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Heart of a Hero #1

The Military Wife

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An emotionally layered novel about family, loss and what it means to be a military wife.

Harper Lee Wilcox has been marking time in her hometown of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina since her husband, Noah Wilcox’s death, nearly five years earlier. With her son Ben turning five and living at home with her mother, Harper fights a growing restlessness, worried that moving on means leaving the memory of her husband behind.

Her best friend, Allison Teague, is dealing with struggles of her own. Her husband, a former SEAL that served with Noah, was injured while deployed and has come home physically healed but fighting PTSD. With three children under foot and unable to help her husband, Allison is at her wit’s end.

In an effort to reenergize her own life, Harper sees an opportunity to help not only Allison but a network of other military wives eager to support her idea of starting a string of coffee houses close to military bases around the country.

In her pursuit of her dream, Harper crosses paths with Bennett Caldwell, Noah’s best friend and SEAL brother. A man who has a promise to keep, entangling their lives in ways neither of them can foresee. As her business grows so does an unexpected relationship with Bennett. Can Harper let go of her grief and build a future with Bennett even as the man they both loved haunts their pasts?

352 pages, Paperback

First published February 5, 2019

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About the author

Laura Trentham

39 books886 followers
Author of smart, sexy Southern contemporary romance, Regency historicals, & heartfelt Women's Fiction
Series include:
Sweet Home Alabama
Spies and Lovers
Heart of a Hero
Highland, Georgia

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 375 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.6k followers
March 27, 2019
“Life has a way of giving us what we need at the right time.”

Those who know me best know there’s nothing that can ramp-up the pitter-patter of my heart like a connection that leads to the exchange of a particular four-letter word. What can I say, I’m a lover of love. A hopeless romantic. A sappy gal.

What I find unfortunate is the stigma surrounding the romance genre or the assumption that storylines with a heavy focus on love—like this one—lack substance. The bewitching and emotional aspects of The Military Wife, in conjunction with the heavy topics explored, proves a plot can deliver on multiple fronts.

Laura Trentham brings readers into Harper’s life five years after the epic loss of her Navy SEAL husband, Noah. At a time when she’s content just making it through the day and coming home to her young son. Little, if any, thought given to where life might take her next.

A friend’s heartbreaking struggle with the effects of her husband’s PTSD and the all too familiar existence other military wives face—looking for a greater purpose—reignites Harper’s drive to leave a mark on the world. Her goal, to find a concept that would utilize her business acumen and offer an outlet to military wives in an area with few job opportunities.

In an unexpected twist, a battlefield promise made by her husband’s best friend, Bennett—aka Grizzly—changes the trajectory of Harper’s entire world. It's a journey that opens Harper’s eyes to the possibilities. And the realization that moving on would never mean sacrificing her history with Noah.

What I appreciated most about Harper and Bennett’s connection—other than their natural chemistry—was their ability to be vulnerable with one another. Voicing their fears and insecurities mattered.

Rivaling the emotions surrounding Harper and Bennett are those clouding the space between Allison and Darren. I don’t have any personal experience with PTSD, but the way Trentham tackles the issues here feels genuine and deeply important; especially considering how many people live with this gut-wrenching reality day-in and day-out.

Fingers crossed Laura Trentham is hard at work on book two; I'm chomping at the bit to see who we'll meet next.

*Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending a review copy my way. And to Julie, whose review (you can check it out --> here) made sure my eyes landed on these pages.
Profile Image for Julie .
4,026 reviews58.9k followers
February 7, 2019
The Military Wife by Laura Trentham is a 2019 St. Martin’s Griffin publication.

A moving story with a beautiful and emotional love story!

Harper is a war widow, raising her son, Ben, alone. Noah has been gone five years now, and Harper is hoping to start her own business by opening coffee shops located near military bases, which also helps to provide jobs for military wives.

Allison is Harper’s best friend, helping her with the new business, while also coping with her husband’s dangerous and terrifying PTSD.

Bennett Caldwell was Noah’s best friend, and SEAL brother. Noah used to read portions of Harper’s letters out loud to Bennett, giving him a certain image of Harper, and an idea of the type of woman she might be. Bennett must now make good on a promise he made to Noah before his death, but he is also weighed down with a heavy heart. Bennett wants to help Harper, but, preferably from a distance. Harper, however, wants to know what really happened to Noah and only Bennett knows the whole truth.

While this story is categorized as a military romance, this is not your typical contemporary romance featuring an inked, alpha male with cartoonish muscles. This novel is much more mature than that, with well- drawn characters and very realistic dialogue.

