As most of you know I love historical fiction novels. When I saw that As Long As Love Lasts by Jea Hawkins was a mixture of a contemporary and a historical romance I was intrigued and this book did not disappoint.
Here is a short blurb about the book:
2018 – She doesn’t know if a marriage is worth fighting for.
Peyton Kennedy quantifies everything in terms of numbers and risk. She looks at a problem and solves it, leaving no piece of the puzzle out. When her young, too-whimsical wife inherits a derelict farmhouse from a distant aunt, Peyton can only see the bottom line. Too much work. Too much money. Time. Energy. Definitely not worth saving.
But her wife knows how to get her way and Peyton finds herself roped into renovations. This… this may be the straw that breaks her marriage’s back, and Peyton’s worried about how not worried that makes her.
That is, until a seventy-year-old bundle of letters and a time-worn diary fall on her head.
Before she knows it, Peyton is drawn into the story of her wife’s great aunt, Marty, a woman who dared defy social conventions for the love of another woman.
1939 – She doesn’t know what love is.
Marty Bell thinks life will fall neatly into place. Her mother has expectations: A husband, wealthy enough to give Marty security for the rest of her days. When she meets a beautiful circus worker who shovels dung and pounds stakes for a living, it’s the first time Marty sees that she can stray from the path.
Soon, her life is dictated by not just her mother, but the upheaval of war and the one thing she never expected to find: love.
And Marty will risk anything and everything to hold onto it.
This is the bittersweet tale of a diary, an elephant, and four women who know that few things matter more than finding someone who loves them just the way they are.
I really enjoyed the concept of the contemporary characters, Payton and Brooke, learning about their Aunt Marty’s life through the diary and letters they found. It really helped to develop their relationship to something that was falling apart, just like Marty’s old house, to something with a solid foundation. While their relationship was sweet, Marty and Vera’s relationship sucked me in and wouldn’t let go.
The sections of the book focusing on Marty and Vera’s relationship were my favorite parts. There was something about their chemistry that was deeply intoxicating, and I wanted to know more. In a time where their love wasn’t accepted, they found a way to be together until war pulled them apart. Vera was my favorite character even though you never hear things through her point of view. She was just so interesting. You could tell there was so much more to her story than was told in the book. Her secrets kept me wanting more. Also, who wouldn’t love a woman who comes with her own elephant.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction.
As Long As Love Lasts is available on Kindle Unlimited by clicking here.