Love's Sweet Melody
In this sweet romance from Kianna Alexander, it’s 1946 and Warner Hughes has just returned from war. He’s got what we now know as PTSD and most of the town gives him a wide berth due to it. Our kind-hearted heroine, Elizabeth – Betty – Daniels is the exception. She’s a gifted musician and her music is all that seems to soothe Warner, whom she knew before the war. Their romance blossoms from a solid foundation of friendship and I’d recommend this to anyone looking for American historical romance.
I also loved the focus on the healing power of music within this work. Warner is a social outcast due to his condition, much like many folks with PTSD even today. While I’m not an expert at all in post-war mental health, I’m going to guess it was particularly distressing for many Americans to see men changed by the war, when they had previously been exalted as heroes and an embodiment of all that is good about America, so I can understand how the town of Fox Den could see Warner changed so dramatically and simply refuse to deal with it. Betty is repeatedly warned off him because of his disorder, but thankfully she listens to her own heart instead.
There were definitely a few times where I hoped Betty knew what she was getting into, not because she’s naïve, but because there was so little understood about the condition at the time. However, the foundation the author lays for the HEA left me confident the couple would weather any future storm.
Books set in the 1940s segregated south are rare in Romancelandia, and I’m grateful to this series for giving us this lens. Love’s Sweet Melody is a novella, and one on the shorter side at that. Ms. Alexander works well within the page count parameters, allowing the readers to get to know both Betty and Warner enough to buy into the inevitable HEA.