This is a very well constructed story, examining the various challenges military wives and families face and the way they support one another through thick and thin. I loved Harper’s and Bennett’s bittersweet romance and the way their feelings grew over time and the very understandable mixture of emotions they brought to their new relationship.

All the issues addressed in the story are emotional and realistic, spotlighting the very real struggles military families face. The sacrifice and honor of these soldiers and the lingering effects that haunts them long after their service is complete is handled with sensitivity and respect.

These characters are memorable, sympathetic and even inspirational. Although there is a very special romance thread, the secondary threads are just as compelling, making this a story that could easily cross over into other genres and would appeal to a broader audience.

Overall, this is a very touching story, with a wonderful blend of romance, family, and friendship with a hard won and long overdue happily ever after.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for KAS.
317 reviews3,130 followers
March 6, 2019
To quote one of the characters, This Was A Whammy!!

I went into this book with much trepidation. As a twenty-seven year military wife, I had read too many stories and watched too many tv shows about military wives depicting them in over the top, very unlikely situations.

Luckily, the storyline was not only plausible, but totally unexpected!

Going in totally blind, I admit to building up quite a few preconceived notions. Geez ... I was so far off “base” (just having a little fun with this military pun).

Finding true love, losing it and having the willingness to move forward ... yep, it was a total win, win in my opinion! AND there is a lot of “meat on the bones” to the overall plot to sink your teeth into with characters so well developed and endearing.

This is my first read by this author, and looking forward to many more.

Planning on filing this under women’s fiction, but feel those who read contemporary romance would find it to be a page turner as well.

I enjoyed it’s sweetness with a touch of angsty-ness thrown in for good measure ;)
Profile Image for Dri ✰.
693 reviews215 followers
February 8, 2019


“No one could understand the stress and isolation of being a military wife unless she’d lived it.”

Que incrível, comovente e maravilhoso foi este livro!
Eu AMEI tudo, tudo mesmo!
Amei os personagens principais, bem construídos, complexos e apaixonantes . Foi impossível não sentir uma conexão com eles ao acompanhar suas lutas.

“People fail all the time. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth trying.”

Este é o primeiro livro que leio da autora e a escrita dela me encantou por ser bem cativante e envolvente, me prendeu desde a primeira página e não consegui parar a leitura enquanto não chegasse à última.
A história foi bem escrita, elaborada e desenvolvida.

“A storm was coming and she had two choices, revel in thunder and lightning and chaos or run back to her calm existence.”

Tem um bom tempo que não me sentia completamente conectada a um livro de modo geral, tanto enredo quanto personagens... daqueles que te deixam de ressaca, sabe?
The Military Wife conseguiu, com êxito, me proporcionar isto e muito mais!

“Most people don’t get it. The threat of death is abstract, but for women like us, the threat has moved into the spare bedroom.”

Definitivamente este livro se tornou um dos favoritos do ano pra mim e esta história e personagens ganharam um espaço enorme no meu coração!
Amei, amei, amei e recomendo muito!! ❤️
Profile Image for DJ Sakata.
3,036 reviews1,747 followers
February 7, 2019
Favorite Quotes:

“He’s been gone five years, sweetheart, and you haven’t gone on so much as a date.” “That’s not true. I went to lunch with Whit a few weeks ago.” “He was trying to sell you life insurance. Doesn’t count.”

He got out a pot and pulled down three cans. She moved close enough to see two were chili and one was dog food. She hoped she rated the chili.

Without thinking beyond the moment, she scooched closer and put her arm around him from behind. It was like hugging a gargoyle, and she half-expected him to shove her arm away as if comfort were a communicable disease.

Unable to unstick her gaze from him, she nodded, aware of him in ways that made parts of her tingle. Or was that the beginnings of frostbite?

His smile was like the sighting of a rare bird, and it filled her with the same kind of wonder.

And, in my mom’s eyes, you are officially the favorite of all my boyfriends. Although it’s not like the competition was steep. Not being a public nose picker put you in the lead.

I love bargaining. My husband says I can talk the devil down on buying a soul.

Time to push, Harper dear, but softly. We don’t want baby to squirt out and shoot across the room.

