SUMMARY: Planning a wedding can be difficult but even more so when the fiance is deployed to the Middle East for the past year. Stella Carson and Marshall Henderson find themselves in just such a predicament; however, with an injury sustained during his tour, Stella and Marshall have much more to deal with and live through. Will the wedding take place? Should they still get married? Will the marriage even survive?
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS: Reading and reviewing the novellas in A Year of Weddings, this story was a perfect addition to my collection. Rather relevant in the world today, this novel was sweet but may actually be considered difficult by many struggling with these situations. Through memory loss caused by a brain injury, the retainment of faith was still evident which was appreciated. Though a bit scattered at points, overall, the story was well written with developed characters. A new author for me, I would definitely consider reading other novels written by her now.
RATING: 4 (out of 5) pennies
*I received a complimentary copy of An April Bride from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*
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Review 2 for An April Bride - eBook
Love after War
Date:May 12, 2014
Location:Bacolod City, Philippines
I admire Stella Carson's character. Although some scenes are too good to be true or too impossible to happen like Stella not knowing what exactly happened to Marshall Henderson, his fiancee, at the hospital, I say that we can find Stella's character in many of the women who love deeply and believe sincerely.
This novella described the horror and effects that war can bring and to the soldiers who fight in it. Although war and its effects are not described intensely - being this a romance novel and not a heavy, war piece - reading this novella somehow will give you a glimpse that its effects are serious to both the person and the families, particularly dealing with post-traumatic stress.
It is so difficult when someone you love goes off to war. But sometimes it is even harder when they come home. Stella has been patiently waiting for Marshall to finish his tour of duty after which they will be married. Right before Marshall was set to leave the war zone he and his group of soldiers were hit with an IED. The impact killed several of Marshall's buddies and gave him a head injury that has resulted in memory loss.
Once he arrives home he is determined to press on with the wedding. But as it gets closer and closer the idea of Marshall not remembering Stella begins to put up more and more barriers between the two. Can they really build a life together when Marshall doesn't remember where their story began?
War has such far reaching effects and this little novella delves into the results of PTSD and head injuries. I enjoyed this story and liked the story line that was the basis. However I thought that it would have been better told in a longer format. Many of the angst that the characters had seemed to be shallow and self-serving because the story had to move along. Either way it still made me stop and think about how those facing such a trauma without a faith in God could have even a glimmer of hope. For a quick read that will cause you to ponder what it would be like to loose all memory of those you love pick this novella up.
I received a copy of this ebook to facilitate my review.
An April Bride is another sweet addition to the A Year of Weddings novella collection. It is such fun to read a new wedding story each month by different authors!
In An April Bride, Marshall has come home from war with a head injury and PTSD. These two things have combined to cause quite a big problem for him and his bride. The wedding is only a few weeks away, but Marshall can’t remember Stella!
Something I really like about this story is how caring both of these characters are to each other. Stella understands that Marshall can’t help what has happened. She is hurting terribly, but wants to help him and do what is best for him. Marshall, on the other hand, is frustrated with himself. But he sees what a loving and caring person Stella is and wants to do anything he can to not hurt her. They are both strong characters with a lot of faith in God. Watching them go through such a trying time made for a very sweet and touching story. If you are a fan of romance, you will really enjoy this novella!
I received a complimentary copy of this novella from the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Book Summary: A charming wedding novella set in the spring. What will happen when love and wedding plans come together this April? War changes everything . . . even their love. Bride-to-be Stella Carson can't wait to marry her longtime sweetheart Marshall Henderson. But Marshall has been away serving his country and has suffered a head wound. After being diagnosed with post-traumatic disorder, he has distanced himself from Stella, asking her not to visit him in the Washington, D.C. hospital. Marshall returns to Louisiana just four weeks before the wedding, but as the big day draws near, Stella wonders if the man she's loved for most of her life has become someone else. Can true love conquer all for Stella and Marshall? Even the tragedy of war? A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.
Book Review: I found this to be a good book overall. For me it was sweet and interesting. I liked Stella and Marshall, they were believable and it was easy to empathize with their predicament. The background characters were fun and easy to enjoy them. I enjoyed the overall story line, although the ending was a little too easy. I did not find this to be as fast of a read as the previous but well worth the effort to finish. Really was looking forward to an elaborate ending and it seemed to be much more simple than that. I believe that was my expectation and not in any way something that the author set up. I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
What a lovely story. This book warmed my heart. Marshall is a true hero, fighting for his country and then fighting for the woman everyone tells him he once loved, even though he doesn’t remember loving her.
I can’t imagine how hard it would be on both ends. To be the woman who remembers everything but the man you love has forgotten you or the person who has forgotten everything. What do you do? Do you press on with the wedding and hope one day the memories return?
That is the plan in this book. Marshall wants to do the right thing. But what is that exactly? Is the right thing moving forward with the wedding or should he set Stella free? What would you do?
