Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challengeuntil he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth's heart a top priority mission. But he has his work cut out for him. Not only is Ruth focused on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she carries a shameful secret that keeps her from giving her heart to any man. Can Jack break down her defenses? Or are they destined to go their separate ways?
A Memory Between Us is the second book in the WINGS OF GLORY series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.
About the Author
Sarah Sundin is the author of A Distant Melody. Her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England during WWII. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.
Read an Excerpt
A MEMORY BETWEEN USA Novel
By SARAH SUNDIN
RevellCopyright © 2010 Sarah Sundin
All right reserved.
Chapter One2nd Evacuation Hospital; Diddington, Huntingdonshire, England
March 3, 1943
Lt. Penelope Ruth Doherty braced open the window and drank in cool air to settle her stomach. "There, gentlemen. Isn't it nice to have fresh air in here?"
In the bed next to the window, Lieutenant Lumley snorted. "Ma'am, I'm from Arizona. To me, this soggy English air is more lethal than Nazi bullets."
Ruth smiled at her patient, who had broken an ankle when his P-38 Lightning crashed on landing. "Good air circulation is important for wound healing." And for clearing the nauseating smell of breakfast sausage from the tin can of a ward.
"Say, Red, you know what would heal my wounds?" The new patient, Lieutenant Holmes, pointed to his lips and dropped Ruth a wink.
Ruth gave him a sweet smile. "You'd like another dose of castor oil?"
"And it's Lieutenant Doherty to you." Ruth's medic, Technical Sergeant Giovanni, set his supply tray next to Lieutenant Holmes's bed. "Now, time to swab your wounds." A German shell had filled the navigator's back with shrapnel.
"Besides, her hair is more auburn than red." Lieutenant Lumley's gaze had a softer cast than usual. Thank goodness, he was due to be discharged.
"I'll be back with the morning meds." Ruth passed one of the potbellied coal stoves in the aisle.
"Ouch!" Lieutenant Holmes cried out.
"Whatza matter? Does it sting the widdle baby?" Sergeant Giovanni's voice oozed fake sympathy.
"Better not be iodine. Makes my throat swell up something fierce."
Ruth's feet stopped along with her heart, and she slowly turned to her medic. Sergeant Giovanni's burly face stretched long in horror. Of course he was using iodine.
Anaphylaxis. She needed to act quickly without alerting her patient, keep a level head, and control her emotions as she had been trained. Panic would make his condition worse.
She returned to Lieutenant Holmes's bed and put on her cheeriest smile and voice. "What would feel good on those wounds would be a nice rinse with cool water. Sergeant, would you please fetch Dr. Sinclair? I'd like to discuss Lieutenant Lumley's discharge with him." She locked her gaze on her medic. "Now," she mouthed.
"Sure thing, boss." The sergeant strode for the door.
Ruth grabbed towels from the drawer in the bedside table and braced them on either side of her patient's torso, and then gently poured water over the brown stains and dabbed them with another towel. Too late, but she wanted to reduce the amount of iodine in the poor man's system. "Now, doesn't that feel nice?"
"I'd rather have a kiss."
"And I'd rather have a million dollars, but neither is going to happen."
"I don't know about that. I can feel that kiss already. My lips are all tingly."
Ruth's hand tightened on the towel. He was going into anaphylaxis, but where was Dr. Sinclair? Only he could give the adrenaline needed to save this man's life. "Excuse me. I'll be right back."
At a fast clip, Ruth went to the medication room, where Lt. Harriet Marshall was completing her narcotic count from the end of her night shift. "Excuse me. I need to get some adrenaline and morphine. Lieutenant Holmes is going into anaphylaxis."
Harriet's elfin face blanched. "Oh no. Thank goodness Dr. Sinclair is on the ward."
"Not yet." Ruth grabbed a tray and put two sterilized syringes on top.
"So-so why are you already getting the meds?"
"I want to be ready when he comes. I can't waste any time." One vial of adrenaline.
"But he hasn't ordered them yet."
Ruth leveled a look at the girl. "I know the treatment for anaphylaxis."
"That-that's presumptuous of you. You'll make the doctor angry."
Ruth pulled a vial of morphine. "I don't care about the doctor's feelings; I care about my patient's life." She ignored Harriet's gasp and returned to Lieutenant Holmes's bedside.
He stared up at her with wild eyes. "My throat-it itches, it's swelling up. Was that iodine?"
"Yes, sir, it was, but Dr. Sinclair is on his way." She gave him her most soothing smile. "Now, let's get you in a more comfortable position." Ruth patted his back dry and helped him roll over.
Lieutenant Holmes clawed at his throat. "I can't-I can't breathe." Red hives dotted his fair skin.
"Sure, you can breathe. Stay very calm. Very calm, and think about something else. Where are you from, Lieutenant?"
"New-Hampshire." His chest heaved out the words.
Ruth filled a syringe with adrenaline. "So you're used to this cold weather, unlike Arizona over there. Me too. I'm from Chicago. In fact, this must feel warm and balmy to you."
The patient's only response was a series of raspy, labored breaths. Where on earth was that doctor? "Lord, help me," she whispered.
Ruth pulled up a dose of morphine and chattered about the way the snow filled the streets of her slum and made them look clean for a change, until the thaw made them look worse than ever. But as Lieutenant Holmes gasped for air, all she could see were Pa's last breaths as the blood clot settled in his lungs and Ma's wheezes as she wasted away with pneumonia.
As a nursing student, she couldn't help her parents, and now as a nurse, she couldn't help this young man. She glanced at the clock on the wall. If Dr. Sinclair didn't come in the next sixty seconds, she'd give the adrenaline herself.
And lose her position? As the oldest of seven, she had a responsibility to her brothers and sisters. How could they get by without her support?
Images of those beloved faces swam before her-her purpose, her joy. Why did it always have to be this way? Why did she have to choose between doing the right thing and protecting her family?
Dr. Sinclair burst through the door, his white lab coat flying, and Ruth let out a deep sigh.
"Lieutenant Doherty, get me some adrenaline."
"Right here, sir." She handed him the syringe.
He stared at it. "Three two-hundredths of a grain?"
His jaw jutted forward, but he administered the dose and followed it with morphine.
Within the course of an hour, they had stabilized Lieutenant Holmes. Ruth cleansed his wounds, replaced his dressings, and changed the wet bedding. Then she took the empty syringes and vials back to the medication room, where she dropped the syringes into a pan filled with blue green bichloride of mercury solution.
"I suppose I should be mad at you." Dr. Sinclair leaned his tall frame against the open door.
Ruth shook the pan until the syringes were submerged. "My job is to care for the patient."
"And to anticipate my needs. I'm flattered."
"Don't be. I know proper treatment."
"You should have been a physician."
Ruth shook her head. If he only knew what she had to do to scrape up money for nursing school. "Too smart for that."
His chuckles drew nearer, and Ruth stiffened. She didn't feel like fending off another pass from this man.
"I know this great restaurant-"
Ruth turned and glared at him. "How would your wife feel if she heard you talk like this?"
Dr. Sinclair lifted one salt-and-pepper eyebrow. "Come on, Ruth. There's a war on. All the rules have changed. Besides, you talk one way, but I see it in your eyes. You're just like me."
Ruth clamped her teeth together. "No, sir. I'm not."
"Heart of iron." He thumped his fist on his chest. "You have one too."
She stared into his chilly blue eyes, and the cold seeped down to her toes. How did he get so close to the truth? Long ago she'd clamped an iron shell around her heart and nothing and no one could pry it loose, but deep inside, the tender flesh still beat.
"Come on, Ruth." His gaze settled on her mouth. "Just one kiss. I can't resist those lips one day longer. You must be a great kisser."
Her insides shrank into a squirming mass. She had listened to Eddie Reynolds when he told her she was the best kisser in the whole eighth grade, with that great boyish grin and that sheet of brown hair flopping over one eye, but she would not listen to this poor excuse for a physician.
Dr. Sinclair put his hand on her waist.
Ruth's lungs collapsed under the weight of memories. She slapped away his arm. "Don't touch me. Don't ever touch me."
"Oh, come on-"
Ruth shouldered past him and out onto the ward. Her breath returned in little bursts, and white sparkles appeared before her eyes. She made her way down the long semicylinder of the ward. "Sergeant Giovanni, I need-I need a short break. I'll be right back."
"Good time to do it while the doc's here."
Ruth grabbed her blue cape from the hook by the front door and stepped outside. After she swung her cape around her shoulders, she braced her hands on her knees and forced slow, even breaths.
She couldn't work with Dr. Sinclair, but what could she do? Should she talk to the chief nurse? Would it do any good?