My Review:

This cleverly written book plumbed all the feels and insightfully covered several important and vexing societal issues with grace and finesse while bringing honor and recognition to some of the stressors bedeviling families that sacrifice to serve their country. The storylines were active and cleverly nuanced, highly relevant, emotive, evocative, and beautifully written with agility and artistry while well balanced with levity and witty quips. Ms. Trentham is a recent discovery for me with her delightfully appealing Cottonbloom series, and I have repeatedly noticed her special ninja-like talent for creating unique and complex characters who are unfailingly endearing yet extremely complicated, deeply flawed, and impossible not to love. Bennett and Harper included.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,154 reviews1,514 followers
February 4, 2019
The Military Wife by Laura Trentham is the first book of the contemporary romance A Heart of a Hero series. As once may guess from the title/series this one is centered around our military with the main character having lost her husband as he served.

Harper Lee Wilcox lost her husband, Noah, five years before while he was on active duty in the military. Harper had been a college graduate that struggled with being a military wife with whom employers would pass over knowing that the husband could move on at any time. Unfortunately her fears over losing her husband became real just before their son was to be born and even five years later she struggles to move on.

With Harper’s best friend struggling after her husband had been injured and looking to find her own place Harper keeps tossing around ideas to start a business to help military wives like herself. This path brings Harper into contact with Bennett Caldwell who had been Noah’s best friend and there at the time of his death. As the business idea brings them closer together Harper and Noah both struggle with the past.

The story within The Military wife is one that alternates between what is happening with Harper and Bennett in the present but also looks back into the past when Noah and Harper were just beginning to show both timelines. As one would guess this is an emotional read which was to be expected reading about what Harper and her family and friends go through with spouses who are injured or don’t return from duty. It was also nice to show the different times in one’s life through how Harper was before and how she is now with Bennett. Lovely read I’d definitely recommend.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Zoe.
1,818 reviews170 followers
January 7, 2019
Absorbing, moving, and incredibly uplifting!

The Military Wife is a tender, heartfelt story that delves not only into the emotional and psychological struggles and hardships of being part of the military and the effects they have on both the enlisted themselves and their loved ones, but also the patience, understanding, support, and trust required to maintain a relationship and individuality under those conditions.

The prose is effortless and well turned. The characters are scarred, genuine, and endearing. And the story is a mesmerizing tale about life, loss, love, forgiveness, grief, familial drama, friendship, community, courage, resilience, and moving on.

Overall, The Military Wife is a beautifully written tale with a lovely mix of hope, grit, emotion, and romance that exceeded my expectations. It's an impressive start to the “A Heart of a Hero” series and I can't wait for the publication of book #2.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Erin.
2,955 reviews485 followers
February 12, 2019
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin'S Press for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

Yes, this is a romancey type story, but it is first and foremost an exploration of the effects of PTSD on the home front and how it affects both those serving and their families. I felt all the characters were relateable and I just couldn't put this story down. Alison and Harper's relationship reminded me very much of the show Army Wives which I loved so much. As the storyline alternates between the past and the present, I just found myself unable to put this story down. I am so interested in the rest of the series and will keep my eyes peeled on Laura Trentham for the future.
Profile Image for Madison Warner Fairbanks.
2,234 reviews302 followers
February 5, 2019
The Military Wife by Laura Trentham

Touching, heartbreaking Military romance that will leave you sighing in happiness that these two were able to find love and help heal each other.
I wish that PTSD wasn’t so common or individualized. Books like this help bring awareness.

Alternating chapters to the past. Those chapters aren’t in sequence but rather based on the current storyline being told.

The whole story is poignant. Often touching or sad but ultimately love prevails and happiness (at least for this couple) is achieved.
First in a series. I definitely want to read more by the author and series.

Excerpt for the writer imagery:
Bennett stared her down. The anger roiling through the silence generated its own energy. All directed at her. Seth glanced between them, then shuffled to the nearest window and pressed his nose to the glass like a kid trying to spot Bigfoot.
Excerpt from The Military Wife by Laura Trentham

I received a copy of this from NetGalley. I also purchased a copy to share.
Profile Image for Kendall.
638 reviews640 followers
November 27, 2019
This was such a beautiful and uplifting story!

What I loved about this story? Yes, it's a romance but it takes a dive into the challenging and heartbreaking side of being apart of a close loved one that belongs in the military. The author explores what turmoil it effects those that are enlisted but also the trust, love, compassion, and patience that is required to maintain a relationship.

The writing is absolutely breathtaking and the words flow beautifully across the pages. The characters are raw, real, deep, and endearing. Laura explores a story full of loss, love, friendships, strength, moving on, resilience to the core, and community strength. I admire Trentham in writing such a strong masterpiece that we have on our hands here.

