Return to Love

Return to Love

by Kathleen Shoop


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781499173291
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/29/2014
Pages: 262
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Bestselling author, Kathleen Shoop, holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. Her novels have earned Gold and Silver medals in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, been named a Finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Winner in the Indie Excellence Book Awards, a Finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and an Honorable Mention from the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer's Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. For more information, visit

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Return to Love 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Algene More than 1 year ago
This book will make one realize that the world is a better place to live if you have someone beside you… to fight the battle with you, to face the future with you and to give you hope. This is a must-read book. Return to Love is the second book in Kathleen Shoop's The Endless Love Series. Everything in it will make you cry - both sad and happy tears. It will make you believe in the power of love! This is such an amazing piece of Kathleen Shoop!
ReadersFavorite4 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite Return to Love (Book 2-- The Endless Love Series) by Kathleen Shoop is a sweet romance that brings us into the life of newly weds, April and Hale Abercrombie. They are just home and have unexpected but happy news of a pregnancy. April and Hale are a loving couple; unfortunately bad things happen even to wonderful couples. While he is serving in Vietnam, Hale finds out they have lost their new-born daughter. When he comes home on leave, the couple reconnects and finds passion again, but April’s heart is so broken it can’t be fully healed or eased, even by her wonderful husband. This is a book filled with so many things that are relevant to our lives today. We have the separation of war, the trauma and loss of a child, and learning to cope and find trust and love again with each other. Kathleen Shoop has done such a wonderful job of displaying these themes in a well thought out and well written fashion. I enjoyed every page of this book and following the story with Hale and April. I could feel April’s heartache over the loss, and the hard time she had learning that hope would again start with her and Hale. This book is truly a love story and a love story that isn’t perfect. It is like real life; we have triumphs and we have falls and we must learn to hold each other’s hands and find our way back to hope and love again. I would recommend this book.
ReadersFavorite3 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite Can love overcome even the most painful events and circumstances in one’s life? Kathleen Shoop takes a hard look at this question in Return to Love, Book 2 of her Endless Love Series. With four weeks leave from his duty as a RIO in Vietnam, Hale Abercrombie has a daunting challenge ahead of him. After their daughter was stillborn, April has been plunged into an uncontrollable grief which threatens to not only drive her out of her mind and even cause her to follow her daughter into the grave, but also threatens to divide the happily married pair. As April feels Hale’s love surrounding her, she is beginning to climb out of her grief; however, when Hale tries to “fix” things and pushes too hard, it only makes things worse and begins to drive a wedge between them. Will they be able to find a common thread between them that will allow them to hold onto their marriage? Kathleen Shoop has done it again with Return to Love. This is Venus vs. Mars on its deepest level as April and Hale struggle to communicate the deep grief that they both have; April for the loss of their daughter and the deep secrets that she is holding back and Hale’s deep concern over his wife’s grief and her perceived insanity. Both male and female readers will find themselves frustrated as they watch both sides of the struggle trying to move toward their common goal. There are several very deep lessons to be learned from this story concerning the individuality of grief and the means by which it is handled. A deeper wisdom is found in the character of Martha Shelby that will warm your heart and keep the hope alive throughout. This is a profound and emotional book that is an excellent follow-up to Home Again. Return to Love will run you through a wringer of emotions and answer the deeper questions about the durability of love.