Return to Love

Book 2-- The Endless Love Series

Romance - General
263 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Bestselling author, Kathleen Shoop, holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. She writes historical fiction, women’s fiction and romance. Shoop’s novels have garnered various awards in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. For more information, visit www.kshoop.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Just when you think that Kathleen Shoop has delivered her most heart-breaking and sensitive romance, along comes Return To Love, book two in the Endless Love series. The novella returns us to the relationship of newlyweds Hale and April, where a whole new level of hurt has cast a shadow over their lives. Hale returns safely, on leave from Vietnam in 1970, to the news that April has given birth to a stillborn child. The novella focuses on April’s journey of processing her grief in a time when mothers were often told to ‘just move on’ after such a tragic loss, but it also gives us Hale’s perspective on trying to heal the wounds of a wife that he couldn’t be there to support during the most trying and terrifying time of her life.

Return To Love is a sensitive and detailed account of a young couple dealing with a tragic loss. For readers like me who know little of Seventies culture, the attitude towards women’s mental health is both shocking and fascinating. Kathleen Shoop creates a wonderful, forward-thinking man in Hale Abercrombie, who recognises the injustice of a society determined to view women’s emotions as weaknesses. The rebuilding of Hale and April’s relationship is bittersweet but ultimately rewarding. It was also wonderful to be introduced to more of the characters that inhabit their world after book one was so heavily focused on the central pair. Little touches like the recipes in the back of the novella were also a surprising delight; I just might have to make that chocolate pecan pie!

Mamta Madhavan

Return to Love (Book 2-- The Endless Love Series) by Kathleen Shoop continues from where it left off in Book I. The story continues with Hale and April’s romance. Their love blossoms and in this book readers see them getting married. Both of them are happy, but then tragedy strikes when Hale is serving his country in Vietnam and he receives the news of his stillborn daughter. April is shattered and, while back home on leave, Hale tries his best to convince April about their bright future. Though it takes April a while to accept her loss and get closer to Hale all over again, she realizes how important it is to heal and trust their relationship again.

In this book we see the fragility of Hale's and April's marriage when they lose their new-born daughter. The contrasting images of April's grief and Hale's comforting presence and hope have been handled well. Both the characters and how they handle their loss and pain are excellent. The author has tackled this love theme beautifully on many levels. The reunion when Hale comes back on leave is comforting and passionate to the broken April, who is still trying to come to terms with the loss of their daughter. The emotions are palpable and relatable and this story of tears and love will strike a chord within readers. A romantic story of love, hope and healing, the author's style of writing also contributes to the rhythm and cadence of the plot.

Bil Howard

Can love overcome even the most painful events and circumstances in one’s life? Kathleen Shoop takes a hard look at this question in Return to Love, Book 2 of her Endless Love Series. With four weeks leave from his duty as a RIO in Vietnam, Hale Abercrombie has a daunting challenge ahead of him. After their daughter was stillborn, April has been plunged into an uncontrollable grief which threatens to not only drive her out of her mind and even cause her to follow her daughter into the grave, but also threatens to divide the happily married pair. As April feels Hale’s love surrounding her, she is beginning to climb out of her grief; however, when Hale tries to “fix” things and pushes too hard, it only makes things worse and begins to drive a wedge between them. Will they be able to find a common thread between them that will allow them to hold onto their marriage?

Kathleen Shoop has done it again with Return to Love. This is Venus vs. Mars on its deepest level as April and Hale struggle to communicate the deep grief that they both have; April for the loss of their daughter and the deep secrets that she is holding back and Hale’s deep concern over his wife’s grief and her perceived insanity. Both male and female readers will find themselves frustrated as they watch both sides of the struggle trying to move toward their common goal. There are several very deep lessons to be learned from this story concerning the individuality of grief and the means by which it is handled. A deeper wisdom is found in the character of Martha Shelby that will warm your heart and keep the hope alive throughout. This is a profound and emotional book that is an excellent follow-up to Home Again. Return to Love will run you through a wringer of emotions and answer the deeper questions about the durability of love.

Faridah Nassozi

Hale returned home from Vietnam to be by his wife's side as she mourned the loss of their baby, but the reaction he got from her was not at all what he had expected. At first, she looked a little too okay for what she had just gone through, for the loss they were still mourning, but just when he was starting to accept that maybe she was actually okay, reality hit. Hale struggled to be there for her, but without knowing what exactly he could do to make her feel better. He did not really know what she had gone through or how she was feeling because she refused to talked about it. Surviving the loss of their baby was proving to be so much harder than Hale had imagined; not that he ever thought that it would be easy, but now the grief was pushing April farther from him every day and losing her would destroy him.

Return to Love, by Kathleen Shoop, is a story about every parent's nightmare; the loss of a child and the struggle that follows. It’s the story of a mother dealing with grief, resentment, blame, guilt, pain, anger and all the emotions that follow a traumatic still birth. Kathleen Shoop clearly highlighted how such an experience can turn a mother's life completely upside down and how it affects those around her. I could feel the raw emotion April was experiencing as she mourned the loss of her baby, and the rejection towards her husband, unable to accept the love and comfort that he was offering her. It is a sad story that brought to life the tragic experience of a very agonizing event and the struggle to live again. Return to Love clearly highlighted April's loss, grief and emotions and Hale's struggle to understand what she was going through so he could give her the support she needed.

Kathryn Bennett

Return to Love (Book 2-- The Endless Love Series) by Kathleen Shoop is a sweet romance that brings us into the life of newly weds, April and Hale Abercrombie. They are just home and have unexpected but happy news of a pregnancy. April and Hale are a loving couple; unfortunately bad things happen even to wonderful couples. While he is serving in Vietnam, Hale finds out they have lost their new-born daughter. When he comes home on leave, the couple reconnects and finds passion again, but April’s heart is so broken it can’t be fully healed or eased, even by her wonderful husband.

This is a book filled with so many things that are relevant to our lives today. We have the separation of war, the trauma and loss of a child, and learning to cope and find trust and love again with each other. Kathleen Shoop has done such a wonderful job of displaying these themes in a well thought out and well written fashion. I enjoyed every page of this book and following the story with Hale and April. I could feel April’s heartache over the loss, and the hard time she had learning that hope would again start with her and Hale. This book is truly a love story and a love story that isn’t perfect. It is like real life; we have triumphs and we have falls and we must learn to hold each other’s hands and find our way back to hope and love again. I would recommend this book.