I cannot wait to explore the next in the series! I would have to say this story exceeded my expectations and highly recommend!

4.5 stars!

Profile Image for Kate Olson.
2,190 reviews724 followers
February 18, 2019
(free review copy from publisher) Military stories are ones I definitely want in the world, especially stories like this one - about PTSD and the hardships that military families face, but until recently I haven't actually been able to read them. Due to a personal reason, the stories have either been way too close to home, or infuriate me by romanticizing something that isn't romantic in the least. With time being a healer, I just this winter have been able to read stories like this one, and am so happy that I did because it means I can recommend them to others.
The Military Wife is a full-hearted story of a young widow of a Navy SEAL and her relationships with other military families, as well as one of her husband's friends. There is a strong romantic element, which makes sense given the author's history as a romance author, but the book is about so much more than that too. It's about the trauma of war, PTSD, the struggle of military spouses, and the indoctrination that military personnel endure to be able to do the jobs they do. While the author is not herself a military wife, the book was written with the input of a former Navy SEAL as well as a military wife - this definitely adds to the authenticity of the story.
I loved this book, and am so happy that Trentham wrote it - I hope it brings much wider awareness to the struggles that our military members face when returning from combat, and also the unique issues that military families face on the home front. The characters aren't perfect, but neither are real humans, and the character of Noah was so reminiscent of young men I have known who have joined the armed forces.
If you read women's fiction and appreciate romantic themes, I definitely recommend this one. There is sex in the book, but it's not at all steamy. I really like how consent was handled in the book, as well. I haven't found a review yet by an actual member of the SEALs or a military spouse, but please do let me know if you've written one or have read one! I am sure this book might be a tough read for either of those groups, and I completely understand them not wanting to read fiction based on these experiences.
Content warning: Mentions of suicidal thoughts/attempt, brief mentions of remembered child abuse, remembered graphic combat violence.
Profile Image for Caz.
2,675 reviews1,012 followers
April 5, 2019
I've given this a B at AAR.

Laura Trentham’s The Military Wife is a poignant, gently moving story that explores the various facets of military life as faced by the families of servicemen and women, who have to deal with challenges just as complex and difficult as their enlisted loved ones. It’s an entertaining and informative story in which the author examines serious issues such as depression and PTSD, and looks as well at the difficulty of putting down roots, holding down jobs and maintaining continuity when your partner could be transferred to another location at any time.

Harper Lee Wilcox lost her husband Noah when he was killed while on active service overseas five years earlier.  Her son Ben was conceived just before that last deployment so he has never known his father, and although Harper sometimes worries about his lack of a father figure, he’s a bright, happy, well-adjusted little boy who is the light of her life.  After Noah’s death, Harper and Ben moved in with Harper’s mother, who suggests that maybe it’s time for Harper to break out of the rather dull routine her life has become, doing books and taxes for a handful of local businesses and living really for Ben rather than for herself.  Harper graduated from university with degrees in business and marketing, and right now she’s not using either of them; but with Ben now in school full-time, perhaps it is time for her to move forward in terms of her career and her personal life.

Harper is concerned about one of her dearest friends, Allison Teague, whose normally chatty, exuberant nature has seemed to dim of late, so Harper decides to pay her a short visit to see if there’s anything she can do to help. When she arrives, she finds the normally well put-together, upbeat Allison is a complete mess.  She’s lost weight and carries an air of exhaustion around with her; her husband Darren is withdrawn, and short-tempered and hasn’t been the same since he returned from his last mission.  Both women suspect he may be depressed or suffering from PTSD, but whenever Allison tries to broach the subject of getting help, he shuts her down.

Harper suggests that Allison should open up to some of the other military wives who belong to the support group she started, but Allison is reluctant. For one thing, their regular meet-ups never usually touch on serious subjects, and for another, Allison has always been the one to whom others turned for support; she’s the strong one, the capable one, and she’s worried about appearing weak.

Harper won’t let Allison off the hook though, and although it’s difficult for her, Allison shares her concerns about Darren and how scared she is for him and the future of their family. To her surprise, a number of the other women open up more about the issues that are really bothering them, such as coping with boredom and depression, or the resentment they feel at how their own lives have been relegated to second place to the demands of the military.

