REVIEW: “Sentimental Journey” Has The Right Ticket For Romance

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Romance is ageless. From Adam and Eve to Antony and Cleopatra to Prince William and Kate Middleton . . . the world loves lovers. We can now add another couple to the list – Catherine Wilson and Johnny Danza.

“Sentimental Journey” is a historical novel set in World War II, weaving a tale of love lost and broken hearts but also of hope, compromise and following dreams. The book was originally published by Harlequin in 1990. However, it’s as good twenty years later as it was back then – thanks to Ms. Bretton’s wonderful ability to pen unforgettable love stories.

I enjoyed the details of this era. As I flipped through the pages, I found myself transported to another time and place, mesmerized like a small child curled on the floor at my Grandmother’s feet, listening to her recant a story from her youth. Ms. Bretton’s writing style boasts a familiarity and comfort that wraps around you like a warm blanket on a chilly afternoon.

I especially liked the tug of war between Catherine and Johnny as they struggle to define  personal identity as well as carve out parameters in a fledgling relationship . Johnny wants his future wife barefoot and pregnant but Catherine has discovered new independence running her father’s business. History reveals this was a common occurrence following the war when women were forced out of their homes to perform  factory jobs once held by their husbands, fathers and brothers. When the soldiers returned home, many women did not want to fall back into their old lives. They tasted independence, tested their abilities and found new self-esteem. And they liked it.

This is such an enjoyable story. I heartily recommend it to fans of mid century historical romance or anyone wanting a tantalizing story to whisk them away for a few hours on a “sentimental journey”.


Home Front

Book One

Barbara Bretton

bretton_sj_cover_2700px (2) 2Genre: World War 2 Romance

Publisher: Free Spirit Press

Date of Publication: October 15, 2014

ISBN: 9781940665078


Number of pages: 347

Word Count: approx. 70000

Cover Artist: Tammy Seidick


Book Description:

Before they became The Greatest Generation, they were young men and women in love . . .

It’s June 1943. From New York to California, families gather to send their sons and husbands, friends and lovers off to war. The attack on Pearl Harbor seems a long time ago as America begins to understand that their boys won’t be home any time soon.

In Forest Hills, New York City, twenty-year-old Catherine Wilson knows all about waiting. She’s been in love with boy-next-door Doug Weaver since childhood, and if the war hadn’t started when it did, she would be married and maybe starting a family, not sitting at the window of her girlhood bedroom, waiting for her life to begin.

But then a telegram from the War Department arrives, shattering her dreams of a life like the one her mother treasures.

Weeks drift into months as she struggles to find her way. An exchange of letters with Johnny Danza, a young soldier in her father’s platoon, starts off as a patriotic gesture, but soon becomes a long-distance friendship that grows more important to her with every day that passes.

The last thing Catherine expects is to open her front door on Christmas Eve to find Johnny lying unconscious on the Wilsons’ welcome mat with a heart filled with new dreams that are hers for the taking.

“This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.”

–Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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Read a Sneak Peek:

About the Author:

brettonA full-fledged Baby Boomer, Barbara Bretton grew up in New York City during the Post-World War II 1950s with the music of the Big Bands as the soundtrack to her childhood. Her father and grandfather served in the navy during the war. Her uncles served in the army. None of them shared their stories.

But her mother, who had enjoyed a brief stint as Rosie the Riveter, brought the era to life with tales of the Home Front that were better than any fairy tale. It wasn’t until much later that Barbara learned the rest of the story about the fiancé who had been lost in the war, sending her mother down a different path that ultimately led to a second chance at love . . . and to the daughter who would one day tell a little part of that story.

There is always one book that’s very special to an author, one book or series that lives deep inside her heart.  SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY and STRANGER IN PARADISE, books 1 and 2 of the Home Front series, are Barbara’s. She hopes they’ll find a place in your heart, too.