Title: For the Love of Laura Beth
Author: Aubrey Wynne
Genre: Historical Romance/1950
The Korean War destroyed their wedding plans, but the battle at home may shatter their hearts...
Laura Beth Walters fell in love with Joe McCall when she was six years old. Now she is counting the days until Joey graduates from college so they can marry and begin their life together. But the Korean War rips their neatly laid plans to shreds. Instead of a college fraternity, Joey joins a platoon. Laura Beth trades a traditional wedding for a quick trip to the courthouse.
The couple endure the hardship of separation, but the true battle begins when Joey returns. Their marriage is soon tested beyond endurance. Joey deals with the aftermath of war and a family tragedy sends Laura into a downward spiral. Determined to save the woman who has kept them anchored for so long, Joey fights an invisible enemy...for the love of Laura Beth.
“Son, you’ve got some mail.”
The tone of his father’s voice sent a chill through Joey. He looked over his shoulder, straightened up, and smacked his head on the hood of the Crosley station wagon. Rubbing his scalp then wiping oily hands on his overalls, he took the envelope with an official-looking seal in the corner.
Joe held it as if it were poison.
“Do you want me to open it, son?”
He shook his head, the pulse beating rapidly in his neck. With trembling fingers, he tore at the paper. The words blurred as he sunk onto the bumper of the pickup. “It’s a conscription notice,” he whispered, looking into his father’s terrified eyes. “I’ve been drafted.”
“It’s my fault.” Max let out a moan and lowered himself onto the bumper. “If I hadn’t spent your college tuition, you’d be in school right now.”
“It’s nobody’s fault, Pa. You served your time, and now it’s my turn.” He waved the letter in the air. “Maybe we’ll end up with matching limps.” It was a bad attempt at humor, and he wanted to take the words back as soon as they left his mouth. Unlike many of his friends, Joe did not have any romantic ideas about soldiering. His father had been straight up with him about the horrors of war.
“I just pray you come back, boy, and you don’t have to live through what I did.” The lines on his father’s face seemed to have deepened in the last five minutes. He swiped his palms at his eyes and squeezed Joe’s arm. “When do you go?”
“It says I report for my physical January 2 at ten o’clock.” Maybe he wouldn’t see active combat. He wasn’t chicken, but his father still screamed at night once in awhile. His mother had said they were night terrors left over from WWII. “I do have a skill, Pa. I’m sure they need mechanics.”
“That’s true, son. Maybe they’ll have you keep those jeeps running for the generals.” He forced a chuckle. “Go on and get out of here now. It’s Friday night and you’ve got a purty little gal to take to the movie.”
An awkward silence ensued as both men stared at the floor. Laura Beth. How would he tell her? It was bad enough they had to postpone their wedding, but now this? It was just plain bad luck. And they’d all had enough of that for one year. The thought of the tears welling up in those clear, blue eyes made his blood cold. She’d been their pillar these past months, and now he would break her heart.
“I’ll get cleaned up, I guess.” Joe headed to the door then stopped. Without turning around he said, “She’s really gonna flip, Pa. I think telling her might be as hard as going.”
In a thick voice, Max tried to offer some comfort. “The only thing worse than war was losing your mother, but Laura Beth is a strong young woman and loyal as they come. She won’t give up on you, and it wouldn’t be fair not to let her know right away. So go on now and get ‘er done.”
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
I’ll let the readers speak on my behalf:
“An emotional read about the life, fears, and love during the Korean War!”
“I was captivated to find that the plot and its characters were based on the real life story of her husband's parents. This was the frosting on the cake.”
“A beautifully written story about perseverance and love.”
“Wynne has once again managed to skillfully weave in elements of truth into a work of fiction that both breaks and heals the hearts of her readers.”
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Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule, and barn cats. Obsessions include wine, history, travel, trail riding, and all things Christmas. Her Chicago Christmas series has received the Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and twice nominated as a Rone finalist by InD’tale Magazine.
Aubrey’s first love is medieval romance but after dipping her toe in the Regency period in 2018 with the Wicked Earls’ Club, she was smitten. This inspired her spin-off series Once Upon a Widow and the Scottish Regency series A MacNaughton Castle Romance with Dragonblade Novels.
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