Lenora has written a beautiful tale about the power of love. It’s a great example of how Christ loves us. Even when we forget Him he never forgets us and keeps gently pursuing us and gives us glimpses of His presence in our lives.
Romance lovers will enjoy this one.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Stella Carson has been planning her wedding to high school sweetheart Marshall Henderson for a year, since he was posted to the Middle East. Now he’s back after several months in hospital recovering from an attack that killed several of his comrades—and stole his memory. Can their wedding still go ahead?
Reading this novella showed me a completely different side of weddings. I’m married, and while I had a lovely wedding, it was nothing compared to the wedding Stella had planned for her and Marsh. A month before the wedding, she’d already had five bridal showers. Five. Most brides I know manage one at the most. But Stella had five, “each with a different theme—kitchen, garden, linens, recipes and cookbooks, and china and everyday dishes”. Seriously? Does no one start with a few basics and gradually build up a household?
But it was this quote which illustrated the real difference to me:
"I’ve been so caught up in the wedding, I forgot to plan for the marriage."
This brought to mind a blog post I read recently, which expanded on the same point. Couples planning the celebration to get the gifts, not thinking about what they are celebrating. The start of a life together.
That’s not a criticism of Stella, Marshall or their parents. I could understand why Stella threw herself into wedding preparations—it was a way of staying sane and occupied while Marshall was away. And I could admire Marsh for being prepared to go ahead with a wedding to a woman he couldn’t remember because it was the right thing to do.
From that point of view, the story was excellent, as was the Christian aspect (one thing Marsh hadn’t forgotten was his faith in God). It showed him to be a man of convictions and honour. But I would have liked to have understood more about what he was thinking at times.
This was a well written love story, of two people struggling to come to terms with something that has completely altered the nature of their relationship, but who commit, in God, to working through those problems. Those women in real life who are planning for a wedding, not a marriage, could learn something from Stella and Marsh.
This is the first book I’ve read by Lenora Worth, but I’d certainly be interested in reading more. Her previous books are all Love Inspired (short contemporary romance) or Love Inspired Suspense, and I can see that background coming through in An April Bride. Worth reading.
Thanks to Zondervan and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Stella Carson has planned the perfect wedding with her high school sweetheart. Her fiance was finally coming home from his second deployment in Afghanistan. This time was different, however. When an IED had gone off near his humvee the explosion left him with serious injuries. Blows to his head contributed to severe memory loss and post traumatic stress. He suffered from nightmares and flashbacks. When he had awakened from a coma in a German hospital, he hadn't even recognized his own parents.
Months later, when Marshall Henderson stepped off the plane on the final leg of his journey home, he was met by his fiance and their families. She could tell by the look in his eyes that he didn't remember her. She was filled with despair. She wondered how long it would take him to fully recover. Will she have to postpone the wedding or cancel it altogether? What will this mean for their future?
With only a few weeks left before the wedding date, Marshall was determined to honor his word and marry Stella. He was placing a lot of faith in the temporary nature of his medical conditions, hoping eventually his memories would return. But what kind of life would that be for them if his memories do not return?
Stella and Marshall struggled along through doubts and misgivings, hurt feelings and lost dreams. Stella was steadfast in her belief in their relationship in spite of the current awkwardness. She began methodically exposing him to stimuli that she hoped would stir in him the hidden memories. The process was slow and frustrating, because sometimes Marsh would experience horrible flashbacks to the bombing where he'd lost so many of his buddies. But friends and family surrounded the two with their support, love and prayers. After three more weeks without much progress, however, they had to decide whether or not to marry.
What I liked most about this drama was the natural way the characters' relationship with the Lord was portrayed. It wasn't tacked on the end as if in afterthought. It was not a religion of platitudes or meaningless gestures of goodwill. It felt as if God was an integral and dynamic part of their every day lives. It felt real. People prayed and cared for each other in the small community in which this story takes place. To me, their heartfelt discussions weren't preachy because He was a living and breathing part of their lives. People in this story honored Him in everything they said and did, and it spilled out into the way they faced hardships. Even when that hardship was a son/fiance/friend who had lost a large chunk of his life's story with them. As a reader, I could feel the pain with those characters.
This well-written novella takes the reader along on the roller coaster ride of Marshall's recovery. We experience the triumphs of the moments when a memory fragment comes floating back, and the frustrations the couple feels when they wonder if they would ever re-capture the magic moments of their past. If you enjoy character-driven stories where life is not all a bed of roses, but where God walks along side them, then I recommend this novella for you.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of Zondervan Fiction. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I thought this was a great plot. I enjoy stories of soldiers who serve their country and the women who support them. The amnesia angle was interesting, especially as they began to connect again and Marshall began regaining his memories. The countdown to the wedding was a stress factor for the couple, but it also hindered the development of the relationship in the story since Stella's thoughts and scenes were for the majority focused on whether or not to continue with the wedding, postpone, or call it off. The characters seemed to be stuck in limbo which became a little repetitive. I loved the ending, but I don't want to give anything away!