Return to Love

Return to Love novella cover

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Return to Love
(Endless Love Series Book 2)

Sweet Romance… Fresh off their whirlwind nuptials and unexpected, but joyous pregnancy, April and Hale Abercrombie are gleeful about their life together. But, while Hale is serving his country in Vietnam, he receives news of the loss of their newborn daughter.

Back home on leave, Hale can barely wait to hold his wife. Their reunion is passionate and their physical connection, strong and soothing. His embrace, his touch, and his love are just as perfect as April remembered. But nothing, not even Hale, can ease April’s heartache.

Hale stumbles through his attempts at convincing her that their future will be rich and full of wonder despite their loss. His good-hearted, but take-charge approach causes her to retreat. Even in grief, April recognizes Hale’s earnestness, yet she can’t help but distance herself from him. With only a short time before Hale must return to war, the couple begins to understand that hope starts with them—that the bliss they once knew will return only if they are willing to trust again.

Set on the beaches of the Outer Banks, Return to Love is the second book in the Endless Love series. Book one, Home Again, was named a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Return to Love by Kathleen Shoop is a powerful novel. Return to Love is the second book in a trilogy titled Endless Love. I felt fine starting with the second novel. It can stand alone. Immediately April, Hale, Clementine and Martha became three dimensional characters. I felt as though they were neighbors in my community. The novel is about a couple who have a first child. However, that child is stillborn. Outside of the womb, the heart and lungs never reacted to stimuli. On arrival, the baby is dead. The novel is about April and Hale’s pathway through grief. Sadly, April gives birth without Hale. He is on the battlefront in Vietnam. So he wasn’t beside her during the birth of the baby.

It is interesting the way Kathleen Shoop has chosen to tell this couple’s story. Facts about the birth of the baby and what happened to April are told little by little. Then, there are more unknowns uncovered by Hale when he visits the doctor and nurse who helped deliver the baby. This much wanted baby even though it didn’t survive makes a gigantic change in the way two people deal with their future. For this reason, I know the baby didn’t die in vain.

I felt happy that April and Hale didn’t follow some of the advice they heard from people working in the medical world or friends in the armed forces. For example, sweep it under the rug, go on with your life, think of the kids you will have in the future. Mourning, grieving is a personal milestone. There isn’t a thirty day or ninety day plan titled This Is How Long to Grieve and This Is What You Should Do While Grieving. Return To Love is written wonderfully as a novel. It is a practical guide for emotional pain. In this instance, it’s about the loss of a baby. However, I could have brought any of my painful situations to the novel and discovered help. It is a thought provoking novel about grief, friendship, marriage and mental stability. I am grateful to Kathleen Shoop for writing such an earthy and significant novel.
—Grapes, Amazon Reader Review