“Promise Me You'll Help Her.”
Former Union soldier Jeremiah “Jack” Murphy should never have given his word to a dying man, especially a Rebel. But now he feels honor-bound to carry the message to the man's young bride. Besides, with false charges following him, Jack needs somewhere to turn.
After he fulfills his promise, perhaps the North Carolina mountains can give this weary soldier some shelter. Yet when he meets beautiful widow Sayer Garth, leaving is the last thing on Jack's mind.
Sayer, and her young sisters-in-law, need help that Jack is more than willing to provide. If only he could be certain that his presence—and his secrets—won't put them all at risk.
And here is Joyce's review:
Compelled by long-ago lessons to “do the right thing” Jeremiah “Jack” Murphy, Union soldier, ventures out onto an abandoned battlefield to help a mortally wounded Confederate soldier. Jack is startled by the soldier’s request that Jack find the man’s wife in North Carolina and pass along his letters and belongings to her, but the deathbed request cannot be denied and Jack assures the dying man that he’ll find his wife after the war.
The war ends, and Jack makes his way back to the orphanage he considers “home” in Kentucky. His stay is brief, and he moves on sooner than he had planned. Jack decides to fulfill the wishes of the dying solder, Thomas Henry Garth, and pass along that man’s wishes and belongings to his widow, Sayer. Once he reaches the remote cabin where Sayer lives with Thomas’ young sisters, Jack stays on, at first to help the young widow with repairs and chores, but then because he realizes he’s fallen in love with Sayer.
Scarred by war, haunted by his past and hunted for a transgression he didn’t commit, Jack knows the best thing he can do is move on. He is unwilling to endanger Sayer and the young girls he has come to care for, but he loathes the thought of leaving them all behind. What he doesn’t realize is that Sayer loves him, too, and that their faith in God, and in each other, will give them the strength to move on…together.
The Soldier’s Wife is a “love inspired historical” novel by RITA Award winner Cheryl Reavis. The story is well-paced and compelling, with a strong foundation in faith and prayer. Jack is an unlikely, but very likeable hero, an orphaned ex-soldier who draws strength not solely from his faith, but from English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Reavis populates the story with quotes from the poem and the Bible, and each quote seems to be perfectly placed and apropos to the situation.
Sayer is strong and independent, a woman of her time who has weathered the worst and looks forward to a brighter future. The Soldier’s Wife is a gentle novel set in the least gentle of times, a well-written story of love, redemption and honor among soldiers that is well-worth Ms. Reavis’ nomination for this year’s RITA in the Inspirational Romance category.