Harper starts thinking about ways in which she and the other women could put their skills to good use, and comes up with the idea of setting up some sort of business together. She received a large sum of money following Noah’s death which she still hasn’t touched – it can serve as start-up money – and eventually she comes up with the idea of opening a coffee shop near the base. I confess, this was the weakest – and least interesting – part of the story; the idea of the women coming together to use their skills was a good one, but there’s a coffee shop on every corner these days and I found it a rather uninspired proposition. Anyway. Allison is surprised to hear that Harper has such a large sum – $100,000 – at her disposal, but Harper tells her it’s the money that went with the bravery award she was given at Noah’s funeral. Allison has never heard of such a thing – so where did the money come from?

Bennett Caldwell was Noah Wilcox’s closest friend and was honour bound to carry out Noah’s dying request that he make sure Noah’s wife and son were taken care of. The author does a great job in some of the flashback portions of the novel of showing how Bennett, a product of the foster system and a taciturn loner, became friends with the sunny-natured Noah and of conveying the strength of the bond that developed between them through the gruelling BUD/s training and beyond. Bennett carries a huge burden of guilt over Noah’s death, which, at first, makes him reluctant to have anything to do with Harper when she tracks him down. Harper insists on returning the money; Bennett doesn’t want it – but Harper isn’t content to let the matter rest, realising that there’s more behind the gift of such a large sum than a simple desire to carry out Noah’s last wishes.

Harper and Bennett struggle with a mixture of conflicting emotions as they begin to fall for each other. Harper is a very down-to-earth young woman with an optimistic outlook, and although she knows Noah would want her to be happy, a tiny part of her can’t help feeling guilty over the idea that she might be falling in love again. And Bennett, who already carries a truckload of guilt over the death of the man who was the closest thing he ever had to a brother, is torn up over falling for the guy’s wife – and worries that if Harper knew what really happened on the day Noah died, she’ll want nothing more to do with him.

Even though it deals with some difficult subject matter, The Military Wife is ultimately an uplifting story about moving on and rediscovering one’s purpose in life. The author writes insightfully about the difficulties inherent in being married to someone in the military, and through the secondary storyline featuring Allison and Darren, shines a light on the dichotomy faced by men who return from war plagued by emotional trauma but who have been trained to be stoic and dispassionate, and for whom asking for help seems like an admission of failure.

Laura Trentham is known for writing contemporary romances, but I’d say The Military Wife fits more into the genre of Women’s Fiction, even though romance is an important part of the story. It’s a ‘quiet’ read, but one which packs a powerful emotional punch, and I’d recommend it to fans of the author and genre alike.
Profile Image for T. Rosado.
1,697 reviews42 followers
July 31, 2019


I've enjoyed every book that I've read by this author, but I think I just finished one of her best works to date in The Military Wife. Told fluidly in a past/present dual POV, this author captures the many facets of military life as an enlisted SEAL, spouse, and veteran. The story doesn't get bogged down in the details, but focuses on the relationships and moving forward after tragedy, loss, and grief. I absolutely loved how this author was able to draw me in and endear me to the main characters, as well as vital secondary characters. Although the romance isn't exactly central to the overall story, it's just as breathtakingly romantic as her contemporary romances with equal shades of heartrending. In this beautiful story, Trentham has managed to captivate me with each scene and move me to tears, smiles, and romantic swoons. I'm truly looking forward to more in this new series.
Profile Image for Jaime Fiction Fangirls.
1,589 reviews148 followers
February 4, 2020
Wow. Just. Wow.

I have avoided reading Military romance/fiction for the past few years due to my personal experience as the spouse of a former soldier living with PTSD. Something about the blurb and my previous experience reading this author made me set aside my fear and request to read it despite my anxiety about the theme. To say that I’m blown away feels like an understatement. This feels like the most honest and real (fictional) depiction of PTSD (speaking from the spouse POV only) and how it affects families that I’ve ever read.

It wasn’t just the PTSD angle of this story that blew me away though. The whole story and the care that the author took to tackle extremely difficult themes had me glued to my Kindle to finish this book in a matter of hours. I felt every emotion that the characters were feeling throughout. The anger, the sadness, the hope and love.

This story was not an easy one to read. I cried. A lot. I felt too much and the pain, fear and anger felt eerily familiar to me, but so did the hopefulness and love and, essentially it’s that love and hope that got me through it. This is a beautifully written story that I imagine I’ll come back to reread often.

*I received an ARC from NetGalley for voluntary review
Profile Image for Bookphenomena (Micky) .
2,415 reviews385 followers
January 26, 2019
THE MILITARY WIFE swept me up quickly into Harper's life and story. Harper was a military widow and what was unusual about her tale was that she was five years down the line from being widowed. She was forever changed by her experiences, sad at times but she was also functional and optimistic about life ahead.

