Navy Ensign Archer Vandenberg notice the men under his watch struggling with nerves and fatigue, possibly induced by drugs being passed around the ranks. Needing advice, he seeks out Lillian Avery, his best friend's little sister--a pharmacist--hoping she has the answers he needs, as well as taking the opportunity to get to know her better. Lillian is not charmed by her brother's friend, but she herself has been filling alarmingly large prescriptions of certain drugs. Could there be a link between her store and the dopey sailors?
The ramping patriotism, the danger in the seas, the start of rationing--Sundin captures the flavor of the times as the US moves into WWII. Women are still just testing the waters of masculine-dominated fields, like pharmacy, and Lillian's position in the drug store is tenuous at best. And, though recognized, men with shell shock (PTSD) have a hard road to follow if they need help; for military men like Arch, it means either hiding the condition or being discharged.
Lillian is quite the overcomer, making her way in a man's profession
while minus a leg. It was neat to see a woman with a prosthetic as the
heroine. Her defensiveness and self-esteem issues are understandable, as
well as her fierce determination. Arch is a great hero: a good officer, determined to help his men, but not without wounds from his past. Both have trouble overcoming their
issues, and both struggle with backsliding even after making great
strides, but then, who doesn't?
I'm really enjoying the mystery aspect to this series. It works especially well for giving Arch and Lillian an opportunity to meet and work together in a non-date-like setting, developing their relationship without the pressure of romance. Not to mention it adds an additional thrill to the wartime setting. Loose lips sink ships--or possibly get your friends killed, when you can't know who to trust.
I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!
Thank you Revell for providing a free book for
review; I was not required to make the review positive, and all opinions
are my own.
Waves of Freedom
1. Through Waters Deep
2. Anchor in the Storm
3. When Tides Turn