Review: While You Were Mine by Ann Howard Creel

2 1/2 Stars

Gwen Mullen is a nurse in New York and the end of World War II has just been announced.  It’s V-J Day and she should be on top of the world like the rest of the populace.  The war is over and the men are coming back home.  It’s a circus and a joyous occasion, she’s swept up in the crowd.  She’s the iconic figure that graced the cover of Life magazine, she’s the nurse that gets kissed by some random soldier.  But Gwen really isn’t much for celebrating, she’s afraid of losing the little girl who has become her life over the last year.  Those fears are realized as she approaches her home and sees a soldier on her doorstep.

John McKee comes back home to see his wife and the child that he’s never met.  But he’s in for shock because Alice isn’t there waiting for him.  Instead, he meets Gwen.  We learn that Alice had been Gwen’s roommate and shortly after giving birth to Mary, she decided that she just couldn’t handle motherhood and had convinced herself that John was dead, so she left Mary behind without a second thought or a backward glance.  Since then, Gwen has become the only parent that Mary has ever known and now, she’s going to lose this child that she’s come to love as her own.

Gwen decides to help John get to know his daughter and help him learn to be a dad.  They slowly begin to get to know one another as well and begin to grow a bond and feelings for one another.  With the help of her best friend and her neighbor, Gwen and John look to be coming together as a happy family.

It honestly could have just stayed that way.  A really sweet story about a woman who stepped up when no one else could or would and the man who came home from the war to a destroyed life, only to find love again with this strong woman.  But no, it’s apparently not enough and there are obstacles that need to be thrown in the way.  John turns into a jerk and Gwen becomes the ultimate doormat.

The story ultimately has a happy ending, but it’s almost unsatisfying.  I’m really wanted to like this book more, especially since it started out so well.

 

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Filed under Historical, Romance

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