Bernadette Barrymore

Diane Coia-Ramsay

Publisher: Archway Publishing Pages: 304 Price: (paperback) $19.99 ISBN: 9781665738385 Reviewed: October, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

The Boston-born daughter of a construction tycoon endures war, heartbreak, and betrayal after she falls hopelessly in love with a handsome viscount in this historical romance novel.

The book begins on Armistice day, at the end of WWI, then backtracks to recount events that occurred before the war. Two years before the war’s start, 18-year-old Bernadette Barrymore traveled with her parents to Europe during the summer of 1912. From the moment the Irish-American heiress locked eyes with 28-year-old Lord Anthony “Tony” Devereux across the lobby of the Ritz Hotel, the English nobleman felt a connection. Enchanted by her beauty and wit, Tony pursued Bernadette; the couple was soon married. Nearly two years after their wedding, Britain declared war on Germany, and Tony joined the artillery division of the British Army.

Many people—Tony included—assumed the war would end quickly. Yet the months stretched into years, and their time together became a distant memory. Although Bernadette faithfully wrote to her husband, she received no letters in return.

When the war is finally over, Bernadette vows to ensure their reunion, hoping that Tony’s love for her will lessen the pain of his prolonged silence. Their reconciliation isn’t smooth, and Tony’s mother actively works to destroy their marriage. But the couple’s mutual passion burns bright. As Bernadette and Tony navigate the demands of a changing world, they fight to protect their love.

Diane Coia-Ramsay’s novel spotlights a headstrong heroine who takes pleasure in defying patriarchal expectations. Bernadette is privileged, impulsive, and spoiled, but her unwavering refusal to compromise her beliefs or submit to society’s definition of respectable womanhood makes for a compelling character. Tony and Bernadette’s initial courtship and relationship crackles with heightened emotion, although the couple’s melodramatic pattern of breaking up to make up becomes repetitive.

That aside, this sweeping story of love’s all-consuming power will entice readers who relish tales of soulmates who work hard for their happy ever after.

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