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Apr 20, 2015

Into The Storm by Lisa Bingham

Character driven WWII romance

Into The Storm by Lisa Bingham
Diversion Books, March 31, 2015
Historical Romance/WWII
Review copy provided in exchange for review in Library Journal Xpress
Burton Book Review Rating: 4 stars

RueAnn Boggs meets Charles Tolliver, a handsome Brit with a secret job, and in the course of twenty-four hours, RueAnn is swept off her feet—seduced, wed, and then left by dashing Charlie, who hastily departs for an assignment in England. When weeks go by and she hears nothing from her new husband, RueAnn becomes determined to find out if she’s a wife in name only, and she travels to London for answers. But what she finds there is not at all what she expects…

Susan Blunt has spent her life staying put, retreating into her books while her vivacious twin sister, Sara, lives life to the fullest. The start of the war hasn’t stopped vibrant Sara from collecting a throng of beaus in uniform, including Paul Overdone, an RAF pilot heading for the front. When Sara pressures Susan into switching places and going to a dance with Paul, Susan reluctantly agrees. Little does Susan know that a single night is more than enough time to fall deeply in love with Paul—who returns her ardor, even though he thinks she is someone else…

When the Blitz begins and bombs start raining down on London, both RueAnn and Susan must find the strength and courage they never knew they had in order to survive. They form a friendship out of the city’s ashes, one that helps them weather the storm as they wait for news from the front—from the men they love, have lost, and hope desperately to find once more.

Set against the backdrop of a remarkable era, INTO THE STORM brilliantly explores relationships in wartime, when the passion shared in just one day could sustain love for a lifetime and the love borne of one night’s deception could become the truth that saves a life.

Into The Storm stays true to its title as there is never a dull moment for the characters of this World War II-set novel. Although very character-driven, the plot focuses on the Blunt family and their neighbors, thrust together during London air raids. American RueAnn Tolliver chases after her new husband and finds her reluctantly welcomed by her mother-in-law and the Blunt family. Twins Susan and Sara Blunt struggle to keep their family together during very harsh times of rations and the harsh realities of their country suffering through bombing raids. With a bit of espionage interlaced with Charles Tolliver's storyline, the romance and the historical details make for an intriguing and very promising story.

Into The Storm reads swiftly and easily, with smooth writing that draws the reader in. There were quite a few characters whose stories eventually intermingled but one could sense the rushing of the story to get to the end, where it would have better suited to add a few more pages to the novel to flesh it out. While the story reveals grief and sorrow as the characters develop, the romance brought a happy-ever-after feel with perhaps a touch of incredulity. Still, Into The Storm is a very enjoyable World War II novel with a stronger character development theme than the romance factor, as the heat rating was very low key.