This story is told in a past/present chapter approach. Whilst I really did want to be focused in the present and what was happening there, I did appreciate the need to know the story underpinning the 'now'.

A strange revelation in Harper's life threw her into the path of her late husband's closest 'brother' and Bennett is reluctant to see or communicate with Harper. Bennett was a large, interesting but quiet man and Harper was persistent, getting under his skin. What develops between these two is slow-burning and beautiful. Although there was heat, the focus was very much on the emotionality of the connection and this intensity was fantastic.

There was a cast of strong secondary characters including another military family who were in crisis, Harper's son and her mother. The stories around these characters were strong and interwoven inexplicably into Harper and Bennett's tale. This all made for a rich and deep story.

This is my first time reading Laura Trentham but I literally can't wait for more of this series. I will also be perusing her other books as I wait.

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
Profile Image for Anete.
427 reviews63 followers
December 27, 2019
4/5 Mana veida "pūkainā" romantika. Pietiekami viegla, bet ar vairākām nopietnām tēmām, problēmas nav no pirksta izzīstas, bet šķiet pietiekami reālas, un, protams, katrai Military wife ir savs Military Husband!
Dzīves realitāte - katram ir rakstura īpašības, kas vienā dzīves situācijā sagādā priekšrocības, bet citā ir mūsu lielākais trūkums.

Profile Image for Deanne Patterson.
1,826 reviews88 followers
March 12, 2019
I have read other books by this author and was used to reading her writing style in that genre but now she has written her debut Women's fiction novel. It's also my first read of a military/ Navy Seal type book. Being that I've never read this type of book before I wasn't really sure what to expect. My son is a police officer and he tells me about this job all the time so I kind of knew what to expect I guess. The story took me by surprise as I liked it alot more than I thought I would and I will definitely be reading more books in this series. Harper Lee Wilcox has been a widow for 5 years after the in the line of duty death of her Navy Seal husband, Noah. He died when she was pregnant with their first child. He never even got to meet his only son, Ben. Harper is a single Mom to her son, Ben and she must stay strong for her son and her mother who lives with them. Her mother isn't the typical granny type though. She is active and encourages Harper to date and start living life again, after all it's been 5 years since her husband's death. As Harper starts to live again and even open her own shop it shows her as a strong independent woman who can be more than a mother and wife. She has her own wants and needs too. Ex-Navy Seal Bennett Caldwell knew Noah before his death having been wounded in the same combat mission that claimed Noah's life. These men were brothers, not by blood but still brothers. Haunted by PTSD the nightmares threaten to overwhelm him even though he physically heals his mind doesn't. Bennett made a promise to Noah before his death that brings Harper into his life . But can these two souls begin the healing process and let go of the guilt and personal pain that hold them back? Great book!
Published February 5th 2019 by St. Martin's Griffin
I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin's through NetGalley. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Patrice.
614 reviews46 followers
April 3, 2019
Wonderfully written saga addressing some of the realities that the spouses/families that remain behind when their partners/parent go off to serve their country face. This is told from the view point of one of "The Military Wife". When a family member serves, the entire family serves too, each in their own way. We find out about the loneliness, lack of jobs outside the home, depression, guilt, etc. that the partners of deployed troops deal with. It is a difficult dynamic to make work.

The characters are well written. I felt as if I was with the main character, Harper, as the story progressed. We meet her and her eccentric, retired librarian, mother, her friends and other family members. We are brought along on a journey with Harper through the highs and lows of being a military family. I liked how the author switched between past and present as chapters in order to fill the reader in on the lives of the 2 main characters.

I received an ARC of this book through Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for TeriLyn.
1,335 reviews385 followers
November 11, 2019

5 "Eventually, everything was okay." Stars

Great women's fiction novel about a widowed military wife and the solace she finds in discovering the nuances of their life together. Laura Trentham toggles between the past and present of the the male and female protagonists creating a story full of love, friendship, and hope through unthinkable tragedy. It's a slow burn romance. It's a tribute to the men and women who serve this country. It's a book about a woman who perseveres and wants other to find that inner strength too. I really loved it.

Profile Image for Richelle Robinson.
1,181 reviews35 followers
February 8, 2019

“I received a review copy from NetGalley and voluntarily provided an honest review. This does not affect the opinion of the book or the content of the review.’

