Cover Image: The Sergeant and the Girl Next Door

The Sergeant and the Girl Next Door

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Member Reviews

This book was just okay. The writing was decent, but it didn't blow me away, and the plot of the story wasn't super original. It wasn't a terrible read, just not for me.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Covenant Communications through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

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This was a delightful journey into the aftermath of World War II. In this charming historical romance, Rupper takes a unique approach, exploring the challenges faced by soldiers returning home—a perspective often overshadowed by wartime narratives.

As a newcomer to Rupper's work, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and authenticity she brought to the story. Unlike many WWII romances that focus on the wartime experiences, this novel delves into the complexities of life after the battles have ceased. The protagonist, Sergeant Davis Wilson, grapples with the loss of his best friend, Patrick, and the weight of familial expectations. Rupper skillfully portrays Davis's struggle to rediscover his pre-war self, capturing the poignant essence of post-traumatic growth.

The narrative unfolds in a small town, offering a vivid snapshot of postwar America. The characters, especially Faith Penwilliger, are well-drawn and endearing. Faith, having faced her own share of loss and responsibilities, emerges as a strong and independent woman. The dynamic between Davis and Faith, evolving from animosity to a second chance at love, adds layers to the story, incorporating elements of enemies-to-lovers and friends-to-lovers tropes.

One aspect I particularly enjoyed was the incorporation of Faith's passion for dance as a coping mechanism for grief. The dance competitions and her interactions with Freddy provided a delightful backdrop, infusing the story with moments of joy and jealousy.

"The Sergeant and the Girl Next Door" is a captivating historical romance that goes beyond the traditional wartime setting. The sweet romance between Davis and Faith, coupled with the exploration of grief and self-discovery, makes this a poignant and engaging read. Rupper's attention to detail and the well-crafted small-town atmosphere enriched the overall reading experience. I highly recommend this lovely historical romance to readers seeking a heartfelt story set against the backdrop of post-war America.

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Such a sweet story with plenty of love filled tension. I love that Laura took an Enemies to Lovers, Best Friends Little Sister, and other amazing tropes and brought this story to life. As an Army Veteran myself I enjoyed Laura's ability to describe so perfectly the feelings of soldiers, wars, and coming home. Along with the military basis of Davis's background Laura worked very well with the grief associated with loosing a loved one and/or a fellow soldier. She did an excellent job of maintaining an upbeat story while dealing so closely with a touchy topic.

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I desperately wanted to love this book because WWII is my favorite time period to read about. This was just disappointing. I never got into the story because I really didn’t like the characters. I never once bought the idea of them ending up together. There was zero chemistry and nothing for me to cheer them on in. All in all, a huge disappointment.

*I received a review copy from Covenant Communications. Opinions are my own.*

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I enjoyed this book. I liked how the author told a sweet romance set after WWII. I liked how she tried to show how people and their lives had changed from before the war to after. I liked seeing Davis and Faith learn to live life again after all the things that had happened. I thought this was a well written story and the characters were very lovable. I thought the story was also believable and I loved seeing the healing that took place through out the story. I will definitely read more by this author.

I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.

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The Sergeant and the Girl Next Door tells the story of two families after World War two has ended. Readers get insight into what life was like for the soldiers returning and the families whose sons didn't return from the war.

I really liked the main character Davis Wilson, a returning soldier whose life would never be the same. His best friend and neighbor, Patrick, was killed during the war. Now he feels the need to help out Patrick's mom and sister, Faith. The main problem is that Faith blames Davis for Patrick's death and enlisting in the first place. They have a past history that muddies the water. This causes so many problems in the story. As Davis is dealing with PTSD, Faith's anger, and pressure to "return to normal" he struggles through much of the story. Faith has had to postpone college to run the family business after her father's death. Her immaturity shows as she does things to get back at Davis but on the other hand, she is a smart young lady able to run a business in the mid-1940s. She grows and changes a lot in this novel.

There is a love triangle between Davis, Faith, and Freddy in this small hometown novel. Davis and Faith try to reconcile their differences and at times I became frustrated with some of the games they played with each other. Funny enough, some of the games turned into good things that eventually bring the twosome together.

I did like the awareness brought to readers about forgiveness, letting go, and new starts. This slow-burn novel is an easy read, with likable characters that history lovers will enjoy as they remember the sacrifices that soldiers made for our country.

