First Street Church Romances: Love’s Mending Embrace (WWI Book 1) by Jenna Brandt (MY REVIEW)

About the Book

Love's mending embrace final finalWars don’t happen just on the battlefield. One woman will fight for her future with the man she loves.

Before America entered the Great War, Karen and Adam were set to be married but everything was put on hold when Adam was conscripted to join the military. After being forced to return to a life Adam tried to leave behind, he is taken, prisoner. Karen, along with her family, wait in Sweet Grove, Texas, hoping and praying Adam will return to the family. After his return, the couple must face new obstacles to find their happily-ever-after. But Adam and Karen are not the only ones affected by the war. Neighbors and friends in Sweet Grove have their own battles to fight, struggles to overcome and victories to achieve.

From bestselling author, Jenna Brandt comes a story about the first World War and the lives of the people in Sweet Grove, Texas during it. The era of WWI comes to life in the descriptions of volunteer rationing, victory gardens, and war committees.

Love’s Mending Embrace shows how the power of love and faith can overcome the tragedies of war and how one woman’s loving embrace can mend a soldier’s, wounded heart.

MY THOUGHTS“Loves Mending Embrace” is the first book in a brand-new series “First Street Church Romances” by Jenna Brandt.

This lovely love story is centred around the First World War during a time of extreme hardships, emotional devastation, stoic determination, and sheer grit. 

“Rich soil overwhelmed her nose while her heart ached at the thought of not finishing the squash harvest before the storm arrived.”

War was hard for everyone, those who went to fight for and protect their country, and those who were left behind to work and worry. Karen and Adam weren’t immune either. In the end, it was faith that got them through … especially Adam. Also witnessing the effects that war had on other people, had a huge impact as well.

“It’s not fair. You served your time.”
“I must do my part for our safety. Promise me, you’ll wait until I return.”
Karen did not waiver. “Always and forever.”

“Loves Mending Embrace” is a sweet, short story romance. Ms. Brandt covers the emotional journey well, with a happy ending of course, but I cannot tell you what that is for fear of spoiling the story. Being a short story, some details and points were quickly skipped over e.g. the building of Adam and Karen’s forever home, however, I didn’t find that the story lacked anything. I managed to fill any gaps with my own imagination.

I loved that the presence of God was apparent and absolute from almost the beginning of the book. Once that miracle happened, I just had to continue reading until the end. I often read more than one book at a time, but so far each of Jenna Brandt’s books I’ve read by themselves, savouring until the end. My only regret is that this heartfelt story wasn’t longer, but I guess I’ll just need to wait for the next book in this series.

“With God’s strength, he could bear what was coming as long as he remembered what he was living for. He must never let go of his faith.”

It was a nice touch and a lovely surprise to find a bonus recipe at the very end of the story. I can’t tell you much about it as you’ll be wanting to buy your own copy, and I wouldn’t dream of ruining this sweet surprise. However, I can tell you that the recipe is called “Apple Brown Betty”.  Congratulations Ms Brandt – a good 5 stars!

I was given an ARC of this book by the author, and at no stage have I been obliged to give a positive review. All thoughts are entirely my own.

About the Author

JENNA BRANDTJenna Brandt is a Christian historical fiction author and her books span from the Victorian to Western to WWI eras with elements of romance, suspense, and faith. You can find out more about her anytime at http://www.jennabrandt.com and sign up for her newsletter http://www.jennabrandt.com/p/newsletter-sign-up.html

She has been an avid reader since she could hold a book and started writing stories almost as early. Jenna has been published in several newspapers as well as edited for multiple papers and graduated with her BA in English from Bethany College where she was the Editor-in-Chief of her college newspaper. She’s an on-going contributor to The Mighty Website and her first Blog was published on Yahoo Parenting and The Grief Toolbox as well as featured on the ABC News and Good Morning America websites.

Writing is her passion but she also enjoys cooking, watching movies, reading, engaging in social media and spending time with her three young daughters and husband where they live in the Central Valley of California. She’s active in her local church where she volunteers on their first impressions team as well as writes for the church’s creative team.

About Just Jo'Anne

Josephine-Anne, also fondly known as Jo'Anne, just turned sixty years old, an age she's decided to be for the remainder of her life. Jo'Anne has had a life-long passion for reading and writing. Most of her working life was spent in the administration and finance field; however, once an early retirement became necessary, the next step was logical. So, after much soul-searching, Jo'Anne decided to spend the remainder of her days doing what she loves. She's currently working on a fictional memoir "Charlie Dreams" and has also tried her hand at short stories, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. Jo'Anne has had a poem published in the "Glimpses of Light Anthology, called "God's Woollen Blanket". Jo'Anne loves to read all kinds of fiction, especially crime/ thriller and suspense, contemporary and historical romance. When she's not writing you will find her either inside a good book, with a cup of tea in hand, or pottering around the garden daydreaming and plotting.
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