Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Return To Me” as Want to Read:
Return To Me
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Return To Me

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Eighteen-year-old Sadie Stark, raised by the governor of Pennsylvania, has the world on a string. She doesn't need the mother who left her any more than she needs the fiance who promises to change. What she needs is to finish college, and keep her wits about her.

When war-bound James Pasko returns her stolen clutch, and shows her what's missing in her life, she
Paperback, 380 pages
Published September 2nd 2015 by The Wild Rose Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Return To Me, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Return To Me

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  55 ratings  ·  28 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Return To Me
Sep 03, 2015 added it
Recommends it for: anyone
This was a very good, well written book, almost as if she wrote this book from her own experience. I truly enjoyed this book and could barely put it down when I had to. I haven't read a book this interesting in a long time. It brings out all the horror and heartbreak of war wondering if your one true love will come home from war at all, let alone in one piece. Carolyn did a great job bringing all this to light showing all the emotions they all went through. If you choose to read this book I prom ...more
Julie Baswell
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everyone assumed that Sadie would marry her longtime boyfriend Henry. That is, everyone except Sadie. And James. When James and Sadie’s paths cross for a second time, they cannot deny the attraction between them. They have one magnificent day and night together before he deploys. While Sadie tries to break up with Henry and prepare for a life with James, James finds himself in enemy territory, counting the days until he returns to his true love.

If you liked The Notebook, you’ll love
Jenni Walsh
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is simply beautiful in so many ways: the prose, the emotions, the relationships, the sentiments, the over-arching story. Carolyn Menke oozes talent and I found myself lost in her story, only surfacing to get more tissues for the final chapters. Even after I turned the last page, my mind dwelled on how I wished this story was more than fiction. It feels too authentic and raw not to be real. I'm eager to read the forthcoming novella about Sadie's mother, and anything else published by th ...more
Lori Jones
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Carolyn Menke's debut novel does not disappoint! Full of emotional depth and poignant prose, this beautifully written historical romance will stay with you well after the final page. Although you'll be happily transported into the 1940s, this tale is classic and timeless. You'll root for Sadie through every twist and turn and feel her every heartbreak! I am anxious to read Menke's soon-to-be released companion novella, I'm Yours, next! Keep watching this talented author!
Cara Reinard
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Menke's novel is a beautiful story with strong characters that leap right off the page and into your heart. Her writing is rich with details of the 1940s and the issues women faced as their greatest loves were shipped off to war, and the emotional aftermath they leave behind. This love story will leave you in tears, but in my opinion, most of the good ones do. I look forward to reading more of Menke's work in the future! I really enjoyed this very much.
Julie Long
I thought this novel would be a tender historical romance, and it was that but it was also much more. Sadie's struggles on the home front while the man she loves is away at the war ventured into serious historical significance for women. I'm glad the novel went that direction in terms of the dilemmas she faced. It made Sadie ultimately a much deeper character, and a more interesting arc of character growth than I expected in a WWII romance. I really enjoyed it!
Dana Faletti
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! I loved Sadie's journey. I cried at her defeats and cheered her triumphs. The love story is so honest, and the hero is every woman's dream guy. The ending is satisfying with just enough of a twist. I absolutely loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves women's fiction.
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love nothing more than a good love story. Some of my favorite movies were books turned to movies. I especially love the cliff hanger opening, you know what I am talking about when that opening scene is the current day and then they leave you hanging. Suddenly you are whisked back in time to their story, all while you wonder who were these people you just met. Carolyn Menke does just that to us in Return to Me. She opens in 1972, you meet two characters, you wonder why one of them is there and ...more
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For those of you old enough to remember what it was like back in the 40's, 50's and even into the 60's you will remember what happened to those who had babies out of wed lock. They were shunned and ofttimes sent off to homes for unwed mothers to have their child then be forced to give them up for adoption or attempt to keep the child. It was not easy! I had a couple of friends this happened to--most gave up the baby-one or two kept them. In the 40's (when this book takes place) and into the 50's ...more
Charlotte Lynn
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
World War II is my favorite era of all times. It is nearly impossible for me to pass up reading anything from that time frame.

Return to Me is a different style of writing than what I am use to. It almost seemed like I was reading James’s journal. The two main characters took turns telling their points of views of the happenings of their lives. I loved this style. It was wonderful to hear how Sadie perceived a certain series of events or what had happen while James was gone to war and then hear
Heather Osborne
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed on behalf of Readers' Favorite

Return to Me by Carolyn Menke is a historical romance, taking place in America during World War II. On the way to basic training, James Pasko has an encounter that will forever change his life. Sadie Stark never expected to see the young boy who found her hiding on the train ever again, but when he shows up to return her purse, a romance is instantly rekindled. Sadie breaks off her relationship with her fiancé and actively pursues one with James
Tracy Helps You
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
While I love reading many kinds of books, Historical Fiction is my favorite genre. I especially love stories during the WWII era. This wonderful story fit the bill perfectly. Carolyn Menke did a great job introducing & developing each character, it feels like you know them.
Return to Me is a love story set during the turbulent wartime years of the 1940’s. The author tells the story through the two main characters, Sadie & James. Every other chapter is told from each of their points
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
World War II and love - what else do you need for a book that will keep you reading? The time period is extremely attractive because of the numerous changes our world was going through. Relationships were more about ending up with a significant other who your family approved of and wives were expected to be meek and reserved. Sadie is my favorite part of this book because she is not quite meek or reserved. She doesn't seem to have a problem stating how she feels and I find that to be 'outside of ...more
Nicki Conroy
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of historical fiction and romance novels. When I find a book that combines the two, I get excited. Return to Me by Carolyn Menke did just that. It excited me and took me back in time, but not so far back I couldn’t picture things.