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite Hale returned home from Vietnam to be by his wife's side as she mourned the loss of their baby, but the reaction he got from her was not at all what he had expected. At first, she looked a little too okay for what she had just gone through, for the loss they were still mourning, but just when he was starting to accept that maybe she was actually okay, reality hit. Hale struggled to be there for her, but without knowing what exactly he could do to make her feel better. He did not really know what she had gone through or how she was feeling because she refused to talked about it. Surviving the loss of their baby was proving to be so much harder than Hale had imagined; not that he ever thought that it would be easy, but now the grief was pushing April farther from him every day and losing her would destroy him. Return to Love, by Kathleen Shoop, is a story about every parent's nightmare; the loss of a child and the struggle that follows. It’s the story of a mother dealing with grief, resentment, blame, guilt, pain, anger and all the emotions that follow a traumatic still birth. Kathleen Shoop clearly highlighted how such an experience can turn a mother's life completely upside down and how it affects those around her. I could feel the raw emotion April was experiencing as she mourned the loss of her baby, and the rejection towards her husband, unable to accept the love and comfort that he was offering her. It is a sad story that brought to life the tragic experience of a very agonizing event and the struggle to live again. Return to Love clearly highlighted April's loss, grief and emotions and Hale's struggle to understand what she was going through so he could give her the support she needed.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite Return to Love (Book 2-- The Endless Love Series) by Kathleen Shoop continues from where it left off in Book I. The story continues with Hale and April’s romance. Their love blossoms and in this book readers see them getting married. Both of them are happy, but then tragedy strikes when Hale is serving his country in Vietnam and he receives the news of his stillborn daughter. April is shattered and, while back home on leave, Hale tries his best to convince April about their bright future. Though it takes April a while to accept her loss and get closer to Hale all over again, she realizes how important it is to heal and trust their relationship again. In this book we see the fragility of Hale's and April's marriage when they lose their new-born daughter. The contrasting images of April's grief and Hale's comforting presence and hope have been handled well. Both the characters and how they handle their loss and pain are excellent. The author has tackled this love theme beautifully on many levels. The reunion when Hale comes back on leave is comforting and passionate to the broken April, who is still trying to come to terms with the loss of their daughter. The emotions are palpable and relatable and this story of tears and love will strike a chord within readers. A romantic story of love, hope and healing, the author's style of writing also contributes to the rhythm and cadence of the plot.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite Just when you think that Kathleen Shoop has delivered her most heart-breaking and sensitive romance, along comes Return To Love, book two in the Endless Love series. The novella returns us to the relationship of newlyweds Hale and April, where a whole new level of hurt has cast a shadow over their lives. Hale returns safely, on leave from Vietnam in 1970, to the news that April has given birth to a stillborn child. The novella focuses on April’s journey of processing her grief in a time when mothers were often told to ‘just move on’ after such a tragic loss, but it also gives us Hale’s perspective on trying to heal the wounds of a wife that he couldn’t be there to support during the most trying and terrifying time of her life. Return To Love is a sensitive and detailed account of a young couple dealing with a tragic loss. For readers like me who know little of Seventies culture, the attitude towards women’s mental health is both shocking and fascinating. Kathleen Shoop creates a wonderful, forward-thinking man in Hale Abercrombie, who recognises the injustice of a society determined to view women’s emotions as weaknesses. The rebuilding of Hale and April’s relationship is bittersweet but ultimately rewarding. It was also wonderful to be introduced to more of the characters that inhabit their world after book one was so heavily focused on the central pair. Little touches like the recipes in the back of the novella were also a surprising delight; I just might have to make that chocolate pecan pie!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
52chickadees More than 1 year ago
