Guest Review: A Moment Forever by Cat Gardiner

October 12th, 2016 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 44 Comments

12th Oct
Guest Review: A Moment Forever by Cat Gardiner
A Moment Forever
by Cat Gardiner
Series: WWII Romance,
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Author
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

In every footlocker, hope chest, and heart full of secrets there is a story waiting to be discovered and told. In the summer of 1992, a young writer is bequeathed the abandoned home of a great-uncle she never knew. The house has a romantic history and is unlike any home she has ever seen. Juliana Martel felt as though she stepped into a time capsule—a snapshot of 1942. The epic romance—and heartache—of the former occupant unfold through reading his wartime letters found in the attic, compelling her on a quest to construct the man. His life, as well as his sweetheart’s, during the Second World War were as mysterious as his disappearance in 1950. Carrying her own pain inflicted by the abandonment of her mother and unexpected death of her father, Juliana embarks on a journalist’s dream to find her great-uncle and the woman he once loved. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a man whose family is closely related to the secrets, she uncovers the carefully hidden events of her great-uncle's and others' lives - and will ultimately change her own with their discovery. This story of undying love, born amidst the darkest era in modern history, unfolded on the breathtaking Gold Coast of Long Island in 1942. A Jewish, Army Air Forces pilot and an enchanting society debutante—young lovers—deception—and a moment in time that lasted forever. A Moment Forever is an evocative journey that will resonate with you long after you close the book. Romance, heartache, and the power of love, atonement, and forgiveness transform lives long after the horrors and scars of the Second World War have ended

historical ROMANCE well written BOOKLOVE

Today I once again have Sophia Rose visiting us from Delightful Readers to share a wonderful review. Today she has A Moment Forever, a WWII romance to share with us. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy.

Sophia’s Review

In 1992, a woman inherits the house of a great-uncle she never knew and this sets in motion a search that will bring old secrets to light and heal a family and hearts that has been torn apart for nearly fifty years. The author has a gift for her nostalgic tone and poignant feel bringing to life the past- its tragedies and triumphs, but also the everyday life of ration cards, baseball, mom’s cooking, Big Band dancing, and pinning his sweetheart.

A Moment Forever is a saga, really, because the two stories- past and present- end up converging and being about a family torn apart with the chance to heal. The present day story follows that of Juliana Martel in her quest to get answers about the family she never knew existed while teaching her true love exists. The past is the story of her great-uncle William Martel and the love of his life, Lizzie Renner with their tragic love affair and what led to suppressed family secrets and Will’s disappearance.

Julianna, William, and Lizzie are the main narrators, but others from their family group also get narrative time and separate scenes. These are easily marked and not hard to follow. The transitions between the eras are easy on the reader, too.

I’ve always had an ambivalent feeling about WWII era stories because I think it takes a special person to tell them well. It takes just the right touch to take a story told during dark times and make it hopeful and romantic, not cheap and sappy. This story was handled well. Not a gritty story set in the battlefields, but one that spends most of the time on the homefront where a different sort of battle was being waged. Nazi against Jew. Father against daughter. Sister against sister. It was powerful.

It was obvious the author did her homework. The settings were clear in my mind, but also the sensation of being right there. Lizzy, William, and the others in 1942 made some fateful decisions, but I had no trouble understanding their motives because the author painted the historic picture so well that a modern reader could see and understand the situation. There was also that compelling feeling of nostalgia that pulled me in so that I encountered that time through all my senses.

The characters are full blown with strengths and flaws. There is a large cast of characters as a result of the story being two stories in one, but I enjoyed the large group and the intertwining stories. So many layers to the people themselves and to their relationships with each other. The plot was very much relationship-driven. My feelings about the characters ran the gamut between truly loathing some and adoring others. Love is at the heart of this story, but it takes on so many facets beyond romance love. Love is what drives these people- whether it is the ugly and twisted, first love, familial love, selfish love, love of friendship, patriotic love- all there.

In summary, A Moment Forever was a powerful story that left me satisfied and yet wanting more from this author. The romance was only slightly spicy and was the center of it all, but still only one of the elements so this will probably appeal to a larger audience that not only includes historical romance lovers, but those who enjoy modern historical fiction, too.


