Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
Date of publication: February 5th, 2019
Series: A Heart of a Hero
The Military Wife—Book 1
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 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 the 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 have read a few of Laura Trentham books. When the publisher contacted me to review The Military Wife (and take part in the blog tour), I didn’t hesitate to accept. Since I had enjoyed the books I read, I figured I would like this one.
I loved The Military Wife. This book pulled at my heartstrings. I was able to connect with the main male and female characters. The plotlines were well written. I couldn’t get enough of this book!!
I loved Harper’s character, both in the past and present. She overcame all obstacles with grace and determination. When she heard and saw the problem about military wives getting jobs, she decided to do something. Having been a military wife, she knew how hard it was. She was a great friend. When she found out that Allison was having issues with Derek, she was there for her. She offered the kids a safe haven after Sophie’s accident. She also was there when Bennett talked Derek down and forced him to get help.
Of course, she did have her faults. She was stubborn (hmmm, sounds like me). While she loved and respected her mother, she had an almost teenagerish like attitude with her at times. I wanted to reach through my Kindle, shake her and say “Good Lord, woman. She’s watching your kid. Don’t be a jerk!!”
I liked Bennett, a lot. He was your typical tall, dark and handsome guy who said little. He kept his distance from Harper. Like her, I thought that he didn’t like her. It wasn’t until the chapters during Noah’s training that it was revealed that he actually fell in love with her through her letters. I was amazed that he felt that way about her. I thought that he felt guilt over how Noah died and that’s why he avoided her.
I loved that the author chose to discuss PTSD in combat veterans. She showed the gauntlet of how PTSD affects those who have it. From Bennett, who had nightmares to Derek, who was tortured by the memories of those who died. He couldn’t function and his relationship with Allison and his kids suffered. She also detailed the lack of help that is available to those affected and in the military. I loved that emotional support dogs, support groups, and Wounded Warriors were showcased. Derek’s spiral at the end of the book was realistic too. I was thankful that the author chose to end it the way she did.
I loved Bennett and Harper’s romance. But I felt that it was overshadowed by the ghost of Noah for most of the book. Once Noah’s ghost was out of the way, though, it became sweet.
I didn’t feel the first few sex scenes. I felt that both Harper and Bennett felt like they were dishonoring Noah’s memory. Which was the furthest thing from the truth. The sex scenes towards the end of the book were more my jam.
The most emotional part of the book, for me, was when Bennett finally told Harper how Noah died. I thought that Noah died in a case of friendly fire (or something like that). The truth wasn’t even close to that.
The storyline involving the business that Harper wanted to start for the military wives were good. I do wish more was said about it. I was curious about it. I am hoping that future books showcase it because it did pique my interest.
The end of The Military Wife was beyond sweet. It was your typical romance novel ending. I did see it coming so what happened wasn’t a surprise. But I wasn’t expecting what happened at the end. Talk about making me a blubbery mess!!
I would give The Military Wife an Adult rating. There is sex (not graphic). There is violence. There is language. There are triggers. They would be the death of a spouse, PTSD and severe injury of a child. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread The Military Wife. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.
I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Military Wife.
All opinion stated in this review of The Military Wife are mine
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**