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Review: His Very Own Girl by Carrie Lofty

Where did you get the book: E-arc from author/publisher
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: Out now

From the author of Flawless and Starlight comes an emotional, sensual romance set during World War II about a female British civilian pilot and the American paratrooper medic who opens her heart—only available as an eBook.

After the War took the lives of Lulu Davies’s parents and her fiancé, she promised herself she would guard her heart carefully and concentrate on her great love—flying the biggest and best airplanes in the sky. Lulu is a pilot in the British civilian air force, ferrying planes around Great Britain and keeping her eye on a coveted spot in a training program for world-class pilots. She’s perfectly content to strive for greatness in the skies, and dance with a few GIs on the way.

Brawny, quiet American medic Joe Weber signed up with the paratroopers to escape his checkered past; he’s hoping that jumping out of planes and patching up soldiers will earn him respect and a hopeful future. Joe’s first real test of medical skill is on a pilot whose plane takes a hard landing in a training field; after rushing to the crash scene, he is stunned to come face-to-face with a gorgeous Rita Hayworth lookalike. And when the two cross paths at a dance hall a couple weeks later, he can’t resist the urge to find out more about this spirited, dark-haired beauty.

Their flirtation breaks all of Lulu’s rules, but dance by dance, week by week, walk by walk, she finds herself falling in love with this honest, vulnerable man on the run from his demons. But as Lulu and Joe’s undeniable attraction gains momentum, World War II steadily intensifies toward D-Day. The lovers only have one night together before Joe is transported to France for the Battle of the Bulge, where his skills and his instinct for survival will be pushed to their limits. Lulu distracts herself with flight school and the friendships of her colleagues, but she can’t get the handsome medic out of her head. Only time and hope will tell if her love will return unharmed from War, and if the two will be able to overcome their pasts to form a beautiful life together in peace-time.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*

 

 

Has: When I first heard that this would be set during World War 2 and featuring a pilot heroine and a medic hero, I firmly put this book on I.MUST.WANTZ list. I love unusual or different settings especially for historical romances, which I am finding a bit burned out on the moment. But His Very Own Girl, really helped to immerse me in a world that changed so many people’s lives and made such a huge impact world-wide that still resonates today.

E: I am a sucker for historicals. I am also a sucker for women being able to move outside their traditional roles and not just succeed but excel. I am also a sucker for a happy ending. Lofty’s new release, His Very Own Girl seemed like it could hit all of my soft spots. Throw in the time frame, the almost role reversal, and the location and I was certainly looking forward to reading this. I am very glad to say that I was not disappointed with what I read. Lofty provided me with everything I mentioned above and more. While the romance was real she also did not stint the darker side of life in their time and situation and what effects those events had past the moment.

Has: I agree! I loved the opening scene where Lulu, the heroine first meets Joe during an emergency crash landing, and their subsequent connection between them is established. I also liked they both had jobs that was unusual or rare for the time, while Lulu was a pilot volunteer for the British civilian air force, Joe was restricted to being a medic although he faced frontline fighting his duties was to care and give immediate aid for his fellow soldiers. Carrie Lofty really shines a light on the impact that gender roles and the impact this had on people at the time especially the emotional and physical repercussions of experiencing mid-war. I also didn’t realise how much change and transition happened during the war such as women’s roles and in the case for Joe, racial integration which was illustrated in a scene during a dance which was interesting and shows how much things will change post war.
For me, this was such a vibrant, raw and realistic setting and Lofty really brings this to life.

E: That was a wonderful meeting! I loved how “luck” played a role with not just their initial meet cute but their second meeting as well. Both Joe and Lulu had significant events in their pasts that were very important in the shaping of their relationships and their jobs. Joe, from the Mid-west had grown up thinking it was the man’s job to protect, honor, cherish and all that those three things entailed. He paid the price for his beliefs and now finds himself not as a fighting soldier but as a medic soldier not allowed to carry a weapon yet attracted to a woman who was a pilot supporting the war effort. Lulu had lost her family and her fiance in tragic and sudden events so she was determined to do everything she could to support the war effort. That included being a pen-pal and friend to the soldiers she met while holding herself at a distance from them emotionally. Watching the two damaged people fall for each other as well as grow into their jobs and have to deal with all the accompanying baggage was just wonderful. The characterization and world-building that Lofty provided became a rich full image playing in my head.