A Moment Forever By Cat Gardiner was a powerful story that left me satisfied Click To Tweet
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

44 Responses to “Guest Review: A Moment Forever by Cat Gardiner”

  1. Lily B

    I have not read a lot of books during that era, I should I love historical fiction/romances and need to broaden my horizon.

    • Sophia Rose

      I haven’t either, Lily. But, this might be a good one to start with since it’s mostly on the home front and splits with a present day story. Hope you get the chance to broaden your horizons. 🙂

  2. RO

    This reminds me of the novels I read as a kid that included rich history and a story you could sink your teeth into. It’s also great to get a lot of trivia from that era, along with romance. Well done on the review! Hugs…

    • Sophia Rose

      You know, you’re right about how this writing style feels like the best of old-school style. Good catch, Ro! And yep, the little bits of nostalgia were perfect.

      Thanks and hugs back at you, Ro! 🙂

    • Sophia Rose

      Oh, you most definitely want, Debbie. 🙂 I think this is such a lovely story and hope you get the chance.

      Okay, confession time here. I’m not a coffee drinker. *ducks under the table*

  3. Heidi

    Very beautiful cover. I am a huge fan of WWII stories and this one sounds like one I would like. I am going to look it up.

    • Sophia Rose

      It is her first one and I was so glad to get the opportunity to read it. I haven’t read many WWII stories and now I want more. 🙂

      Very lovely cover and each piece on it is significant to the story. I love when someone puts the extra work in to match like that.

    • Sophia Rose

      Definitely a gorgeous cover and very symbolic- the pilots wings pin, the flowers, and the swans are all significant in the story.

  4. Rowena

    Great review, Sophia. I don’t read very many WW2 romances but this one sounds like a lovely read. It’s going on my list. 🙂

    • Sophia Rose

      My pleasure to share about it with you, Rowena.

      I don’t get around to as many as I would like. I hope she writes more.

  5. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Oh this sounds good. I love these kind of mysteries. While sometimes it is hard to follow a present and past kind of story, I’m glad that this one is well marked. Nice. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, the mysterious part of his disappearance and the family secrets hooked me in. I’ve had a few that flip back and forth between past and present that confused me or were rough transitions, but this one was well done.

      You betcha, Melissa!

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, I thought it was touching even though it hit on some hard elements from the historical time period. I definitely hope she writes more and I would happily read any good ones that you can recommend.

  6. Lorna

    I have enjoyed WWII books in the past. This one sounds fascinating, although it also sounds heartbreaking? Thanks Sophia for another one of your well thought out and written reviews!

    • Sophia Rose

      Ha! No vampires, Mary. But you could pretend the evil Nazis are bad vampires. 😉

      But seriously, yes, it was a riveting story. I was glad to read it.

  7. Jenny

    Such a lovely review Sophia! I haven’t read many books set in this era since they obviously tend to be a bit heavier and I’m a light and fluffy kind of girl, but this sounds like a gorgeous story and I’m glad you felt it was handled so well!

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, you’re right about the typical flavor of the stories set in the era, Jenny. This one was poignant and a little heartbreaking, but nothing like the heavier hitters so I was able to really appreciate it.

  8. Lizzy

    Oh, this sounds like such a beautiful story! I love historical, especially when they’re well-researched.

  9. Leona

    I’m glad this story resonated so well with you. I for one have a hard time reading stories that are set in any historical context, I don’t know why that is though. So, double points for you for braving through this story.

    • Sophia Rose

      Thanks, Leona!
      Not all time periods are for everyone. I actually struggle with contemporary so I understand.

      Appreciate the double bravery points. 🙂

  10. Bookworm Brandee

    Sophia, this sounds amazing! The characters really seem to carry the story and are so fully realized – that’s something I adore in a book. And the setting bringing the past and present together sounds well done. Thanks for putting this on my radar!

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, good catch, Brandee! It was most definitely the characters who made this one special. Glad to introduce you to it. 🙂

  11. Melliane

    It’s always interesting for me to read books during this area and we have a lot of them in French too. It’s been a while since I haven’t read one but I should go back to them

    • Sophia Rose

      I don’t go looking for them, but it is nice to pick up a WWII era story now and then, Melliane. I imagine there are some superbly written and poignant French WWII stories out there and make me wish I read the language better.