In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the U.S. Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for—fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.
Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family—the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.
After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-Day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true?
I loved everything about this story! There were moments that I gasped out-loud in surprise, yelled out warnings to characters that could not hear me, and gripped the book tightly holding my breath to see what would happen next. I both cried with Leah and cheered for her successes. More than once I wished I could reach in and hug these characters. I didn’t just simply read the story, I felt like I was right there in the story with them.
The struggles these characters faced felt real. I enjoyed watching their growth throughout the story. I felt like the author invited us to walk the trials with them as they struggle with self-image and forgiveness. Things that I think we all struggle with at one time or another. We watched them struggle to let go of past hurts and give their future to God.
This marriage of convenience story is one that you won’t want to miss. I loved how the relationship built over time and how they came to love each other. The dialogue and banter are superb. Sarah Sundin’s ability to bring the details and nuances of history to life is exceptional.
This is the third, and final book in the Sunrise at Normandy series. While you could read The Land Beneath Us as a stand-alone, my recommendation would be to read the stories in order. There are details mentioned in the course of this story that would spoil a few surprises for you in the earlier books. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy to enjoy. I highly recommend this entire series!
(I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
About the Author:
Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of The Sea Before Us(coming February 6, 2018), the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, When Tides Turn), the Wings of the Nightingale series, and the Wings of Glory series. Her novels Through Waters Deep and When Tides Turnwere named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” Through Waters Deep won the 2016 INSPY Award and was a Carol Award finalist.
A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups.