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Review: Save My Place by Oliva deBelle Byrd

About the Book

Blessed with an innate optimism and a magical childhood, Elisabeth Belle Sterling discovers that the path to happily-ever-after love is not as easily obtained as she had always imagined. 

The Camelot-like love she longs for seems like only a dream until she meets the handsome Kincaid Patterson, a West Point graduate who carries a dark secret from his past. 

Theirs is a passionate and unconditional love that has to confront a painful past, heart-searing separation, and the greatest of all tragedies. But the biggest obstacle is the loss of faith that threatens to undermine all that they have. 

Set in the South during the 1960s and 70s against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Save My Place is a beautifully written love story of two people who search deep within their souls to save each other.

Review

Rarely do I get the chance to fall in love with a story under 200 pages that completely takes my breath away. Nostalgic, beautiful with such an engagement setting, Oliva deBelle Byrd's Save My Place, fulfilled beyond my initial expectations for a book of this length. This was my first book read by her and applaud her composition of such beautiful storytelling. She truly gives readers a page turner that you can fall in love with and really can appreciate the depth and richness of the characters story being told.

The book's setting in the South is in the late 60s and 70s with the backdrop of the Vietnam War. We are introduced to Elisabeth Belle Sterling. She had the ideal background with both loving and supportive parents. The book chronicles her journey, at times through reflection, to the current in which she is a loving school teacher. Everything has gone well in her life excerpt in the love area. Despite having that everlasting hope of Prince Charming, her real life has dealt her another reality. After a couple of bad experiences, she gave up all hope of ever finding the perfect guy until Kincaid Patterson comes into her life and as they say “the rest is history.” 

Kincaid Patterson, a Westpoint graduate, whom not only is easy on the eyes but has something special that connects him with Elisabeth that undeniably puts him in the soulmate category. Despite their unconditional love and growing attraction, no matter how much he tried to suppress his past, it had crippled his spirit and the core of his soul. It isn't until one day he is gets confronted by his past and is forced to deal with something that he'd rather forget. Not understanding that not dealing with this has had a big impact on his ability to open his heart until he met Elisabeth. Not a stranger to tragedy, something unexpected happens in their lives that tests the elasticity of love, faith, and hope.

What I love about the evolution of their relationship is their imperfections literally define opposites attract. Experiencing the highs and the lows of the reality of two separate worlds coming together to find their way was truly a beautiful experience through the book. You have Elisabeth, who had the ideal life and Kincaid who really experienced overwhelming heartbreaking experiences. The kind of experiences that really have a heavy impact on a person. What both lacked, each other complimented and truly embodied the cliché, “you complete me.” Destiny and fate were truly on their side and to see them through their relationship, was such a beautiful journey.

One thing that stands out in the book that I absolutely loved were the letters that Elisabeth writes to her husband while he is deployed. For those gals out there in this situation where your husband is away and/or when you read about Kincaid's experience, you will definitely be able to connect with her. I know on the surface you might think, this gal has a great life but beyond this, what can she bring as a female character that would make her stand out differently than the predictable? Well, when people look at a couple and see rainbows and sunshine, they don't see the inside downpour. These letters shared everything that make you appreciate her faith and strength to keep going even when things where too much to bare. 

Overall, this was such a great book. I'm telling you ahead of time to get ready for the Kleenex for a tearjerker ending. It was just refreshing to read a clean, nice love story that just was so fulfilling. I will definitely check out her other work and look forward to see what she has in the future. What she did in such a small book was beautiful. If you get a chance, please add this one to your TBR list, you will  love it. 

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