They met in secret for a walk on the beach at night with a lover's promise between them. Julia Hilton and Stefan Zimmer agreed that two years from today, August second, they would meet back here at seven o'clock in the evening. If one of them needed to change their plan, they would send word through her brother somehow. The love in his eyes, the gentle touch of his arms...the moment burned in her heart, branding her to him forever. Why couldn't the world leave them alone, let them be happy?
Once their song finished, Stefan picked up a nearby twig, bent down, and drew a heart in the sand. Then he wrote their initials inside the heart. Above the heart, he wrote the one word. Forever. Then he stood, intertwined his fingers with hers, and looked into her eyes.
"I love you Julia Hilton."
"I love you too."
They would spend the time apart, staying in touch by writing letters as often as they could.
She would wait. No matter how long it took, Julia would wait for Stefan. Nothing could separate them for long. Not her age. Not the war.
Definitely not her mother.
That was in the summer of 1940, just as Stefan Zimmer was called to serve in World War II. Now 17 years later, Julia's heart still remembers that love. The love of a man who never wrote her one single letter. Why couldn't she ever forget her past and find a new love, what kept her heart bound to the love of a man, she never heard from? Only time would tell, and perhaps God would reveal to her what happened to the man she once loved. Had he remarried, moved on in his life, was he even alive?
Now that summer is here, her parents have asked her to house sit while their lakeside home is undergoing a room addition and for Julia, spending a month at the lake sounds perfect. Perhaps here she can find the answers she so desperately needs if only she can escape her mothers relenting control issues in her daily calls to check on the progress of the construction from Europe. Besides having her best friend Becky nearby will help her sort through her feelings hopefully.
Lukas Gable is fighting his own bad memories of a painful past and he hopes that by coming to Lake Michigan, he can find a way to pay off his mothers mounting healthcare bills, sell her house once the remodeling plans have been finished, and find a way to move forward in his own life. When he learns he might have a way to save some money on the renovations on his mothers house, he decides to work for George Hammer, a local construction man who desperately needs help to finish a room addition. If Lukas agrees to help, he will discount out his mother's renovations for him. Can't argue with that! Now if he can only find a way to avoid dealing with Julia Hilton, everything will work out perfectly. Yet little does he know, that is the construction project, George needs his help on!
In Diann Hunt's latest summer novel, Love Letters in the Sand joins the "When I Fall In Love" Series of books. In working with a song, the novel weaves a beautiful story around Love Letters In The Sand by Pat Boone. This one is such a wonderful story that I relate it to parts of the Notebook. Both of the characters, Lukas and Julia have pasts that are keeping them from moving forward and until they can work through it, they will be forever bound to the pain in their hearts.
I received this novel compliments of Summerside Press for my honest review and have to rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. I actually pick this one up to read at my trip to the beach and LOVED every single page. It has found a forever home in my personal library and highly recommend this one if you're looking for a perfect summer novel to fall in love with.
Fun read, but you have to suspend reality a bit...
August 27, 2011
Well, this was a bit of a challenge for me. If you can suspend reality it was a fun read. I had to keep telling myself it was 1957 so bets in those days were something people were held accountable for. I checked with someone who was young in those days and they said that bets were serious business and you paid up if you gave someone your word and lost the bet. Otherwise I had a hard time believing that it could be that big of a deal. I could see this story as a novella as there were about a hundred pages of story that didn't need to be there. How many times does someone need to remember over and over what happened and then tell themselves again and again that they didn't want to get hurt again. The parents holding back the communication from two young people was a bit cliche.
Now before you think I didn't like the story, I did. I just didn't buy all of it. Plus the issues in the story seemed to fit people in their early twenties, not their mid to late thirties. And his face being that much different? Well, let's just say I had to stretch that one, too. What about his voice? That had to sound similar, right? And the guy from the war showing up in the middle of the resolution to clear up some things? Um, too convenient. Anyway, lest I sound too negative, it was a sweet romance, even if much of it was a big stretch for me. People who enjoy sweet love stories will enjoy this read regardless. I did find the kisses pretty hot, and the conflict between the parents was quite entertaining. All in all, this story was okay.