Friday, July 01, 2016

Seasons of Love and War (#1 Seasons of Love and War) by Brenda Ashworth Barry

Author                     Brenda Ashworth Barry 
Publication Date    24 March 2014
Genre                       Historical Fiction Romance 

SEASONS OF LOVE AND WAR is a historical family saga and epic love story. Childhood sweethearts Beth Ann Rose and Kaylob Shawn O’Brien just want to get married and pursue their dream careers, but the Vietnam War changes everything when Kaylob is drafted into the Army and declared dead. Beth Ann has a complete emotional melt down and starts to have visions of him in the jungles of Vietnam. Is he alive or has she completely lost her mind? 

Seasons of Love and War is a very fitting title for this novel. I didn't know quite what to expect when I started reading but wow, what a story! 

Kaylob is engaged to his childhood sweetheart and is none too happy when he is drafted to join the army in the Vietnam War. He witnesses a tragic occurrence and in his sorrow, he makes a promise to his best friend. This promise comes with a heavy price. 

Beth Ann is an actress and a singer. She is longing for the return of her first and only love. Life without him is quite empty and realising their dream of forever and a day can't arrive soon enough. 

After witnessing this tragedy, Kaylob returns home sooner than expected. Beth Ann is surprised and delighted at the same time. At long last they can now bring their dream to fruition and then Kaylob gives her the unexpected news that he has to go back to Vietnam. Beth Ann is devastated by the news but once she knows the reason why, she reluctantly comes to term with his decision. He is an honourable man who doesn't break his promises. They make the most of the time they have together before he departs. Their love for each other only intensifies even when they think that it couldn't get any stronger. 

The time for Kaylob to go back arrives a little too soon. Saying goodbye once more is heartbreaking but there is the promise that the next reunion will be for good. Not long after, Kaylob goes missing and then presumed dead. Beth Ann goes into melt down as she doesn't know how to live without him. She also refuses to accept that he is not coming back. With the support of family and friends, she eventually tries to resume some form of normality. As time passes, she does her best to have a "normal" life. She gets a break in her career and at the same time someone from her past declares his undying love for her. She is very apprehensive about starting another relationship. The bond between Kaylob and Beth Ann materialises in the most fascinating and unusual way even though they are apart. She has to make a decision. Accept things as they are and move on or live in hope. Just when she makes her decision, along comes this twist. 

The first part of this story is riveting. The ordeals that the loved ones have to go through whilst at war are very upsetting. The love of two soul mates is unmistakable. The love and support of family and friends is remarkable. There is unrequited love, confusion and anguish. The heartache is so palpable.

I have just finished reading this book and it has left me with quite intense feelings. What happens now? 

I like the writing style and the way the author conveys the emotions. I would highly recommend this novel to romance lovers. 

Brenda Ashworth Barry is the author of the memoir, Healing the Voices Within. Her most recent work is a six-part saga of star-crossed lovers separate Seasons of Love and War.  
Brenda's amazing debut novel showcases her talent and takes you on an extraordinary dramatic journey into the emotional lives of two childhood sweethearts set in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Brenda lives in Roseburg, Oregon, by the Umpqua river, and has raised 4 children. Her husband, who was in the military for 21 years, gave her help and encouragement while writing  her novel.  

Brenda has worked for over five years to bring this story alive, and to pay tribute to our heroes. She is now retired and writes full time. She has signed six contracts for all her books with, Melange Books LLC.

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