Wise Men Say by Wendy Burke


Wise Men Say by Wendy Burke
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (39 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Aster

Over twenty years ago, Emmy Patterson kissed her fiancé for the last time. Nick promised he’d return and despite bad news from U.S. military services since the day he went missing, she’d never lost hope he’s alive and celebrates his life every chance she gets.

When The Castillo Hotel purchases some of her glass artwork, she spends the winter holidays in Las Vegas promoting it. But is this unexpected business travel a coincidence, or has the wise Madame Eve found a way to heal Em’s wounded heart?

Can a woman move on after losing the love of her life?

Emelia Patterson is a successful glass artist trying to live her life with her extended family in Wisconsin. Her one great love, Nick, went missing and assumed dead over twenty years prior, taking her only chance at true happiness with him. She now devotes herself to her cats and family, long since given up on the idea of finding a man who can live up to the memory of a man she lost her virginity to and then disappeared.

Nick Klaussen is a Navy Seal. Devoted to his duty and country, he’s been presumed missing for 20 years. After intense experiences, and some time to adjust to being home, he’s determined to win back his long lost love.

I wanted to love this book. I’m a sucker for military stories and the love between a military man and his woman. While there was much in this story I loved, it left me rather frustrated.

The concept was great – a woman holding on hope her love is alive, and fighting every outlet for answers. I like the spunk and fire of Emmy, but the first half of the book focused almost exclusively on how she put her entire life on hold after Nick’s disappearance. I felt sorry for her – a woman living for her cats and her niece (and 21 year old Seth-we’re not told initially who he is, but assumptions can be made). Over twenty years since the last time she’d seen or heard from him, she still cries for him and even hugs his shirt, clinging to the last bits of his scent and lamenting the fact she can no longer remember the sound of his voice.

When a strange man shows up in her suite in Las Vegas, it’s pretty clear who it is. What isn’t clear, however, is where he’s been. There’s not much of an explanation, and considering the abandonment I’d feel in Emmy’s shoes, I’d hoped we’d get a more solid answer. Perhaps if this novella had been extended, more justice could have been done to these two characters. It’s difficult to express my frustration without revealing spoilers, but the final pages of this tale seemed rushed after the slow build up.

Disappointments aside, we did get our happy ending, and there was no question the love these two have for each other. If you like the idea of a happily ever after despite years of grief, perhaps give this one a try.

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