winning author Laura Trentham’s The 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 underfoot 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?
With pitch-perfect prose, plotting, and characterization, Trentham (Slow and Steady Rush) captures the painful, patriotic feelings of military widows and the difficult necessity of moving forward. Harper Lee Wilcox's Navy SEAL husband, Noah, died on a mission shortly before their son, Ben, was born. Five years later, Harper's doing her best to pick up the pieces, living on North Carolina's Outer Banks with her mother and her son. When her closest friend, Allison, is at her wits end dealing with her SEAL husband's PTSD, Harper rushes to Ft. Bragg to help and after an illuminating visit to an on-base support group, she creates a business project that will provide purpose to other military wives. While putting together funding, Harper meets Bennett Caldwell, Noah's reclusive teammate and best friend, who bears a heavy dose of survivor's guilt. As Harper and Ben burrow into his heart, Bennett struggles with his love for his dead friend's wife and child. Trentham expertly addresses PTSD, survivor's guilt, and falling in love after a tremendous loss with an empathy that rings true. It's impossible to finish this remarkable book without shedding tears.
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The Military Wife
ARC for honest review with no compensation received from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press.
The Military Wife: Heart of a Hero written by Laura Trentham is a second chance romance written from the heart of the military.
Harper Wilcox is a young widow raising her young son after the death of her military husband Noah, and now after 5 years, still living with her mother she is restless and afraid to move forward because she might be leaving the memories of Noah behind...but when her best friend and fellow military wife Allison struggles with her own husband’s PTSD, Harper decides to help them both find their way back to each other and maybe find a way to help other wives who have some of the same issues with their returning husbands from war.
While in pursuit of her dreams and helping others she runs into Bennett Caldwell, her deceased husband’s best friend and teammate. Bennett made a promise to Noah to watch over Harper and their son but his growing attraction to Harper feels like a betrayal to his best friend.
Can these two move beyond the past and built a future together or will the past be ever present and keep the, from finding a HEA??
Tells it like it is
Every book by Laura Trentham is a joy. You laugh, you cry, you put your hand over your heart and say, “Ooohhh.” They are always sweet stories with a lot of love and a good amount of heat and some serious situations that the characters have to work through. So before I even started reading The Military Wife I was certain that I would love it.
But this time, in a genre that she stated is new to her, author Laura Trentham has outdone herself. This book touched me; it found a place in my heart and wouldn’t leave. I am the wife of a retired airman and the mother of a retired sailor and the grandmother of an active duty soldier. And I can tell you that The Military Wife nails it on all counts. I felt like I was back on base, in a wives’ group, enduring a deployment. I could feel the pain of the servicemember and the frustration of the spouse left behind, trying to simultaneously be strong and supportive while at the same time wanting to have a career or a fulfilling purpose in life beyond the military walls.
Harper is strong, but stuck in life, afraid to move forward, not wanting to leave Noah’s memory behind. Bennett is damaged not only by everything he experienced in the military but also by his early life, and he is determined to keep the doors shut to further heartache. There is conflict and animosity between them but at the same time an attraction that, much to Harper’s dismay, feels stronger in some ways and somehow more adult than what she had with Noah. Harper’s friend Allison and her former SEAL husband Darren are experiencing something not at all uncommon to military families – he is desperately trying to cope – stoically alone – with the effects of things he has done and seen, and she is desperately trying to support him without prying, without making him feel worse, and without letting any of it affect their family. None of that is really possible and that makes for some tough times.
The Military Wife seems very different from this author’s Cottonbloom series, more serious, a totally different atmosphere and environment. But in the ways that count it is very much the same: strong, compelling well-developed characters, a storyline and smooth, easy-flowing plot that move quickly and pull you along so that you can’t put the book down, intrigue, love, joy sadness, with satisfying situations and relationships that give you a hint and promise of what’s to come, leaving you wanting more. All in all just a fantastic read.
The Military Wife is the first in Laura Trentham’s new A Heart of a Hero series. I am looking forward to many more stories in this series. I received a copy of this book from the publisher St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own – I loved The Military Wife and highly recommend it.
This story was an emotional journey, about life, loss, grief, forgiveness, survival, friendship, community, courage and love. Beautifully written, this story captured my attention from the beginning to the end. Written in present and past times, that was effortless to read, and helped tell such a thorough and captivating story.
Harper Lee Wilcox lost her husband five years ago, but she is still grieving. She has been living with her mother and her son, Ben, who was born shortly after her husband died. When she receives a letter from her friend Allison, whose husband is having difficulty adjusting to his past deployment and exhibiting sign of P.T.S.D., she goes to visit them to see if she can help in any way. She finds her friends are stressed, and barely holding it together for their three young children. While she is there Allison and her attend a meeting on base with other military wives, that help both of them in their struggles. Harper has been trying to think of how she could start a secret memorial of some kind in memory for her husband, and was going to use the money she received from a Bravery Award. Now after meeting with these wives she has an idea, but after finding out that the award wasn’t real she needs to confront his best friend. Harper goes to look for a friend of her husband’s, to see if he can help Allison’s husband deal with his PTSD and also to give her answers that she has about her husband’s death and the award.
Bennett Caldwell left the Seals after Harper’s husband died and is now running a Survival School. He refuses to tell Harper how her husband died, and why he had given her money and a fake Bravery award in her husband’s name. But he will not take the money back, but will help her with her idea to help with a project of a coffee house on the base. He does agree to help Allison’s husband. These two are attracted to one another, and although they had never met before Noah’s death, Bennett had been attracted to her from her letters she wrote to Noah. Now these two will need to work together. What will happen between them? Will Bennett tell her what happened when Noah died? You will definitely want to read this story to find out all the details.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.