Ruth straightened up. Her vision was clear and so was her course of action. A discreet talk with the chief and a transfer to another ward. She just needed to get away.
She marched down the muddy road flanked by the corrugated tin Nissen huts that served as wards and into the administration building. Lt. Vera Benson's door stood open, and Ruth stepped inside.
The chief nurse held a phone to her ear. Ruth backed up to exit, but Lieutenant Benson motioned for her to sit down.
"I'm so sorry, Agnes. Already? Three nurses PWOP?" She arched a strawberry blonde eyebrow at Ruth.
Pregnant Without Permission-the easiest way for a nurse to be relieved from her commitment to the military.
"Yes, that does create a problem. I'll see what I can do. We don't have our full contingent of nurses here either, but I'll talk to the girls."
Lieutenant Benson hung up the phone. "Now, how can I help you, Lieutenant Doherty?"
"Was that another hos-I'm sorry. It's none of my business."
Lieutenant Benson tilted her head and smiled. "I invited you to eavesdrop, and yes, it's our business. The 12th Evac is setting up in Suffolk. Horribly short-staffed. Even more so than we are."
"I'll transfer, ma'am."
The chief tilted her head in the other direction. "Excuse me?"
A smile floated up Ruth's face. How often did a solution come so quickly, so neatly? If she didn't know better, she'd think God was on her side. "Please, ma'am. A transfer is just what I need."
Excerpted from A MEMORY BETWEEN US by SARAH SUNDIN Copyright © 2010 by Sarah Sundin . Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is book two in the Wings of Glory series about the Novak brothers who serve as bomber pilots in WWII. Most of this story takes place in England. In this second book we meet Major Jack Novak, pilot on a B-17 bomber plane. When Jack gets injured and lands in the hospital, he meets Army Nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. Jack is determined to win Ruth's heart. But Ruth is not interested in men. Eventually they become friends, but Ruth cannot give more of herself to Jack, because of something awful that happened to her 8 years ago. Jack also has fears from his past. Both Jack and Ruth let their fears control their actions and it drives them apart. Can they let go of their fears and give it all in God's hands? Or will their own need to be in control keep them separated? Sarah writes so beautifully that I imagined myself in the B-17 together with Jack and his crew. I also went trough the training for Flying Nurse with Ruth. That was tough, I think I never would have made it! Although the subjects in this book were pretty tough, there was much to learn from Jack and Ruth about love, faith, and forgiveness.
A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin is the second book in the Wings of Glory series about fighter pilots in World War II. Jack Novak knows he's good at flying planes and leading his squadron of men in England; he's never faced a battle he lost, until he meets Ruth Doherty. Ruth, an army nurse, is well-known for keeping men at arm's length. Her terrible secret wars with her attraction to Jack.She keeps such a wall around her heart that the only friend she has on the base is May. May and Jack's best friend Charlie quickly hit it off, but they are separated by a terrible mistake Jack makes to save his pride. Ruth's need to financially support her younger siblings at home forces her to take a higher paying and higher risk job as a flight nurse, but the worst risk may come from those she is supposed to be working with, rather than Nazi guns. Sundin has written a beautiful and epic love story. Filled with historical detail and plenty of slang, the reader feels transported to WWII. Ruth's secret is terrible and tragic, and the scene when Jack confronts her with it brought tears to my eyes. The story has action, romance, drama, and faith- what more could a reader ask for?
Both the hero and the heroine were complex characters and the realism of the WWII setting made this book a winner. The romantic tension was awesome, too. The characters had numerous internal and external conflicts that needed to be worked through before they would be whole enough to love each other the way they both needed to be loved. The author left no stone unturned, and I loved that. She was not afraid to make her characters suffer. Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, they did. A Memory Between Us was the perfect title because it summed up the main barrier between them. Ruth had to work through some of those issues on her own in order to heal. So did Jack. I loved how she triumphed over her greatest fears, and Jack overcame his, too. This was an incredible story, and though a bit long, I enjoyed it very much.