Has: This is why it was so rich, and full of depth. Watching Lulu and Joe trying to get accustomed from the danger, and instability due to the war and its repercussions, was heartbreaking and emotional and oh so real. I definitely felt that I was sucked in the atmosphere and tone of a besieged Britain facing the big battle of D-Day. And it really added a lot of emphasis and significance to the romance for me, because so many people underwent the same experiences, heartbreak and angst. So it added a lot more poignancy and feelings to Lulu and Joe’s love story. Although I did get frustrated at times, especially in the first half of the book, where they were both so tentative and reluctant. But nonetheless I did understand why, because of their fears of losing each other as well as their stubbornness with each other especially that of Joe’s feelings about Lulu’s love of flying and her profession.

E: There was a very sharp clash between societal expectations, necessities of the time, and the difference between doing your job and seeking to become the best at your job. Joe had to deal with all of those as he struggled with his attraction to Lulu. He also had deep rooted fears based on events in his past that made it very hard for him to trust that the reality of a person could live up to his imagination. Like Has said that emotional conflict made this really hit home for me. I also felt for both of them as they suffered through the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while trying to build and maintain their relationship. It was great to see that both Lulu and Joe had to compromise about their fears regarding the complete person they fell for. The touch about the strain between different races as well as officer and enlisted ranks also provided depth to Lofty’s world.

Has:  His Very Own Girl, is a book, filled with rich detail, but it is more than just the historical setting and premise. It really explores what a couple would have gone through at the time, and it wasn’t easy or romanticized as many Hollywood movies would suggest. Both Lulu and Joe go through an emotional and harrowing gauntlet, but as they fight and support on the war-front, they also fight for each other, and that is beyond romantic. Although I did find the first half frustrating and slow at times, it was real and raw and I loved that they both decided to commit to each other. The second half of the book, was my favourite part of the book, because they were mostly separated, this is where they discovered the depth of their feelings for each other, and the letters they share was filled and was conveyed was so much longing, I could really feel it.

I really hope we get more books like this because the romance was so authentic and real, and I was totally sucked into their story. This was a sweeping romance that was filled with rich details and nuance and it was ultimately romantic. Carrie Lofty always delivers on something unique and magical in her historicals, but for me this was a winner.

I give His Very Own Girl a B+

E: How could I forget the letters? They were so wonderful to read and kept their relationship going despite the distance and rough times. I also liked how they found ways to write without having their letters blacked out so they were able to have a complete conversation through writing. The first half was much slower and full of initial discovery. What would it take for Lulu to decide to break her own rules? What would it take for Joe to believe? Even though this is fiction it made me admire the men and women who fought, survived, and then remade their lives during that horrendous time even more. When I finished reading I had the feeling this provided me with the meaty flavor of the historicals I have loved before.
I give His Very Own Girl an A

By Has

Has is a voracious reader and a geek at heart! She is a fan of most sub-genres of romance and fantasy, but especially loves fantasy and some sci fi. She's currently looking out for historical romances with unusual settings, and fantasy romance, in the vein of Anne Bishop and Elizabeth Vaughan who are on her list of favourite authors. She's also a fan of authors such as Tamora Pierce, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Ann Aguirre, Lisa Kleypas and Nalini Singh. She is always on the look out for new authors and loves the feeling of discovering a brand new author and books she loves.

3 replies on “Review: His Very Own Girl by Carrie Lofty”

We highly rec it! I think you will enjoy and it really does immerse you on the experiences that a couple went through during that time!

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