I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of this book from the author herself, and am really glad that I set aside my normal reading tastes when it comes to this book. Typically, I don’t read romances and had never paid attention to the term ‘clean romance’, so I had no idea what to expect going in. It turned out to be the perfect sunshine and lemonade read one afternoon, and I would definitely consider taking the rest of the series to the beach when we head off for our winter pick me up later in the year.
Title: Her Blue-Eyed Sergeant
Author: Linda Ellen
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: December 19, 2016
Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Themes: WWII, USO Clubs
My Rating: 4/ 5
He has his life all planned out – until one night at a dance at the USO in town, he meets her…
A secret blurted out in a moment of anger had turned Staff Sergeant Eugene Banks’ life upside down, but he moved on and made a good life for himself. At the moment, he’s concentrating on solving a mystery he had stumbled onto at his job over the motor pool at Fort Knox.
Vivian Powell is contented with her life; she has family, friends, and a good job as a bank teller. Although she was nursing a broken heart, she has since moved forward and isn’t looking for love. At the urging of a friend, she decides to join the war effort by becoming a junior hostess at the local USO…
These two people meet one fateful night at a dance, and their lives are everlastingly changed. What follows is a beautiful courtship, while dodging the fact that she signed an agreement to be available every Saturday night to dance with dozens of soldiers, and in spite of two confusing mysteries that refuse to be solved. Beautiful, that is, until Vivian catches Gene doing the very thing that he swore he would never do, and it nearly rips their romance in two!
If you love stories about WWII and the “Greatest Generation” that read like you’re watching a classic movie, with handsome soldiers and beautiful girls-next-door, then Her Blue-Eyed Sergeant is for you!
I’m not normally one to read romances, let alone clean romances (I must admit this was my first time ever encountering the term), so I didn’t really know what to expect when I started on reading this book. And I have to admit, despite my initial misgivings, I actually had a wonderful time getting caught up in the romance and drama of Gene and Viv.
What’s more than that though, is that I got really caught up in the music mentioned throughout the text. I grew up with swing always playing in my grandmother’s kitchen and as a result always had a tune running in the back of my head while reading. I have since endeavoured to create a playlist of all the amazing music mentioned throughout the book and may have been listening to it non-stop since – having The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B playing in the background really brought the USO club dances and NCO parties to life.
While I really enjoyed this book, I struggled with whether or not I was going to rate it a 3.5 or a 4. Because Goodreads only allows whole numbers I opted to round up as I did I have good giggle. Ultimately, my struggle to rate this text lies predominantly in stylistic choices and because I am neither a writer not overly familiar with the genre I decided that Her Blue-Eyed Sergeant deserved the benefit of the doubt. My main complaint was the foreshadowing at the end of each chapter – the first few times I thought it was cute, but I quickly grew tired as the premise had already been established. But, even then I was completely unprepared for the mystery of Gene’s past and was completely caught of guard!
Additionally, I was really impressed with how the local history was over throughout the book. Often times I get irritated with background and context appearing as disjointed plugs throughout a text. And I didn’t even get close to feeling that way with the histories of the various buildings, Fort Knox, and Louisville throughout this text. The comments were very much in passing, and it felt like I was being told about the locations by someone who had lived their their entire lives which I really appreciated.
This was the perfect book to read on a sunny day with a glass of ice cold lemonade. It had me dreaming of soldiers, tapping my toes, and imagining the night that my grandmother met my grandfather at a servicemen’s ball.
Up Next: Internet Famous by Danika Stone