WINDOW OF PEACE by Regina Rudd Merrick
SERIES: The Stained-Glass Legacy #2
GENRE: Historical Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Scrivenings Press
RELEASE DATE: April 18, 2023
Michael Connor “MC” Dunne led a charmed life. He had a plan—finish veterinary school, get married, and take over the local animal clinic. Enter the Vietnam War.
MC returns home, injured, to Park Haven, Tennessee, and soon learns there’s a new vet in town, hired when the local veterinarian suffered a heart attack. So much for his plan.
Violent flashbacks and nightmares pull MC away from his faith and turn him into a hermit. His safe place is the family farm, working on the old cabin and restoring the chapel his great-uncle built in the early 1900s, with the family’s heirloom stained-glass window.
Nancy Jean Baker struggles to prove herself as a competent veterinarian to the small-town skeptics of Park Haven. Fighting her own demons from a traumatic past, she’s driven to succeed.
But when war veteran MC Dunne returns home, wounded and wary, Nancy discovers she’s standing between him and his dream.
Can they help each other overcome their hurts and horrors? Or is their hope of happiness doomed when the past threatens to ruin their future?
Other Books In This Series
When I reviewed Window of Opportunity by Heather Greer, back in January, I said that I was very intrigued about where the series would go from those events in the latter half of the Roaring 20s. Much to my delight, some of those answers are found in Window of Peace by Regina Rudd Merrick. We’ve jumped forward a few decades to the middle of the Vietnam War, and our hero – MC Dunne – is the grandson of Window of Opportunity‘s couple. I was so glad to catch up a bit with Brendan, though parts of his story since we last left him made me sad. Still, though, he is very much this book’s Uncle Patrick in terms of wisdom, faith and guidance, and just his very presence on the page made me smile. Watching a beloved character come to life, many years older, under a different author’s pen was much more satisfying than I anticipated, and I think Merrick did a great job of taking the baton from Greer and continuing the legacy.
Michael Connor Dunne (known by most as MC) had to pause his dreams of finishing veterinary school and taking over the local veterinary practice in Park Haven, Tennessee, when his country called. Returning home injured, the things he witnessed in the jungles of Vietnam still vivid in his mind, he’s disappointed to find the clinic already has a new doctor – a decision born out of necessity while he was overseas. Yet, as much as he wishes he could resent the beautiful and compassionate Nancy Jean Baker, he finds himself inexplicably drawn to her. I enjoyed the layers that Merrick unpacks between these two characters, each of whom have their own form of battle scars, inside and out. Wounded people don’t often make for the most stable of relationships, but MC and Nancy’s friendship is special right from the start. The author excels at making them both relatable, too, which helps us root for their happily ever after all the more – a happily ever after that’s not just about romance but also about finding their purpose, healing, and hope. Together and separately. I loved the support they gave each other along the way, especially in the context of the friendship and teamwork that bloomed between them first and foremost. And yes I loved the kissing scenes too 😉
Bottom Line: Window of Peace by Regina Rudd Merrick is a sweet and swoony romance with layered characters and a quaint setting stirred by the turbulence of that time in American history. Not only does MC have to deal with the nightmarish memories resulting from his time in the Vietnam War, he faces the potential of anti-war sentiment made personal and – casting a shadow over his recovery in Park Haven – the possibility that he may have to go back. His friendship and subsequent romance with Nancy is a breath of fresh air amid the uncertainty in his life, and I truly enjoyed watching them fall in love. The star of this series is the little chapel tucked away in the woods, and getting reacquainted with it was a pleasure. Its role in directing our protagonists to finding the peace they are desperately seeking is touching and gentle, and I am already looking forward to book 3, Window of the Heart!
Reviewer’s Note: If you are especially sensitive to dogs being injured or killed, you may want to skip a couple of scenes in this book. ♥ There are also implications of abuse and an attempted assault that may be triggering for some readers. It’s all handled with lots of grace, though.
(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I read via Kindle Unlimited. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
Regina Rudd Merrick is a multi-published author, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, lover of all things fun, beachy, and chocolate, and a grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Married to her husband of nearly 40 years, she is the mother of two grown daughters and a son-in-law, and lives in the small town of Marion, KY. Connect with Regina on Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, Bookbub, and on her website at reginaruddmerrick.com
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