Two Hearts in Retreat

Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Book 18

Romance - Contemporary
228 Pages
Reviewed on 08/31/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Two Hearts in Retreat (Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Book 18) is a romantic drama by Tamara Ferguson. Melinda McDaniel's happy life shatters when she loses her unborn child and her fiancé, Air Force Pilot Alex "Hawk" Marquart, is killed in action. To take her mind off her grief, Mel, a Registered Nurse, accepts a job offer at the Wounded Warrior Home in Crystal Rock, Wisconsin. Steve Ryder is a former Navy vet turned physical therapist who lost his wife to cancer two years before. Circumstances bring Steve and Mel together when he became the therapist to Luke Bryant, Hawk's best friend who suffered from severe injuries. Drawn by an intense mutual attraction, Mel and Steve still can't help taking their time to acknowledge their feelings. But when a six-year-old special needs child enters their lives, Mel and Steve realize that their goals align.

Tamara Ferguson infuses a lot of humor and heart into this moving story about two people finding each other and rediscovering love amid tragedy. Two Hearts in Retreat lives up to its name and pulls at your heartstrings with a combination of stellar character work and an emotionally impactful plot. Mel and Steve's burgeoning romance is at the center of the narrative. Both are grieving the loss of their loved ones and discover an inexplicable connection the moment they meet, only to be scared to take the next step further due to past heartbreak. I liked Ferguson's depiction of war veterans, showcasing the sacrifices they make in the name of their country and its people. A fantastic book for romance lovers.

Edith Wairimu

An R.N. and physical therapist become drawn to each other in the romance novel, Two Hearts in Retreat by Tamara Ferguson. After entering the Navy, Steven Ryder is trained as a medic. He dreams of becoming a Seal but abandons his goal after his wife falls ill. After Amy passes, Steve travels to Crystal Rock for Christmas. During his visit, he is offered a job at the Wounded Warrior Home that is about to be completed. In the meantime, he works as a physical therapist for Luke, an Air Force pilot wounded in Iraq. Mel’s life is shattered when her fiancé is killed in Iraq. She visits Luke, who was Hawk’s friend and survived the attack. Later, she decides to start life anew in Crystal Rock and accepts the school nurse role. As Steve and Mel’s paths cross, their relationship blossoms.

This is a hope-filled story told with empathy and tenderness. It gently captures the physical and psychological challenges many servicemen and women battle after returning from war. Its exploration of what families face when their loved ones are deployed, injured, or killed is eye-opening and moving. I loved that the story weaves the theme of hope throughout the plot and includes a lovely, uplifting ending. Other themes, including the value of family, friendships, and community, especially in the face of tragedy, are masterfully brought out. Kindness and empathy are other important themes that are explored. A wonderful, touching story about finding love after loss, Two Hearts in Retreat by Tamara Ferguson will be a favorite for fans of romance novels.

Tracy Traynor

In Two Hearts in Retreat by Tamara Ferguson, we meet Melinda McDaniel, an R.N. who tragically loses her fiance when he is killed in action in Iraq. With her heart in pieces, she accepts an offer to work in the Wounded Warrior Home in Crystal Rock, Wisconsin. Recovering from the painful loss of his wife, who died from cancer, Steve Ryder accepts a position as a physical therapist and moves to Crystal Rock. Dragonfly Pointe’s magical secret is that it is a place of love and new beginnings. Mel and Steve find the truth of this as their lives become entwined. Not able to accept that she could be attracted to someone so soon after her beloved was killed, Mel puts a barrier between them. A period of respectful waiting passes before Steve declares his feelings. But when he does, will the memories of her late fiance prevent Mel from falling in love again?

I enjoyed the gradual build-up as Tamara Ferguson beautifully weaves together the lives of Mel and Steve. I love a carefully thought-out plot, but I'm in literary heaven when it’s skillfully penned and dotted with wholesome characters. The slow-burn romance was sweet and came across as real. Crystal Rock and its inhabitants were so beautifully depicted that it became a place I would be delighted to live in. The caring nature of the characters was so refreshing to read; it was like a breath of fresh air. Two Hearts in Retreat is a small-town, slow-burn romance that was an absolute pleasure to read from beginning to end.