Harper has been alive but not really living ever since her husband, Noah, died. Noah was a Navy Seal and Harper’s life pretty much revolved around him and his career and then their child. Fast forward 5 years later and Harper is feeling unfulfilled and decides to open up a coffee house to give the other military wives and herself something to do while their husbands are deployed. I really liked this idea and I felt it was a good venture for the women. People often forget about the wives and how much they sacrifice while their love ones are fighting to keep us safe. Thank you both for your service and sacrifices.

During the story we are introduced to Bennett and he was best friends with Noah. Harper and Bennett developed feelings for each other but they think it’s disrespectful to Noah’s memory. Honestly, it does make sense they would be together because they both loved Noah in their own way. I didn’t find their relationship as taboo as I thought I would.

My heart ached for the secondary characters Allison and Darren. They struggled with Darren coming home from war and not being himself. Allison is trying to be strong and take care of the house and kids and makes it seem like everything is fine. I’m happy the author shed a light on the emotional side of coming home from war and trying to readjust to civilian life after a traumatic experience.

I really don’t read a lot of military books but I’m glad I gave it a shot. The story was told in past and present which I enjoyed. I liked seeing how Noah and Harper met when they were younger. I loved how the army wives were active in the communities and helped each other out when things got tough.. I really enjoyed the book but I did feel the ending was slightly rushed. This was the first time I read a book by this author and it was a pleasant surprise!

Profile Image for Anne OK.
3,480 reviews444 followers
August 3, 2019
I've had this one on my book shelf for several months. It has landed in my hands a few times, but didn't hold my attention. I don't know what kept me setting it aside after no more than ten pages -- very unlike me. Once I pick up a book, I most always see it through to the end. Finally, at the beginning of this week I once again re-started this one -- and read from the first page through to the end.

And now I'm having difficulties putting into words a review. Going to take a day or two and think about the story, the characters and the important message that came forward and the reasons it just didn't click for me like I had hoped.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
1,465 reviews236 followers
February 12, 2019
Right from the first page I was hooked into this story that explores military life from so many different viewpoints. Firstly the men themselves, then the women who love them and the children in the family.  Military men are tough but they are also human, Laura Trentham explores PTSD, grief and loss, women who worry about their men and children who have either lost a parent to war or must tiptoe around because their dad just isn't who he once was.

Harper Wilcox is a wonderful Mom to Ben. She has been through the mill - losing her husband Noah in a military mission. Fortunately she has the support of her mother and a delightful Ben. She wants more though about how Noah died beyond the terse military report. She believes Bennett who was on that mission may hold some answers.

Allison is Harper's friend, she has three children and a husband who since returning from active duty has been morose and the family have had to tiptoe around him.

I liked the way the story unfolded, the characters were ones I could take into my mind and heart. The story moved along at a good pace and I think gave me a good insight into the challenges, struggles and losses of those involved in military service. While I smiled from time to time, I also teared up. So an emotional read!

Such a mixture of loss, guilt, anger, despair coupled with love, strength, support, new hope and second chances. I will most certainly look for the next book in The Heart of a Hero series.
Profile Image for Sascha.
Author 5 books20 followers
January 30, 2019
The Military Wife by Laura Trentham worked for me on all levels. Told in two povs, Harper's and Bennett's, the novel moves between the past when Noah pursued and won Harper's heart, when Noah and Bennett became friends during SEAL training and then to the present day as Harper discovers that the sizable amount of money Bennett had given to her after Noah's funeral was not really a courage award.

Have you ever read a romance in which the widow starts a new relationship, but then the author slowly destroys the character of the man she was married to? That is a huge pet peeve of mine so I was so very glad that Trentham allowed Noah to remain a good guy, the guy that Harper fell in love with. And, it's because of this that when I was presented with Noah's death scene and Ben's birth that my tears were falling. I almost thought it might be a mistake to have Noah be such a huge part of this novel, but it wasn't. I think it made the reader miss him as much as Harper and Bennett missed him.

All of the characters were believable, their reactions on target.

The Military Wife had so many emotions on its pages, so many feels, that it was a difficult novel to put down. I am very much looking forward to reading future entries in the series.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,938 reviews786 followers
February 2, 2019
The Military Wife is not my usual kind of books. I rarely read contemporary romance books. However, I found the blurb to be intriguing. So, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and read a book about getting a second chance of happiness.

I did find the story to be quite good and I loved the idea of the military wives starting a coffeehouse (who doesn't love coffeehouses?). Since this is the first book in a series have I a feeling that this coffeehouse may serve as a center for the stories. Anyhow this is a book about moving on, about finding closure and purpose in life. That no matter how much you love someone is it OK to find love again. Btw if you love dogs will you love Jack London, a big lovable dog. I liked that the book also dealt with PTSD among soldiers.