Set briefly in 1972 - two chapters, Menke’s book is set mostly in the 1940s as the US is shipping troops overseas for World War II. While I grew up in an era that didn’t see people my age shipped off to war, I remember the heartbreak as my ch
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm not usually a romance fan but it was easy to get swept along by this moving tale of love spanning the decades including the World War II. The characters are believable and engaging, even though I found Sadie occasionally quite frustrating, constrained as she is in a world where feminism barely raised its head. The theme of return is strong in the book, as is the idea that life is precious and incredibly brief. The effects of the choices we make truly echo down the years and life continues to ...more
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The very beginning of the book leaves you in suspense with an item and a name, but nothing more and then we are taken back 30 years to another time, another era.

I will tell you, right there, I was ready to finish this book in one sitting just to find out the significance of all of that right there (and no, I am not telling you the item or the name.)

Within the first handful of chapters, I could see the movie Pearl Harbor with the romance, the war, the men. After a few more
Fee (Ebook Addicts)
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, read-in-2015
I am not one to read War time era books but the cover of this just had me wanting to know more, and I am glad that I signed up to tour this book.

This is a love story spanning 3o years and its about two people whose path cross but having the odds stacked against them each time of having a relationship. Sadie is set to marry Henry her long time boyfriend but when she and James share a night together she realises that it is James she wants to be with. However, James is being deployed o
Steve Menke
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Return To Me is a study of war-time love and loss, told from both a female and male perspective. I like that. The author wrote the combat scenes and poker scenes so well I felt like I was in the crashing bomber or on the flight deck right alongside her character. I also think the author did an excellent job highlighting the plight of young women and men, on the home front as well as in combat, during and after the war. It was a lot to tackle, and she excelled. The mention of the black crackle li ...more
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A new book from a new to me Author, I am so happy I signed up for the tour for this book. The cover made me want to read the book, the synopsis completely drew me in. World War II has always been a subject that absolutely fascinated me. Whether it's a book during that era, a movie about the war (Pearl Harbor is one of my absolute favorite movies) or anything, I can hardly pass it up.

I loved being able to read from both James and Sadie's points of view. I felt this book was very well written, AL
Laura Frost
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
Carolyn Menke's debut novel is going to be a hard one to follow. Gentle romance abounds in Return To Me. Sadie is the embodiment of a strong young woman who, although used to the finer things in life is willing to risk it all to follow her heart.

The 1940's was not a time where women were as free as they are now. It was especially hard for a woman in Sadie's situation. Sadie by all accounts should have simply followed the path chosen for her. But, how could we fall in love with her if she took the
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a beautifully written, elegantly crafted debut novel from a very talented new author. I love historical fiction, although I am not normally drawn to works set in the WWII era. This book just drew me it. It was so delightful, romantic, and poignant that I really enjoyed reading it. I didn't want it to end - I wanted to savor it, in fact.

I loved the characters of Sadie and James. I loved the conflict and the heartache associated with soldiers going off to war. It was brilliantly done, an
Sarah Wayne
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not sure why I requested this book because I don't like war era books at all usually but I do love out of wedlock period pieces because that struggle with society wishes and personal conflict fascinate me and that must be why I requested the arc to begin with. I'm glad I did. Return to Me by Carolyn Menke was a good book, the first I've read by this author. There are some areas that lag and a few areas I almost gave up, but I finished it. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for a hon ...more
Anne Schumann
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE anything WWII related so it was a no brainer that this book would be added to my book shelf to read and it will be staying there to lend out to friends. When I picked up this book I was excited to read it. As I started reading I was soon hooked with the love story between Sadie and James (who is heading off to war.) I was also intrigued with what would then happen to Henry (her current boyfriend/fiancée.) This book is worth a read if you love a good old-fashioned love story that spans a w ...more
Heather Scott
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book!! A romantic historical fiction set back in WWII era. I was hooked the moment I picked up the book. It was well written and made me laugh and cry many times along the way. I highly recommend reading this one.
Charleigh Smith
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was such a great read! The eternal love between the characters was heartwarming and made for a wonderful story with surprises around every corner!
Jennifer Bubb
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. The characters are very relatable, and the story keeps the reader's interest. The ending of the book, which I won't give away, is truly memorable.
Carolyn Duran
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nicely done!
rated it it was amazing
Oct 23, 2019
rated it it was amazing
May 28, 2015
Jody Russo
rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2017
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Loved this!!! 1 2 Nov 28, 2015 10:22AM  
Carolyn Menke is the author of RETURN TO ME (September 2015) and its prequel, I'M YOURS (December 2015). A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Carolyn is a professional blogger, creative writing teacher, and award-winning flash fiction writer. She enjoys horseback riding and geocaching with her husband, three daughters, and goldendoodle.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »