Darling, All My Love



Poor and practicing Catholic Lily Vanderhoof has a great life—or so she thinks until her fiancés mistress shows up. She soon meets someone much better, Benjamin Claussen. Just two problems with her new relationship: he’s already engaged and a Presbyterian. Benjamin Claussen, heir to the family business, doesn’t like being around his fiancée anymore. When he meets Lily at his friend’s wedding, the glimpse of happiness he feels when he’s around her encourages him to break off his engagement. But there’s more to his commitment than even he knows, with religion only a small portion of what’s keeping them apart. Their biggest obstacle is his ex-fiancée, Vivian. And she’ll destroy everything and everyone he loves in order to win him back.

Set in the 1930s, Darling, All My Love is full of tender moments. Though religion is mentioned early on, this is not an inspirational romance but a historical tale with religious differences as part of the real, engaging obstacles for the couple to overcome. However, awkward dialogue alternates with over-the-top reactions and heavy-handed, as well as inconsistent portraying of Lily’s personality, make this book initially difficult to read. Not to mention, Lily’s fiancé has next to nothing to do with the plot, in spite of the drama around him at the beginning. Only when the main antagonist, Vivian, takes over the action does the plot manage to overcome these flaws. The moments between Lily and Benjamin, however, are wonderful and passionate. They truly do work better together than apart, and their happily-ever-after is well-earned.

Amanda Carlisle