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This book takes place right after WWII. Soldiers coming home had to adjust and so did the families they came home to. Faith's brother died in the war and her father died shortly after her brother's death so now she's running the family business while her mom takes care of their home. Faith harbors some resentment/ill feelings towards Davis, the next door neighbor, as she blames him for her brother enlisting, and that Davis came home but her brother didn't.

Davis/Davey's family (mostly his mother and younger sisters) treat him as if he's the same young man who left home several years ago, but he isn't. He's having trouble sleeping and doesn't quite know what to do with his life now that the war is over.

I liked that this book tackles subjects such as women in the workplace in the 40's and PTSD in the soldiers returning and their struggles to return to a "normal" life. I really liked Davis' friendship with Faith's mother. She listened to him, didn't pressure him or have any expectations as to what he should be doing now that he was back home. I didn't care for Faith for a good portion of the book--I admired that she took on the responsibility of running the family business but then she'd act immature or act as if she were in charge of Davis' life telling him what he should and shouldn't be doing. I admit those things were good for him but I didn't like how she went about doing it. I enjoyed the sweet romance between Faith and Davis once they got all the misunderstandings out of the way.

This is my first book by Laura Rupper and I'll definitely read another book by her. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own.

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This story was absolutely delightful! If you like World War II novels, you'll enjoy this offering by Laura Rupper exploring what happened in that last half of the 1940s, when the boys came home--and some of the boys did not. This brother's best friend, forced proximity, workplace, second chance romance delivers a stunning, heartfelt story full of wisdom and love.

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If you're looking for a clean sweet romance, this one is worth checking out. The characters are great, and the storyline is very believable. There's no insta-love, no crazy, unrealistic storylines. It's simply two people, working though various realistic challenges and learning to truly see each other while doing so. I highly recommend this book.

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I've been on a World War II novel kick this week. So I picked up The Sergeant and the Girl Next Door at midnight and read straight through til 3 am. It made my cry multiple times. It's a sweet story but the romance culminates at the end. Don't expect a lot of relationship scenes.

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This was an easy read. I loved hearing about the dancing and all the struggles the women had when the men went off to war. I also enjoyed hearing what some of the men had to deal with when coming home after war- trouble sleeping, vices they picked, etc.
I thought the story was pretty good but I wasn’t the biggest fan of Faith. I thought she was extremely whiny and a bit vindictive. Davis tries to clear the air with her and she won’t have anything to do with it and then out of the blue she loves him. I felt like he deserved better.
All in all it was a good book- I’m bumping it down a star just because of Faith.

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Sergeant Davis Wilson is home after fighting in WW2. He is trying to adjust to normal life when he’s not sure what normal is for him now. He’s definitely not the same man who left. He also struggles with the loss of his best friend Patrick in the war. Faith Penwilliger was Patrick’s little sister. She lost her brother and her father during the war and had to grow up quickly. She took over the family business and takes care of her widowed mother. Before Davis and Patrick left for war Faith and Davis had a big argument and Faith hasn’t forgotten the humiliation of it. She wants nothing to do with Davis as he tries to help her and her mom as he thinks Patrick would have done. I really didn’t like Faith for most of the book because she came across as a vengeful, unforgiving brat. Davis had obviously changed, but she refused to see it or sympathize with him. I liked Davis with his integrity and authenticity. He wasn’t perfect, but he tried his best. The things he did for Faith were so sweet and I felt like she really didn’t deserve him. The book depicted different aspects of post-war. The soldiers coming home and the families adjusting as well. Another perspective came from Faith’s cousin Rose, whose whirlwind romance with a departing soldier didn’t end up so well. Overall I enjoyed the story and I recommend it.

This is my honest opinion based on the complimentary review copy sent by NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to give a favorable review.

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I really liked this story!

Post WWII and the realities of it all!
Some boys came home, many did not.
Them and the rest of the world adjust to that.

I really liked the characters and felt like I was taken in by both of these families! I loved the characters growth of the two main characters and them learning to move on with life, acknowledge the evil that was fought and won, and let go and be happy!

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I was amazed by how fast I got pulled into this story. It's the story of a young man, Davis, who is coming home from World War II. The world has changed and so has he. But he has to figure out how to fit back into it. I loved that aspect of this book.

Faith is Davis' neighbor and his best friend's younger sister. But Faith's brother didn't survive the war and she blames Davis. I loved watching how hard Davis was willing to work to make things better for Faith and her widowed mother. He was willing to do so much for them. And all against Faith's wishes.