“The Road to Serenity and Happiness is Sometimes a Rocky One” When we last left April Harrington and Hale Abercrombie, (“Home Again-An Endless Love Novella”) they had re-kindled a love that had been within them for what seemed like forever. After a whirlwind courtship that should have happened ages ago, they marry, knowing that Hale must go back into combat in Vietnam. They kept an optimistic outlook , even though they knew in their hearts what could happen that would separate them permanently. Imagine the joy they shared when, while on a call from the Philippines, April gives Hale the glorious news that they are going to be parents! Hale worried about April going through the pregnancy by herself—but, he also knew she was one strong lady. When complications arise and form a dark, sad cloud over the much-anticipated arrival, April’s world crumbles. Her withdrawal from the life she loved prompted Hale’s Mother to contact his commanding officer with a plea to send her son home, April’s grip on reality was slipping—and fast, with anger and sadness filling her entire being. She had lost her beloved Brother, Andrew in the war— her noteworthy career in photography placed on a shelf, and now their baby—would she lose Hale as well? Hale was granted a four week leave. Would April be okay when he arrived? With her decision to stay at a fishing cottage at Kill Devil Hills, Hale got a subtle hint that things were not well—especially when, according to his Mother, April flatly refused to stay in her special sanctuary, “Bliss” on Albemarle Sound. There are so many unanswered questions—so much fear and sadness compounded by secrecy, with no closure in sight. What will bring her back to the April everyone knew? A grief midwife? If she can’t communicate with family, how would she unburden herself to a stranger? Even one who is qualified in such matters? Perhaps the kindness of friends would begin to tunnel into the darkness that plagues her. Kindly Roy Laird, owner of Laird’s Market and Hardware keeps a wary eye out for her safety, but it is Martha Shelby’s down home wisdom that helps to work some much-needed magic. Her figuring that “The way to heal a heart is to keep the hands busy” gets April going in the right direction. What could be on that mysterious list? Will it be enough to penetrate the granite wall of grief? A frustrated Hale tries to reach her inner turmoil with tenderness and the passion he had longed for while in Vietnam, but to no avail. The demons of depression, guilt, and the overwhelming fear of losing Hale had sunk their gnarled teeth into April’s soul—and it seemed that a miracle was the only answer. Perhaps that miracle would appear in white orthopedic shoes? Or maybe in the body of an 11 yr. old named Clementine? The Author has invited the reader to join April and Hale on a heart-wrenching and often heart-breaking journey that will keep you on a roller-coaster ride and touch you to your core. If you can read the excerpt, “This Little Piggy” without crying, you’re a lot tougher than me. Ms. Shoop has graciously included luscious recipes which are mentioned in the story, including Mother Abercrombie’s Banana Oat Muffins, Clementine’s Chocolate Pecan Pie and Martha’s Broiled Oysters with Sun-dried Tomatoes. I’m looking forward to Book three in the “Endless Love” series and the continuing story of April and Hale, as well as a Novella featuring Nurse Peters, and I bet you will be also. Make room on your bookshelf for this “Growing Family” you shouldn’t miss and won’t forget. Nancy Narma
CinnamonHollow More than 1 year ago
Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time! Disclosure: I receved a complimentary copy of Return To Love by Kathleen Shoop as a member of Beck Valley Book Tours. All opinions are strictly my own. Return To Love (Book 2- The Endless Love Series) by Kathleen Shoop is such a sweet romance novel. I loved the first short novella, Home Again and book 2 doesn't disappoint either. It is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time! In this book, April and Hale deal with the loss of their unborn baby. While I have not experienced stillbirth, I have experienced miscarriage 6 times. So I was really drawn in to April's side of the story and seeing how she tried to cope with the loss of her baby. It really hit home with me and brought back a LOT of emotions. It is gut wrenching to read about the loss of a baby and to see the parents go through the awful grief associated with it. I think that Kathleen Shoop did a wonderful job of writing what both April and Hale would be going through with, not only, the loss of their baby but his feelings post Vietnam. Both events are difficult to bear and both characters would deal with things differently. I love how it shows April wanting to release her burden and cling to Hale but being unable to due to grief. We get to see how a military man might be expected to deal with the loss of an unborn child during the 50's, 60's and 70's. Medical intervention and recommendations were MUCH different during those decades and we get a little glimpse into that. I'm SO GLAD things are different now! I'm also glad that April and Hale aren't your "traditional" couple during that time period. While the novella, Home Again, sets the stage for April and Hale's romance, I do think that you could read Return To Love as a stand alone book. Be warned, this story WILL tear at your heartstrings!
BookWormAndMore More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to review the first book in this series, Home Again. I was hesitant at first when I realized it was just a novella and not a full length book. That quickly changed after I started reading it. It was a wonderful book. So, I jumped at the chance to read this 2nd book. I was not disappointed with this one either. Kathleen Shoop did a wonderful job of portraying how difficult it is to get over the loss of a child. I can not even imagine how difficult it is to give birth to a stillborn child, much less to do it while your husband is away at war. The insights into the minds of both April & Hale are so true and believable. While I haven't had the same experiences, the thoughts of a married couple trying to keep difficult things to themselves so that their spouse doesn't worry are universal. Kathleen Shoop is such a skilled writer that you don't even feel like you are reading a book. It is more like you are living it. I definitely recommend this book, and the previous one, Home Again. This can be read as a stand alone book. I'm not sure if there will be another book but I look forward to hearing more about the lives of April and Hale.I give this one 5 stars. I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
Deal_Sharing_Aunt More than 1 year ago
This book really affected me as a woman. I can only imagine the loss of a newborn, and I felt for this couple. The author made the characters very much normal, and relatable. The characters also have big hearts and they are broken, however they need to realize that the unbroken part is still there. Will they realize it before Hale goes back to war? Or are they destined with a future of loss and depression? I thought that it was important that the author showed April reacting like normal people would, and not to be ashamed of depression issues or even post partum depression. I can not wait to read more about these characters. I am giving this book a 5/5. I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
TheBookStalker More than 1 year ago
Being the second book in a series I wished that I had experienced the first and ran out to see how the story began. For a story so full of hope and love Shoop did well at giving readers a lot to think about in this heart-breaking novel, including faith, devotion and lasting bonds in a relationship. Hale and April are characters that you can’t help but grieve with, but also feel compassion on levels that you didn’t know possible due to Shoop expertly creating depth to a love story that is so much more. For those who have experienced this unimaginable and tragic event this book will authenticate feelings at a whole new level while providing a sense of peace when one just wants to let go. Friendship is a cherished and valuable sentiment and shown at perfect levels in this one of a kind book that only Shoop could masterfully capture as completely as she did. I appreciate the amount of sentiment from each character and moving passion which seemed to radiate throughout the whole book. Highly recommended! ~The Book Stalker Reviewed
Aiesa1 More than 1 year ago
A powerful and compelling story that takes us beyond the falling in love and marriage of April and Hale. Hale is doing his duty and fighting for his country. Sad news arrives that April delivered his daughter - stillborn. Her little heart and lungs are unable to work outside the womb. He returns home to a devastated April.  Hale is very supportive and caring, but April turns in on herself with her grief and away from him. Many people give advice how to deal with the situation, but in the end, it is up to each person how to deal with such a loss. Though a tragedy, the story is about the struggle to once again find each other and overcome the hardships to become stronger. The author has given the reader a convincing and overwhelming story that will tug on your heart.
AMadisonMom More than 1 year ago
An emotional read about loss, grief... and love. This book was difficult for me to read at times. While I never had to personally experience a still birth, or the loss of a newborn… I have friends that have, and I did experience a miscarriage. While the way of medically dealing with these losses today are SO different from the way they were in the late 60s (when this book is set)… reading as Hale and April worked threw their loss showed that the emotions families go through are the same through the ages. I think if you’ve never suffered a loss like Hale and April’s, this book could truly give you some insight into the tragedy. I think the author did an amazing job of approaching this subject, and really sharing the truth of what some couples feel and think. Reading about how the (some/most) doctors, nurses, and hospitals all dealt with still birth in the past… it was just heartbreaking. I found myself in tears quite a number of times during the book. Thank God the medical and mental health fields continue to progress… especially where patient emotional care is considered.
JulieGB More than 1 year ago
While April’s newlywed husband Hale is in Vietnam, her baby is birthed stillborn. Hale is unaware of how badly April is taking it, until he gets word from his mother telling him to come home. He takes leave and comes home to find April has indeed changed, and no matter what he says, she just withdraws further away from him. With April becoming more and more irrational, Hale begins to wonder if their marriage is in trouble, and more important, if he save April from herself? I really liked the book, but I hate to say that I thought it went on a bit too much on April and the way she reacted to Hale’s help. I've never lost a child, so I can’t speculate how April felt. I can only empathize with her. I kept thinking that if it was a full term baby, why did it not get a proper burial? I guess this shows how much things have changed in this short period of time.  I got so aggravated with Hale as he kept saying the wrong things. I wanted him to just shut up and listen to her. And when they started talking about naming the baby, I just knew they would choose Sarah. Boy was I surprised.  Kathleen Shoop never fells with her research and accuracy of times past. I've learned so much from her books and I look forward to many more.
