STORY: As War Blazes Across Europe, Three Couples Find A Love That Is Powerful Enough To Overcome All The Odds…
A Kiss Goodbye
As war looms, genteel Flora yearns to be more than just an observer. She finds a revolutionary kindred spirit in soldier Geraint—but will their fragile love be crushed before it can start to bloom?
Soldier Robbie cannot forget his one hedonistic night in Paris with beautiful waitress Sylvie. But as Europe burns, can these two star-crossed lovers ever be reunited?
Forever With Me
Nurse Sheila is horrified to discover her new boss is the French surgeon she woke beside after Armistice Day! Fighting for their love will be the bravest thing she’s ever had to do….
REVIEW: Novella One: “A Kiss Goodbye”
Argyll Scotland, October 1914
Glen Massan House sits in a promontory overlooking Loch Massan. It has been lived in by generations of Carmichaels. The current Lord Andrew and Lady Elizabeth Carmichael live in their huge home with their daughter, Flora, age 23. Their older son, Robbie, age 25, runs a wine import business and their younger son, Alex, age 17, is at school. The family fears that soon Robbie will be signing up to fight the war and Alex has already let it be known that he wants to sign up too as soon as he is of age.
The Carmichael family has just learned that their home has been commandeered by the Army and the family will have to move to their Lodge which is significantly smaller than Massan House. The home is to be used for special training for the Army.
Corporal Geraint Cassell was raised in a Welsh Mining village. When he arrives at Massan House with his Army buddies, he cannot help but be appalled that people still live in such extravagant homes.
It is soon decided that Flora will oversee the Army people moving into their home. Her organizational skills are well-honed and the family agrees that she will be perfect for the job. Flora has been torn as to whether to sign up and volunteer with the VADs. However, she feels that coordinating the Army move into her home should keep her busy for now.
When Flora first meets with Geraint to discuss the transition, sparks fly because they are both outspoken people. Although they clash, they are also attracted to one another at the same time. As their meetings increase, so does their attraction. Knowing that her mother does not approve of her friendship with Geraint, she cannot help but want to be with him more. Geraint realizes that he is just a man from a mining family and she is a lady. As he wants to be with her, he must break it off. He has also found that he is being sent to France to fight. How can he leave her? Can she let him go? Can their love for one another last?
I enjoyed this novella and found it to be so sweet.
Novella Two: “Dearest Sylvie”
Paris – 28 October 1916
Captain Robbie Carmichael of the Argyllshire Battalion, Argyll and Southern Highlanders is convalescing in Paris after a severe shrapnel wound that nearly took his life. While sitting in a bar one evening, beautiful Frenchwoman and waitress, Sylvia Renaud, brought some wine to him. She seems so pleasant that Robbie invites her to sit with him and enjoy a glass of wine. As with many other soldiers at that time, Robbie was suffering from the effects of the war. Many are lonely, disillusioned, and simply want to experience human touch and warmth.
They chatted for some time enjoying their wine and when it came time to leave the bar, they were both quite tipsy. At Sylvie’s invitation, they head to her place and make love. Shocked at their shared passion, they are both somewhat embarrassed as they say goodbye the next morning figuring they will never see each other again. However, their attraction is so great that they do get together again before Robbie is sent back to the front. They have both been damaged by the war and find themselves clinging to one another for comfort.
Sylvie and Robbie begin to write letters to each other sharing their past history, their feelings of how the war has affected them, and how they hope to see one another again. The letters are very touching and from them, we learn a lot about these two people.
Will Robbie stay safe from harm? Is there a chance to them to be together after the war?
This novella is very touching and beautifully expresses the pain that so many people experienced during the war.
Novella Three – “Forever with Me”
Base Hospital, Boulogne-sur-Mer France 11 November 1918, Armistice Day
Sheila Fraser, a Highland lass from the town of Glen Massan, is watching the happy people dancing in the streets as they celebrate the Allied victory. A blonde VAD nurse who used to be a maid for the Carmichael family, Sheila is looking forward to going home and seeing her mother again.
Luc Durand, a Frenchman, saw the lovely Sheila and asked her join him and dance in the streets too. Uncertain at first, Sheila decides to relax and enjoy the festivities. Before long their happiness leads to them kissing and an intimate encounter.
Glen Massan, Argyll Scotland – March 1919
Back in her hometown, Sheila finds that the Glen Massan House has been donated by the Carmichael family and is now named the Alex Carmichael Trust Hospital. Alex was the younger son of the Carmichael family who died from his battle injuries just one month from the end of the war. As it happens, Sheila was with him at the end and was happy to be there to comfort him.
Although Sheila is not a formally schooled nurse, she has had years of hands-on experience during the war. Her hope is to get a position at the Carmichael Hospital. With her earlier experience as a maid with the family, she is quite familiar with the home. Her friend and the daughter of the Carmichael family, Flora Carmichael Cassell, has helped her to apply for the job. If she doesn’t get the job, the only alternatives she has are to be a maid or a companion. When the new head of the hospital arrives, she will have to interview with him in hopes of getting a job as a nurse.
Lord Carmichael is not coping well with the loss of his son, Alex, which means that Lady Carmichael has to watch over him carefully to be sure he eats and such.
Robbie Carmichael and his wife, Sylvie, spend their time in London and France rebuilding his wine business.
Geraint Cassell was wounded severely in the war but is improving and is expected to be released from the hospital soon so he and his wife, Flora, can get on with their lives.
When Flora and Sheila welcome the new head of the hospital, Sheila is surprised to find that he is none other than surgeon and Doctor Luc Durand. At first, they act as though they have never met before. Tasked with showing him around the Carmichael House now renovated into a spacious hospital, she presents her case to him for the job. After listening to her, he agrees that she can do the job and hires her with another job to also coördinate many other features of the hospital.
Will Sheila and Luc be able to put their past indiscretion behind them and be able to work together professionally? Will their latent attraction to one another spark anew?
This novella knitted the three stories together beautifully, thus ending a beautiful saga. I have always loved Marguerite Kaye’s ability to write a book that so perfectly expresses the emotions of her characters. I hope readers will enjoy this terrific novel as much as I did. I highly recommend it.
Connie for b2b
Complimentary copy provided by the author