Title: The Girl from the USO
Author: Barbara Rebbeck
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Historical Fiction/Historical Romance
When USO volunteer and nursing student Millie Beaubien meets WWII Royal Air Force pilot Edward Owen in Detroit, she’s convinced she’s found her very own larger than life hero. Intoxicated by their whirlwind courtship and her growing obsession with him, she ignores all warning signs that he is not what he appears to be. Comparing her beloved yet mercurial Edward to the heroes in her favorite books and films of the day, Millie looks forward to being mistress of Sand Castles Hall, a great Cornwall estate akin to the fictional Manderley in Rebecca. But when she arrives in England, Millie must sort fact from fiction and abandon all delusions, hers and her blue-eyed pilot’s. Will she be able to save herself from being destroyed by what she thought was love?
Millie Beaubien is a nursing student and volunteers her time at the USO. She's a romantic through and through and dreams about being swept away by a hero. When she meets Royal Air Force pilot Edward Owen, she's convinced she's found her dashing hero. It's a whirlwind courtship and Millie's oblivious to some very dangerous warning signs. All she can think about is becoming the next mistress of Sand Castles Hall in England. When she arrives in England, she's met with some peculiar circumstances. Can she make the best of her new life or will she end up like the heroine from her favorite gothic novel, Rebecca?
The Girl from the USO is a captivating historical romantic mystery. From the beginning, I connected with Millie and her rose-tinted view on life, love, and romance. It was easy to see where the story was headed but I was pleased with some of the unexpected plot twists. The plot itself moves at a good pace with plenty of characters and conflict to work through. The vibrant narration added such depth to the story. Barbara Rebbeck plunges the reader into the 1940s with intricate-placed details. I truly felt like I had time-traveled to WWII. The mystery subplot took The Girl from the USO into an almost gothic romance feel. I was completely unprepared for the ending so kudos to Barbara Rebbeck for that. If you're a fan of historical romance, you'll enjoy The Girl from the USO. If you're looking for a vintage romantic mystery that will leave you breathless, pick up The Girl from the USO.
My Rating: 5 stars
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Barbara Rebbeck holds degrees in French and English and teaching Gifted and Talented children. She taught writing for many years to both kids and adults. She was Director of the Oakland Writing Project and also President of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE). She began seriously writing when she retired, freeing up all those hours spent reading and conferencing student work. In 2015 she published her YA novel, NOLA Gals. She has worked in schools with it and the novel has been added to the curriculum in several schools. She was writer-in-residence for Beverly Hills Academy Middle School in Michigan for five years. In December 2020, she published her adult suspense novel, The Girl from the USO with The Wild Rose Press. Barb grew up in Michigan hearing stories of her British dad and American mom’s whirlwind courtship and marriage during WWII. She used their meeting as the basis for her novel although the two relationships follow very different paths. The novel has been chosen as a selection for the Midwest USO book clubs in several states. Barb is currently Program Chair for the Detroit Working Writers (DWW). She is also a member of Michigan Sisters in Crime and their national group, Sisters in Crime. Barb lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her patient cat, Gracie. She is working on a sequel to The Girl from the USO.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N