REVIEW: His Very Own Girl by Carrie LoftyThursday, September 27, 2012 1:00
I’m very glad this book is as good as it is. I was given a PDF for my Kobo, but from the very beginning, for some reason, I had problems every other page with the document lining up properly on my reader, requiring me to page over numerous times to continue reading. Then three-quarters of the way through, my reader died. Kaput. No functionality whatsoever. Any other book that hadn’t given me such likable characters, a unique story line, a romance for the ages, or couldn’t kept my interest probably would have died with the Kobo. But thankfully I have a backup, my iPhone, and I was able to finish Joe and Lulu’s story, a beautiful romance firmly ensconced in the abhorrence of World War II.
The book begins with intense moments when Lulu’s plane’s landing gear is stuck and she’s going to have to make a pancake landing. Just so happens Joe Weber, a medic, is at the airfield this day and realizes what’s about to occur. He’s taken aback at first when the female pilot emerges – swearing a blue streak – from the downed plane, but he’s also quite taken with the dame. This first meeting between them is simply terrific, and you know right then what kind of fun you’re going to have, even if it is a book written around war.
Lulu is a pilot with England’s Air Transport Auxillary, which is utilizing civilian pilots, including women, while Britain’s men are fighting on the front line. She’s one of the best and she loves flying. Not thinking she’ll ever see the handsome American medic again, Lulu goes back to her job and her friends, doing whatever she can to help where needed, happily giving of herself to contribute to the cause. Lulu has had sad, tragic times in her life, so though she goes out for a night of drinking and dancing, it’s only one night with the soldiers waiting for orders, along with the promise of letters later on to insure they know someone cares about them. She can’t and won’t allow herself to fall in love again, thus opening herself to the opportunity of another broken heart.
On the other hand, Joe is a simple midwestern boy who just can’t wrap his brain around women flying planes, especially during war. But that doesn’t stop the thrill that goes through him when he encounters Lulu that same night at a local club. They are amazed at the chemistry between them and take the next six months to get to know one another better, before Joe heads to Normandy and D-Day. At this point, the book turns more to the events of the war itself, what each goes through in their own little corner of a world turned upside down. Friends are lost, new respect is given, and love grows stronger. Though Joe never wanted to be a medic, he takes to the job with dedication and he excels at it, to the point the men begin to call him Doc Web. Lulu has been training on four-engine planes and is now flying all over Europe as often as possible, knowing that her opportunities will dry up after the war is over.
Women will have to go back to the lives they led before, something Lulu doesn’t want. Even for Joe she can’t give up her flying. She’s now living her dream and she wants it to go on for as long as possible. Lulu lives in the moment, not looking toward the future. Joe, however, looks at nothing but the future. Having spent time in prison and now in military service, he wants a wife, a home, children, and the security he knows comes with that dream. They’re poles apart in what they want in life, and at times those differences seem to drive them apart instead of together. But when the unthinkable happens, dreams have to be rearranged to fit the new life that has come to the world.
Ms. Lofty has done an amazing job of immersing the reader in 1944 and 1945. The sights, the sounds, the smells drown you in Joe’s and Lulu’s lives to the point you feel like you’re living every minute with them, good and bad. And there are bad moments, you can’t not have them in times of war. Joe and Lulu are regular folk who do what they have to to help in their own small ways to stop the enemy. You’ll love them. As an added bonus, you’ll receive a mini education concerning myriad things about this war and its people and places. Doesn’t sound romantic, but it certainly is. Joe and Lulu are learning too. Don’t miss this one.
After 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 as a British civilian pilot. She’s 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. The first test of his medical skill takes place when he rushes to the scene of a plane crash. He’s stunned to come face-to-face with a spirited, dark-haired beauty.
Their flirtation breaks all of Lulu’s rules, but dance by dance, week by week, walk by walk, she falls in love with this honest, vulnerable man on the run from his demons. The lovers only have one night together before Joe departs for the front lines.
Lulu distracts herself work 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, and if they can overcome their pasts to forge a beautiful life together in peace-time.
Read an excerpt.