Welcome to the March 2021 edition of the Friday Fiction newsletter! If you read my Updates Newsletter a few weeks back, you’ll remember that I was behind on my reading due to edits for Unsettled Shores. Well, I’m happy to announce that edits are complete; however, I did not manage to sneak in any new reads. Determined not to leave you with an empty Friday Fiction (how boring), this month I’m sharing two past reads with new-to-you reviews: Soul Mates by Liz Morrison and Christmas Still by Jennifer Q. Hunt.
Soul Mates by Liz Morrison
World War I France Time-Split
I love historical fiction especially when it has a bit of a twist as this one does with the reincarnation aspect. Wills Harrington has dreams that he is the reincarnation of his great-great-granduncle, William, who died during World War I. Charlie Longley dreams about herself as a World War I nurse, Charlotte, who loved a man named William. Both uncertain what these thoughts and dreams might mean, they set out to discover the details of William and Charlotte’s story while also dealing with backstabbing friends, a mysterious treasure hunt, and their intense feelings for each other. And the clock is ticking.
While this book is definitely a romance novel, it isn’t as cheesy as the cover may lead you to believe. Liz Morrison does a fantastic job of blending the story of Wills and Charlie in the 21st century with the story of their counterparts, William and Charlotte, in 1917. The love story of Wills and Charlie sometimes feels a bit over the top for two average teenagers, but then we remember that their lives are anything but average. We see their relationship blossom amidst their individual struggles to discover who they were, who they are, and who they want to be. Their characters, both past and present, are well developed, the historical aspects seemed well researched, and the plot left me wanting more. It was sad to say goodbye after only 310 pages.
As a complete side note, I loved that Charlie was from St. Louis. It is so rare that St. Louis is mentioned in any of the novels I read that when it is, I have to tip my hat in thanks to the author. As a St. Louis native, I was thrilled to see references to both Forest Park and the Cardinals.
Liz Morrison now writes under the name Liz Costanzo. For more information on her books, visit: https://lizcostanzoauthor.com)
Christmas Still by Jennifer Q. Hunt
Post-World War I
Jennifer Q. Hunt’s Some Through the Fire was one of my favorite reads of 2020 and her Christmas novella was the perfect way to end the year.
During Christmas 1918, Lottie Webster is trying to survive the effects of a pandemic, a world war, and family expectations. Her husband is suffering from PTSD, her nieces are grieving their mother, and her brother is still away fighting in the war. The spirit of Christmas seems to have vanished altogether. When her brother finally returns and brings a German bride with him, she doesn’t know if she will be able to handle one more change. Will the past unravel the final thread of their family or tie them back together?
I finished Christmas Still in a single day and wanted to keep reading! The story had so much emotion packed into so few pages and was beautiful all the way through. World War 1, Spanish Influenza, PTSD, racism, romance, and parenthood flow together seamlessly. It’s a story that shows the hope I think we’re all longing for during COVID. I would love to see this become a full series.
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