It was also funny how Faith manipulated Davis into doing the things she thought he should do. But the joke ends up on her as he actually benefits from doing the things. And the ending was just beautiful. I loved everything about this book!

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4 1/2 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed The Sergeant and the Girl Next Door. This is the first book I’ve read by Laura Rupper and certainly won’t be my last. Usually romances I’ve read around WWII happen before and/or during the war. This unique, heartfelt story happens after the soldier comes home. It was a realistic look at the struggles inherent in coming home: dealing with the loss of friends, PTSD, trying to find your place, and other changes on the home front. The romance was a bit of enemies/friends to lovers, grumpy/sunshine, second chance, and best friend’s little sister. Along with the sweet romance was a well rounded story of one small town post war with endearing characters, that really pulled me in.

Davis aka Davey has mixed emotions as he returns home. He keenly feels the loss of his best friend and the weight of his family’s expectations. He used to be the fun, funny, spontaneous Davey, but comes home more world weary and serious. His best friend’s little sister Faith is all grown up. She’s running her family’s business and gone through her own pain with losing her brother and also her father. She blames Davis for her brother’s loss and wants nothing to do with the man she used to have a crush on. But, the more she’s around him, the more the old spark seems to be there. As they work together, she devises fun ways to help him find “Davey” again.

Loved Davis and Faith! There’s so much packed into this one story. It really gives a fantastic snapshot of this postwar time period. The characters are well written and I loved the variety of people and experiences. When Faith lost her brother, one of things that helps her with the grief is dance. It was fun reading about her competitions with Freddy and the way it makes Davis jealous. The harmless pranks Faith plays on Davis turn out to be really helpful to him personally. I love the way they are able to work out their issues and help each other with their grief.

Highly recommend this lovely historical romance! In addition to reading, I listened to the audiobook & enjoyed the narrator and the emotion she put into the story. She really captured the characters well and it was easy to listen to. Thanks to the publisher for the advanced complimentary copy. All opinions are completely my own and voluntarily left.

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This is a different WW2 book because it shows the soldier after the war and what it is like to adjust to coming home. Faith seemed a bit harsh to me at first but the more I got to know her the more I understood her. I liked seeing her growth throughout the story. Davis is a great character. I enjoyed going on the journey with him learning to move in from the wad and those who lost their lives in it. Overall a good book.

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A beautiful story of forgiveness and friendship. How many times do we make judgements and later learn that we were completely wrong? And how many times do we apologize for those wrong judgements? This was an incredibly sweet romance that involved a lot of character development to get to a happy place and realize the love needed was right in front of their faces all along. Truly a fabulous read.

Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

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A sweet post World War II love story. This is my first time reading a book by this author. I thought it was a good look at the period of time. Faith had stepped in to run the family business after her brother was killed in service, and her father had a heart attack a week later. They owned a masonry business. She put off going to college to stay home to take care of her mother and run the business. Davis is the boy next door, who was best friends with her brother Patrick. They had enlisted together and Faith blamed Davis for her brothers death. The story flowed well and hold my attention throughout. I like the characters of Davis and Faith, their struggles that held them together and their bonds that pulled them apart, was also interesting, and held my attention throughout. The side stories of Faith dancing with Freddy and Faith’s cousin Rose’s circumstances were very realistic that could’ve happened during that time..Faith, hope and charity always make for a good story. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Such a unique look at post war life, for soldiers and for the family they left behind. I loved the dynamic. Seeing how they were before and how they came out on the other side of it. There was forgiveness that needed to be done on both sides. Davis took on a burden that made him look bad to Faith. But overcoming everything made them closer! It was such a different look. The world was riddled with grief, loss, PTS and the weight of coming back and adjusting to a completely different world. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. An excellent addition to my bookshelf!

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This was an excellent book! There aren't many books set in post world war 2 era, so it was a treat to read how both servicemen and their friends and families had to adjust to a post war world. I really enjoyed the themes of partnership, friendship, and helping your neighbor. A well written book!

Thank you to NetGalley for the Advance Copy. All opinions are my own.

Rating Calculation:
Hook: 8
Writing: 8
Format: 8
Plot and character development: 8
Content: 8

Average: 8
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: 7-8
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: 5.5-6.9
⭐️⭐️⭐️: 4-5.4
⭐️⭐️: 1-3.9
⭐️: DNF

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