The Military Wife is a perfect read for those that love reading contemporary romance books that mix serious issues with lighthearted moments.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!
Profile Image for Kris - My Novelesque Life.
4,642 reviews190 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
March 1, 2021
DNF @52%
2019; St. Martin's Griffin/St. Martin's Press

I am a huge fan of Laura Trentham's Cottonbloom series so I was excited to see she had a new series about Military families. I was having a hard time getting into the story, I stopped and started a few times before I finally gave up at 52% of the novel. Yes, romance novels are predictable but I love that as when I want to read a romance I am looking for a happy ending. While the ending is the same the journey that gets us there is what keeps us reading. I found that this story line has been done before and I was finding myself not really caring to see how we get to the end. I couldn't get into the characters and didn't feel the pull to lose myself in the story. This does not put me off reading more Trentham's novels at all, I just won't be reading this series. If I cannot finish book one, I can't really continue the series unless I hear really good things about book two.

***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***
Profile Image for Camila Matuella.
582 reviews
February 11, 2019
Eu gostei tantooo desse livro!!
A escrita da autora é tão fluida e fácil, que não conseguia desgrudar do livro.
E amei a parte que fala das mulheres de militares e como é a situação delas, na maioria das vezes só vemos como eles ficam... Adorei a ideia da autora, amei os personagens, amei o ritmo, adorei a história.

Profile Image for booksofallkinds.
1,013 reviews157 followers
February 8, 2019
*I voluntarily reviewed this book from Netgalley

I have always respected and admired the bravery of soldiers but after reading THE MILITARY WIFE by Laura Trentham that respect has tripled and not only for those brave men and women willing to sacrifice it all for their country, but also their families who are so brave in their own right.

It has been five years since Harper Wilcox lost her husband Noah, a SEAL, but she has gotten through it with her beautiful boy and her beloved mum by her side. But Harper feels unfulfilled with her career and longs to finally use her degrees but isn't sure how. When her friend Allison needs her help, an idea for a business begins to form and Harper believes that it could make all the difference, not just for her but for all of the military wives all over the country, and she has the money from a bravery award that Noah received after he died. The only thing is, he didn't. Bennett Caldwell, Noah's best friend, and former SEAL, had promised Noah when he was dying that he would take care of Harper and her son and money seemed to be the best way to do it. But when Harper confronts him over why he lied to her and gave her his money, Bennett is confronted with a spirited, feisty, attractive woman who makes him want to abandon his lonely, solitary existence. As Bennett helps Harper set up their new venture, they cannot help the sizzling chemistry that they have between them. But Bennett has his own demons and secrets that he cannot share with her, and the harsh reality of life after war may just be too much for them to handle.

THE MILITARY WIFE by Laura Trentham is a beautiful and heartbreaking story that I devoured in a couple of hours. Sensitive topics such as PTSD, grief, abandonment, and trauma are all expertly handled and it really opened my eyes to the life of military families. Harper is a wonderfully well-rounded character and her honesty was so refreshing and at times, hilarious, throughout this book. I fell in love with Bennett and desperately wanted to give him a hug so many times through this story. The community spirit and that unique bond that these families share is truly amazing and really shone in this book.

THE MILITARY WIFE by Laura Trentham is an excellent novel and I cannot wait for more from this series.
Profile Image for Tzelina.
502 reviews122 followers
November 7, 2018
**Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the ARC in exchange for an honest review**TheMilitaryWife #NetGalley

4.5 stars! First time for me reading a book of Laura Trentham and I really enjoyed this story !!
Actually this was a great book about military life, from the pov of soldiers and pov from military wives!! It's s book that struggles with very emotional and important matters such as PSTD, suicide, death, loneliness!! For me it was emotional, beautiful, heartwarming and about moving on and find a second chance love!! The storyline was perfectly written!! It was a great read!!!
Profile Image for Manoela.
1,177 reviews26 followers
December 22, 2019
4.25 Stars.

Este é meu primeiro livro dessa autora e eu adorei. Achei a escrita fluída e bem escrita, os personagens carismáticos e a ideia da história original e bem desenvolvida. Eu me vi envolvida na história e terminei a leitura querendo conhecer um pouco mais do trabalho dessa autora . Adorei e recomendo a leitura para aqueles que gostam de uma historia emocional e romântica.
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