Savingsinseconds More than 1 year ago
I really, really liked the characters in this book. Author Kathleen Shoop made April and Hale feel like people I'd know from church. The situations they encountered were very realistic and normal. Although this is the second book in the Endless Love series, it definitely can serve as a standalone novel.Kathleen Shoop did a great job of keeping the story's flow going. Just when I thought I was getting a tad bored with the plot, it would pick right up. I received this book to review. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.
WordsofaSAHM More than 1 year ago
Since finishing Home Again at the end of last year, I have wondered what happened with Hale & April! I am so happy that I had the chance to review Return to Love. I can kind of relate to what April is dealing with in this book, however I wasn't nearly as far along as she was. YET - it still hurt me & I had a difficult time coping with it. I really enjoyed the fact that this book was set back in the 70's! Some might say that April was weak, for how she handled everything when it happened, but I certainly don't think so! Her husband was fighting over in Vietnam and she was on her own!  This book had me in tears through out parts of it!
MikiHope More than 1 year ago
I had previously read and reviewed the novella Home Again ( read my review here ) that introduced this series. This is a continuation of that story and is every bit as good as the first. It can be read as a stand alone with no problem. Actually if you haven't read a Kathleen Shoop Novel yet I really suggest you do--she is definitely one of the better writers around. Book 2 in this series deals with an issue that is usually not spoken about. It deals with the issues, both mental and physical, that mother's of stillborn infants go through. Thankfully the medical profession no longer deals with it the way they did back then. There are sections which will make you laugh, parts that will make you want to cry and for those of us old enough to remember gratefulness that this is no longer the way this is handled. This is a note from the author at the end of the book "Mothers heal from birth traumas at different rates and in different ways. This is especially evident when faced with giving birth to a baby who is stillborn. In more recent years, women have been encouraged to engage in rituals that mark the baby’s short life, to fully experience the grief associated with the loss. But this was not always the case. April’s story is very different from what women experience today, but was common for women at the time. Progress is good!" Now I have to patiently(?) wait until book 3 in this series is released. I can't wait to find out what happens next! 5 Star for sure!
lifeasleels More than 1 year ago
I had to refresh my memory a little bit as this does stem off the novella Home Again, but I do not think it is required to have read the novella before reading Return to Love. While the book surrounds April having to cope with the stillbirth of her and Hale’s daughter; the emotions are real and you can feel the depth of her grief and depression. Fortunately, the time frame of the book is set back to Vietnam war so the medical aspects of the book are no longer (thank goodness for that). More than the stillbirth of their daughter, there are lessons here and there as friends and loved ones help get April back to her life and through the recovery of her loss. I really did find this to be a great book and it only took me two nights to finish – I could not put it down! I really wanted to be there for April and help her through the depression that she experiences after such a traumatic loss. You could feel all the emotions that are part of this book – the highs and the lows. This is definitely a book that I enjoyed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently had the opportunity to review "Return to Love" written by Kathleen Shoop.  This is the 2nd book in the Endless Love series, but if you missed the first, this book can be read alone.  You can pick right up on it.  I enjoyed the writing of Kathleen Shoop.  She has a talent for putting you in the moment and you feel what the characters are feeling.  She also describes the settings well and I felt like I had travelled to the Outer Banks, where the book is set.  It is definitely a romance novel filled with passion.
wifetoalineman02 More than 1 year ago
This book is such a beautiful story of a baby loss. It is very emotional that it will make you cry. It made me cried. It teaches woman how to cope up with the loss of a baby. If you are in the same situation, you should read this and it will help you. 
