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HFC Editorial Review of "Soldier On" by Erica Nyden

Author Bio:

Erica Nyden first discovered the enchanting landscape of Cornwall in Daphne DuMaurier novels when she was fourteen years old. An avid reader of books that bring to life the struggles of everyday people during extraordinary times, she decided to write her own after visiting Cornwall’s windswept coastline—the perfect setting for her debut historical romance novel, Soldier On.

When Erica’s not writing, she’s in the classroom teaching third grade or enjoying the beauty of Central Oregon, where she lives with her husband. Erica can be found on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and

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Book Blurb and Editorial Review:

This wasn’t the first time Olivia had wrestled a grown man as he shook and cried, only to awaken him to this new reality – not of falling bombs and piercing shrapnel but of missing limbs, lost friends, and a future of replaying the past every time he closed his eyes. Night terrors were often stronger than the treatment prescribed, and yet doctors still promoted these useless remedies.

In the early days of World War II when a Nazi prison leaves Major William Morgan with nothing to live for, nurse Olivia Talbot is determined to mend his heart, even if it means losing her own.

Right in the midst of the Nazi blitz against London, young Olivia Talbot is sent to far away Cornwall to care for William Morgan, a British Major who escapes the Nazis in North Africa, now suffering with horrific injuries and loss of sight.

To say that Olivia is tenacious and strong is an understatement, and for a twenty-one-year-old she has experienced her fair share of hardships related to the war; so when Major Morgan displays his ingratitude and harshness, she bolsters her resolve and does not back down. Her strength and resilience in this regard helps William deal with the demons in his nightmares, and the bitterness he feels inside... even awakening something in his heart he thought destroyed by the war.

In this lovely romantic historical, the author takes us to William’s family estate of Keldor and wraps the reader in an unexpected romance as refreshing and beautiful as anything Jane Austen might have written if she had lived during WWII. And yet, with that, danger lurks and the peaceful idyllic recovery they both experience is threatened when the shadows of war creep across Cornwall, bringing with it harsh realities and an unwelcome visitor. Once again, William is thrust back into a soldiering role, and Olivia is the victim of unspeakable violence. Their fragile world is shaken and their future uncertain as decisions are made which might leave Olivia without William forever.

Soldier On is the perfect title for this novel as the main character, Olivia, is faced with having to lift her chin and carry on with the same resilience she mustered to care for William, even with the possible knowledge that she may never see him again. Hopelessness. Perseverance. Strength. Courage. Love. Sacrifice. All in the face of tragedy and the bleak world surrounding all of them.

The emotional richness of this novel is on full display, and cannot be expounded on to the greatest extent without giving away any spoilers, but this is a definite must read book. An easy read that a reader can finish in a day or so, perhaps more to savour Ms Nyden’s talent, and a heart-grabbing page turner full of all the things you expect of a historical romance. Not only that, but Ms Nyden has a way with words, in settling a reader into the landscape and mood of the scenes with her choice of phrases and dialogue.

Last night, the wainscoting had looked as dark as black coffee. This morning, ribbons of blond and amber meandered throughout the mahogany panelling like caramel at the center of a chocolate bar.

His eyes, though vacant, shone like the English Channel, slate-blue and cold. He might even be attractive if it weren’t for his permanent scowl.

I am reminded of the rich story of The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, whose Booker Prize winning novel was portrayed with such exquisiteness and real emotion onscreen, and I, for one, would love to see this novel, Soldier On, as another one snatched up by BBC or Netflix to film. In some ways, the characters and the story renders a mood similar to a Brontë or Du Maurier novel, with the sufferings and emotional turmoil and the underlying romance sparking between each of the main characters with a quality that draws a reader into the storyline. You want to know the outcome, and you find yourself rooting for that perfect romantic ending... of which, you will just have to read to find out!

All in all, Soldier On by Erica Nyden earns a five star review and the “Highly Recommended” award from The Historical Fiction Company – you won’t be disappointed in this one!!

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