The story begins as WW2 is declared and Gracie's family prepare to face hardships in the village of Slade Green. As Hitler's bombs descend, her father realises it may mean the end for the family's paddle steamer, The Kentish Queen, which, filled with day trippers regularly sails down to Margate.
Joe, handsome in his army uniform, has been a friend since he and Gracie were kids and it seems he has designs on making her his wife. Another soldier, Tony Banks, turns up at the church social and after just one dance all thoughts of war, and Joe, fade from her mind. She is smitten. But as far as Joe's concerned, he always gets his way and Gracie will be his.
On Gracie's 21st birthday, Joe bestows expensive gifts on her then later gets her drunk and though not entirely against her will, he has his wicked way.
Before long, Gracie realises she's pregnant but Joe is back overseas. When he returns and hears the news he seems thrilled. He will marry her and they'll move into a big house in the poshest street. How does Joe afford this lifestyle? As her life spirals out of control, Gracie wishes she'd pursued Tony instead.
It would be difficult to add much more without giving away spoilers. Needless to say, this story is not just a sweet romance. There's a real touch of drama as the navy commandeers The Kentish Queen. There's a mystery surrounding Tony. Is he betrothed to be married or not? Does he have criminal dealings possibly with Joe? Who is the good guy and who isn't? It certainly had me 'oohing' and 'aahing'!
The characters all felt real, the settings too, the latter no surprise as they're based on the author's home town. A good, quick read that will draw you in.
Some small problems with the formatting but I doubt that's the author's fault. Could even be my Kindle.