A MEMORY BETWEEN US by Sarah Sundar is a Inspirational Historical Romance set in England, 1943. It is well written with details, depth, historical accounts, and fast paced. It is the second book in the Wings of Glory series.It has an emotional romance, faith, pride,secrets, World War II, army hospitals, nurses, air pilots, love, forgiveness, sacrifice and World War II aviation history.The hero, Jack, is an ace pilot, prideful, handsome, determined,called Preach, has a loving family with two other brothers who are all in the Military, a father who is a Preacher and wants Jack who is his namesake to become one also. Jake loves military life, flying, the thrill of adventure and danger in flying over France and the enemy. When he lands in an army hospital after his plane crashes. He meets Ruth, our heroine, who has secrets, orphaned, with siblings back home she takes care of, beautiful, determined never to give her heart to any man,and has been hurt. While she tries not of fall for Jack, Jack is determined to win her heart. This is a touching story of faith, pain, healing, learning to trust and giving your heart to another. This is a powerful love story that takes you on a journey of forgiveness and trusting in God and your faith. I would highly recommend this book. This book was received for review and details can be found at Revell and My Book Addiction and More.
A Memory Between Us is set in England in 1943. Its a WWII historical fiction that is rich with detail, believable characters, and a story that gives us a glimpse of the wars aviation history.Jack Novak is a cocky self assured pilot, he has always loved to fly and enjoys being in the military.He has two other brothers that are military men as well, one just being sent home due to an injury. Back at home in California his dad is a preacher, and it has just been expected that Jack will become a minister as well. When Jack is injured during a maneuver he lands in a military hospital where he meets Lt. Ruth Doherty a nurse at the hospital. She has had a difficult life, with both parents deceased, she sends all her money home to support her younger brothers and sisters. She has problems in her past that makes her determined to keep all men at arms length, but her kind and compassionate spirit soon has Jack falling for her. Will the issues she has hidden in her past keep them apart, or can Jack find a way to win her heart?This was a very fast paced story rich with such details about the war that you can really envision Jack as he pilots his plane and the sheer determination he felt when he needed to get the job done, and the pain and anguish when he felt as if he let a friend down. When Jack and Charlie take Ruth and May up for their flight and show them around you feel as if your right there with them.I really enjoyed the secondary characters and their stories, when I read May's backstory my heart broke for her and when Ruth realized how simular their backgrounds were she finally let May in, and finally has a friend. I really enjoyed the little lessons from the bible we are given thruout this book, I particularly enjoyed Ruch comparing Jack to Boaz. Even though this book is the second in the Wings Of Glory series this is a totally stand alone novel, even though I didn't read the first one I had no problem getting right into this story. An intriguing story filled with emotion. I can't wait to read the next book in this amazing series!
Amazing! Sarah Sundin has done it again.......she has created another story and made it come to life before the reader and captures the reader with the love and mercy that flows through out! I love an author like that. She pulled me instantly with the characters and the storyline, and held me til the last page. It was EXTREMELY hard to put this book down. I wanted to read through the whole book in one setting to see what finally would happen at the end! A Memory Between Us continues the Novak brothers' story, this time, with middle brother Jack. Much like A Distant Melody, Sarah continues with a message of over coming the past and moving forward in your life, while relying on God for the redemption and love. A well created message by a super talented author. Reading Ruth and Jack's stories was both funny, and serious. I loved all the quirkiness that Sarah threw into the story to keep the reader smiling, but I also loved the seriousness that she gave to Ruth. Ruth was a character I could relate with in many different ways. I saw myself in a lot of what Ruth did or said. She really tugged at my heart! And let's not forget about the handsome and charming Jack Novak! After all, this is his story. He is determined that Ruth is the girl for him, but there's a secret from her past that's holding her back and he's determined to find out what it is! I loved his charming ways and his humbling attitude. If only I could find a guy as sweet and handsome as Air Corps pilot, Jack Novak.....*sigh*. His character was chiseled wonderfully and added so much to Ruth's part of the story, as he was working his charm and getting her to like and trust him. He really captured my heart in this well written story! This is a book that is definitely worth 5 stars, along with high recommendations to all who love a tender historical romance story.....it's a perfect addition to the Wings of Glory series. While it is always my recommendation to read a series in order, this could easily be read as a stand alone title. If you've never read a Sarah Sundin novel, this is a good place to start, along with A Distant Melody, book 1 in this awesome series. I look forward to book 3, Blues Skies Tomorrow, releasing in August of 2011, and following oldest brother, Ray Novak's story.*This book was provided for review by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group*
