It’s Always Been You by Leanne Tyler
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Length: Short story (62 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Reviewed by Moonflower
Retired Staff Sergeant Seth Roberts returns to Summerville to begin the next chapter of his life. To do that, he needs to find out why his girlfriend married another man more than twenty years ago while he served in the Persian Gulf. Their high school reunion is the perfect place to confront Elyse Jordan.
Determined to be a strong role model for her daughters, Professor of Feminist Theory Elyse Jordan never talks about the loss of her only love twenty years ago. Caring for her mother during cancer treatment brings Elyse back to Summerville, the one place she avoided after Seth’s death. When an invitation to her twenty-fifth reunion arrives, she decides to go and reconnect with lost friends. She never imagines she’ll come face-to-face with Seth instead.
Can Seth and Elyse find the thread of love that bound them together or will past tragedies and misunderstandings keep them apart?
Over twenty years have been lost due to false reports, misconceptions, anger and lies. Can these two put away the ghosts of the past and grab a hold of their future?
The Class of ’85 series is a wonderful concept. It’s dated perfectly with my own age and I get a chuckle out of remembering way back when. This story centers on a newly retired military man, Seth Roberts and his lost love, Elyse Jordan.
Seth was devastated when he found out the woman he loved had not only married another person, but was having twins. This set him on a course of becoming a lifetime military man and to never return to his hometown of Summerville. Upon retiring from the military, he decides that enough time has passed, and is ready to spend his retirement years with family and friends. He decides to return home and renovate his family’s lakeside home.
The man of her dreams has just been killed in Afghanistan. Elyse decides to leave the pain behind and she forges a new life away from all she knows. Mother of twin girls, she is happy but not content in life. She is forced to return home to Summerville every weekend to take care of her mother who has cancer. Elyse is ready to move on, is intrigued by the reunion and wants to reconnect with her old school mates.
Seth wants closure from the past and to find out what happened and why. Elyse is about to be broadsided with new revelations that will change her life forever. The reconnection scene is heartbreaking, emotions run high and the passion is still very obvious.
I enjoyed Ms. Tyler’s writing style and the idea with the story. The problem I have is that this book was too short for such a complex plot. It is a brilliant concept for a story and I wanted to bury myself in it, but then it was over. This plot had the makings to be a brilliant novel, but writing it as a short story doesn’t do it justice. I would personally beg and plead with the publishers to allow Ms. Tyler to be able to continue this story. For twenty plus years of angst to be resolved in basically one weekend was a bit unbelievable. There is a little treasure to be had if this story was permitted to be expanded and continued.
I do plan on checking out other books from Leanne Tyler. She obviously has the ability to weave a intricate and romantic tale. She seems to be a true gem.