World War II is over. Now that Burke Delgard is safely home, Tulla Johanson can finally quit the factory and become his wife. Together they can revive her family's farm, while she cares for her aging parents. But seven years of dreams shatter when Burke backs out on their wedding day. Hiding her humiliation in the back seat of a Hudson, she is rescued by Burke's war buddy and would-be best man Steven "Van" Vandreel.
Home isn't the same for Van since returning from overseas. He feels displaced, and he certainly doesn't mean to get between Burke and his jilted bride, yet he can hardly help himself. When Tulla's friend Walt pursues her, and Burke decides he wants Tulla back, Van is forced to face his own feelings and fears. Can he commit to her any better than Burke did, or will deep scars from his past prove him to be just another love coward?
"Thinking on swinging out to Tulla's place. Seeing if she's cooled down."
Van pushed the drawer closed and turned slowly. "Why's that?"
Burke sat down and proceeded with his regular ritual of kicking off his shoes and aerating his duffel bag. "Why do you think? Get her back." He frowned at Van. "You know it's time."
"You left her at the altar."
"Close enough. She'd be crazy to take you back."
Van's stomach tightened around a burning in its center. "I don't think you should."
Burke squinted, obviously expecting concurrence. "Why not?"
Van didn't want to say anymore, didn't want Burke to go storming out there to save the day once he heard about Tulla's dad. "She's seeing someone else now." The words came out, and he turned to the sink to fill a water glass, forcing down a gulp of lukewarm liquid.
Burke stilled for a moment as Van pretended another sip. "Who is it? Do I know him?" He sounded surprised and even a bit rebuffed.
"Her friend Walt."
"What?" The chair screeched back and banged to the floor. "Why that son of a--"
"What's wrong with Walt?" Van turned back around, clutching the water glass and forcing himself to drink, to quench the burning.
"Nothing's wrong with Walt except that he's moving in on my girl, just like he's always wanted."
"You threw away your girl."
"Don't give me that."
"What would you call it?" Van set the glass down a little harder than he meant to and picked his cap off a peg by the door.
"Where're you going?"
"I've got plans. A little job. Want to come along?" He counted on Burke's refusal.
"I don't have time. I -- I don't know what I'm doing. I've only got a couple hours."
"Well, like I said, I don't think she's interested anymore." He let himself out the door, but Burke's voice followed him.
"We'll see about that."
Posted by Deborah Dunson on 4th Feb 2017
The Love Coward was a sweet story that reminded of a Hallmark movie. But, I was expecting more from the story. The jilted at the altar story has been done so many times that I expected to see a different twist on it. However I was very interested to see what would transpire between Van, Tulla and Burke, but it did not hold my interest. I think my disappointment stems from the fact that I know this is a wonderful author and I have read some of her other books and they are not typical or mediocre. I was looking for the same think outside of the box writing that she did with Emipre of The Pines series. I'm just one reader and I know this is a story that others would love and adore, it just was not my cup of tea.