This is the second novel in the Wings of Glory series, but could easily stand alone telling the story of the next brother in the Novak clan. When I read the first book in the series, A Distant Melody I fell completely in love with the writing of author Sarah Sundin and my feelings have not changed. This past spring brought a treasure with the discovery of adventure within the pages guided by Sarah. About the first book I said... This is a historical romance that has all of the elements that one's heart looks for and while at the same time bringing forth events of a war time past that are true and hard to accept. Usually I am not a fan of war time novels, but this one captures my heart. Then with this second installment with the Wings of Glory those feelings continue on.Penelope Ruth is such a character. Spunky, yet timid. Jack is a hoot and a half and their personalities both make me laugh as they come off the page. I absolutely love these characters as they are so witty and fun. Even our secondary characters of Charlie and May, they show the joys and hard true and realities of the time. War novels are not usually for me, but even with terminology that is a different language to me, the story really comes through and paints and incredible picture. It is a picture that is sometimes gray and sometimes vibrant with blue skies and sometimes a sepia tone with mud, but it's there all the same.It's amazing how much can be told in such a short amount of pages it seems. Watching and learning all the different snippets of what brought Jack and Ruth to certain points in their lives is interesting and I was hooked to find out what would come in the next chapter and the next. Things can be so complicated, but with issues of love and pride and trust the plot even though historical is very relevant to today and any reader's life. So many directions the characters could go and hanging on for the ride with my heart beating and my emotions running is such a journey.Even the characters of questionable nature make me plot in my mind what their turn of events could be and in the end, isn't it always true that we have to trust God over all. Watching the come and go and relationship with God with Jack, Ruth and even May enlightens things that I may have once thought as absolute. Yet what is so beautifully shown in their lives is that even in the turmoil there is a role that God is playing, we just have to trust.I am delighted to have found Sarah as an author for my permanent shelves of books and I will impatiently wait for the next book and the next!*Thanks to Donna Hausler of Revell Books for providing a copy for review.*
Jack is a pilot during WW II and has a real issue with pride. When he is injured during a flight he ends up in the hospital where Penny "Ruth" Doherty takes care of him. She has problems dating any men due to past issues she can't deal with. Jack likes Ruth a lot and tries to win her over too fast. Ruth also has 7 orphaned siblings to take care of and that leaves no time for socilizing with men or making friends with other women. Together and separately they work thru their problems with Gods help. I enjoyed reading this story and look forward to the next novel in the series dealing with the third Novak brother, Ray.
Has a great storyline that shows the Trials that many of the pilots and their crew members went through to win the world War II
I'm not usually a big fan of WWII books but Sarah Sundin writes great stories about World War II! I feel like I've learned more about the war through fiction books that I ever did in school! Pilot Major Jack Novak and army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty are both strong protagonists who learn to put their trust in God not their skills. I won a copy of A Memory Between Us on Best Reads Blogspot. This is my honest opinion.
Absolutely loved this trilogy of love, courage & faith set during WWll. Written with great attention to detail and lots of heart! Highly recommend all of Sarah Sundins books!!
I enjoyed the story and writing style. There was a surprising amount of detailed information about flying missions in B-17s during WWII.
This book is about the middle brother, who seems to be able to do just about anything with little effort. Women always seem to fall for him until he meets one who does not fall for him. He will conspire to win her over, but when he learns her secret, he is gone. You will love the story and how everything comes together. God has a plan for each of us in His own time and way.
This book was absolutely gripping. From start to finish it only took me two days, I just could not put it down. It was amazing to see how the characters developed and changed throughout the war. It was also nice to see their relationships with God through the story. It a wonderful book, just like the first one.
Sarah Sundin has done it again. If you thought her debut novel, A Distant Melody, was good, you'll love A Memory Between Us. It's as good or even better. Sundin's latest story is set in and above Europe at the height of WWII. Her gripping tale had my heart pounding as I turned the pages with a speed that rivaled the props on her hero's B-17. And talk about a hero. Talented bomber pilot Major Jack Novak is an awesome mix of ability, bravery, and confidence-a little too much confidence at times, which threatens to cost him dearly. Army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Dougherty is a strong heroine with a fragile core, totally likable, but a bit too self-reliant at times, until situations cause her to turn to the Lord for her protection. Sundin has created characters with incredible depth, an action-packed story, and an accurate yet tastefully portrayed depiction of war-torn Europe. I wasn't a real fan of WWII romance until I read Sundin's work, but she's changed all that. I'll read anything she writes because I'm guaranteed an emotionally satisfying experience from this gifted storyteller.