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In the first book of The Endless Love Series, Home Again, author Kathleen Shoop introduced the readers to April and Hale Abercrombie's journey towards true love. Their journey continues a year later in the second book in the series, Return To Love, where they have gotten married and are expecting their first child. But a heartbreaking tragedy occurs while Hale is serving in Vietnam, April had delivered a stillborn daughter. Hale comes home on a temporary leave, and as the couple grieves the loss of their newborn daughter, April struggles with the loss in an unbearable way that has her both needing Hale and pushing him away. Return To Love is an emotional and poignant story of how a couple struggles to face the hardship of a traumatic loss, and have the strength to find a way back to each other in order to heal, love, and move forward. Set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina during the Vietnam War period of the early 1970s, author Kathleen Shoop weaves a hauntingly beautiful tale of love and loss that follows the journey of a young couple who struggle with life's daunting hardships: a husband serving overseas in Vietnam, a pregnancy that ends in a stillborn birth, their struggle to deal with the grief from their traumatic loss, and their attempt to save their fragile marriage and move forward without losing each other. Return To Love is an amazing love story that will pull at the heartstrings and stir the soul. The reader can't help but feel compassion and empathy for the young couple as they deal with the loss of their newborn child, and their struggle to help each other heal in order to save their fragile marriage. The author delves into the subject of loss, war, and marital relationships in a thoughtful and respectful style that makes the reader want to lend support and wrap their arms around April and Hale. It is a raw and tender story that will have the reader experiencing the full gamut of emotions, from heartbreak to the heartwarming belief that the strength and power of love really can overcome anything.
Ginas-Library More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Endless Love Series. The first book is titled Home Again. This book is based in the 70s in the height of the Vietnam war. I’m not sure if this is really how they handled the death of a newborn back then. I really hope not. This book had so many different emotions run through me all at once. I had compassion, sympathy, anger, love, empathy. There is so much more to say about this book but I don’t want to give any of the story away. April needs Hale’s love and support the most right now. No matter how much she needs it though, she tries to push him away. She is stuck in her own grief. April and Hale have what I call and undying love. They love each other with every being in their bodies. Nothing can or will keep them apart. Kathleen Shoop is not only a talented author, she is also a friend of mine. I’m love everything she has written so far. I highly suggest you look into her other books.
AdriLisa More than 1 year ago
Conquering the Impossible Return to Love by Kathleen Shoop is so believable while being emotional. The story tells us that April reacted in a very bad way after the loss of her child.  This is not the first novel I read from Kathleen Shoop and, so far, she has not let me down.  I found that April was weak at first possibly the fact of handling everything on her own while her husband is serving in Vietnam. It was nice to read about all the medical interventions, great staff and sometimes leaving me admiring them. Reading this book made me cry a little, I have to admit. I am very sensitive to certain facts of life and Kathleen Shoop touched many points that her readers can relate to. I really like the cover design and fell in love with whole story for all it stood ~ I do recommend it. Adriana LG
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to read the first book in this series right before I got Return to Love, the love I felt for April and Hale made me know that I had to keep reading this series.   Kathleen Shoop wrote a book that shows how strong their marriage is, even while fighting the loss of a child and the fact that Hale is back in Vietnam.  The loss of a child is an extremely tough subject to touch on.  Return to Love handles this subject with care and respect.    It shows how each mother or father handle the loss their own way.  I was amazed at how the doctor and nurses handled April after her daughter was born.  Thank God for Nurse Peters and her understanding during this tough time.  While this is a tough subject to read about, going through it with April was even tougher.   She could not deal with it alone, it was heart warming to see the town rally around her and make sure she was okay while Hale was gone.   Having Hale’s mother support her and keep her safe also warmed my heart.   After reading both books , so far, in this series I absolutely recommend them both.  Kathleen Shoop wrote a book that will pull at your heart and make you appreciate your own babies a little more.