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Till We Next Meet Mass Market Paperback – 26 Apr 2005
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About the Author
Karen Ranney wanted to be a writer from the time she was five years old and filled her Big Chief tablet with stories. People in stories did amazing things and she was too shy to do anything amazing. Years spent in Japan, Paris, and Italy, however, not only fueled her imagination but proved she wasn't that shy after all.
Now a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, she prefers to keep her adventures between the covers of her books. Karen lives in San Antonio, Texas.
Top customer reviews
Catherine Dunnan is lonely. Married only one month, Catherine is overwhelmed when her new husband goes to war. Yet, his letters give Catherine a reason to live, to dream, to survive. He fills her heart with sincere tenderness and promise, bringing her comfort and hope, allowing Catherine a future.
Colonel Moncrief's first letter to Catherine Dunnan was easy to write. He penned it from pity. Colonel Moncrief felt sorry for Catherine; after all, her husband was the most unethical man he had ever met! No man, such as Harry Dunnan, deserved such loyalty, such compassion, such love as Catherine dispensed. Signing Harry Dunnan's name was easy; it was done to reassure Catherine Dunnan. However, one letter quickly turned into a year long secret relationship, a relationship built on fraud.
Colonel Moncrief of the Lowland Scots Fusiliers was now the Duke of Lymond. He was back in Scotland to assume his duties and obligations. It was his duty to call upon the grief-stricken Catherine Dunnan. He went out of protocol and honor. He often called upon relatives of fallen comrades - to express regret. Catherine Dunnan was no different - or was she?
Karen Ranney wrote a beautiful story. The love letters are tender and stunning.
To further enhance her book, Ranney spread "story secrets" throughout. However, the secrets disenchanted me; these "story bombshells" seemed to lack the passion and intensity found in the rest of Ranney's story. Still, the author is right on track with this lovely love story. TILL NEXT WE MEET is very impressive.
The correspondence has to end with the husband's death - but fate takes a hand when, back in England, Moncrief decides to pay Catherine a visit and is shocked to find an unkempt and somewhat addled young woman still in the throes of deep grieving who is clearly being seriously neglected. When, in saving her life, he inadvertently compromises her, there is no alternative but marriage.
The relationship between Moncrief and Catherine is beautifully developed and presented, with Catherine gradually coming to appreciate Moncrief’s sterling qualities and to value his company and his affection. The sexual tension between the couple builds slowly, and because Catherine has asked for time to get to know Moncrief better before consummating the marriage, it’s fairly late in the story before things progress from heated looks and touches. But when it does, the passion between them is almost uncontrollable, and it’s well worth the wait.
The characterisation is strong all-round, with even the minor characters being fully-rounded, and the author has created an atmosphere that is sombre without being depressing or gloomy. The loneliness endured by both Moncrief and Catherine is vividly evoked, and their gradual coming together is a true delight to read; they are so deserving of happiness in their lives that the pleasure and contentment they eventually find with each other feels as though it has been fully earned.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I put off buying this for a long time, as the plot didn't especially intrigue me. Letters, long distances, a cad of a husband, grief and loss??? If anyone can make these plot devices work, it's Karen Ranney and she accomplishes this by making the reader experience the plot as secondary to the characterizations, which are superb.
Colonel Moncrief has been corresponding with the wife of one of his soldiers, a womanizer, gambler and pitiful excuse for a man. Begun out of sympathy for this woman he has never met, the letters bring him a warmth and relationship he has never before experienced. Likewise, Catherine comes to love the husband she has only lived with for a scant month before he was sent to far away Canada, never knowing it is a much different man who authors those letters.
Then Harry dies and Moncrief takes it upon himself to pay his condolences to Catherine in person, on his way to assume his newly acquired dukedom. One would assume he'd be overcome with her beauty and grace, woo and win her affections and live happily ever after. Instead, he is confronted by a drugged, bedraggled, grief-stricken Catherine. Her ravaged appearance disappointed me, so I keenly felt Moncrief's disillusionment and was subsequently warmed by his chivalrous problem solving actions.
Moncrief is a soldier, an officer - a man's man. Many times he asserts his authority and presence by stating simply, "I am Moncrief." Catherine is rather the opposite - unassuming, weakened and without the resources to assume her new position as duchess or wife. One of my favorite scenes takes place at a dinner held to introduce her to the local gentry. Although held in her honor, she is publicly humiliated by her sister-in-law. Things become awkward and embarrassing and Moncrief grows agitated and angry. A scene ensues, but then Catherine is goaded to respond and she clearly states, "I am Moncrief's wife." That seems to be the pivotal turning point for Catherine and she begins to grow into her new roles. And so the story (and relationship) unfolds.
I would not say that this was a book that I couldn't put down. I could, and did put it down willingly, but only to relish the thought of picking it up again and re-entering the world of Moncrief. I recommend this, especially if you enjoy the sensual tension that results from a beautifully written romance. Can you tell that I liked this book and would emphatically recommend it. Four and a half stars.
The plot of this story has been told many times over. Catherine's husband, Harry, is serving in the Army in Canada having left her after one month of marriage when her father offered to buy him a commission. (Evidently dear old dad caught on to Harry pretty quickly.) He doesn't reply to her letters so Catherine writes to his commanding officer to find out if Harry is safe. In typical Harry fashion, he throws his wife's letter at his Colonel stating that he has no intention of replying, "Here, Colonel, you write her. She is forever prattling on of things that bore me. I only married her because she was an heiress, but a month of marriage was enough for me." This is the beginning of a correspondence which Moncrief knows is wrong, but he just can't seem to stop himself from pouring out his thoughts to the woman whose letters affect him so deeply. Except that Catherine thinks the letters are written by Harry.
Catherine is in deep mourning for Harry six months after being notified of his death. She agrees to see Colonel Moncrief after he shows up at her home unexpectedly. For some reason which he cannot explain, even to himself, Moncrief tells Catherine he has another letter for her from Harry and he will return on the next day to give it to her. Actually, he has to write it first. When he does return, he is faced with disaster.
I very much enjoyed reading this book. As I stated earlier, I appreciated having this hero presented from the very beginning as a kind, generous, gentle, understanding and yet entirely masculine man. Catherine took a little while for me to warm up to but she was presented by the author as a woman who had invested so much of her love and hope for the future in the man she married that the loss of that man totally devistated her life. I liked the mystery aspects of the book, it added some interest away from the relationship between Moncrief and Catherine. Something else to hold my attention. I was very surprised to be made aware of a dispicable villain. I am quite a mystery fan and Ms Ranney managed to surprise me in that disclosure.
A very well written book. It has very sensual scenes between husband and wife and they are extremely well written. I think Ms Ranney did a wonderful job of making Catherine discover the physical need she had for Moncrief over time so that she could come to grips with her changing feelings. Recommended for anyone who loves to curl up with a good, romantic novel.
No worries here though. This is a wonderful story, beautifully written. I empathized with Catherine and Moncrief. Their romance progressed slowly, and we weren't left with any irritating gaps in the storyline.
The letters were exquisite, and the love scenes were among the loveliest I have ever read, anywhere. They were filled with love, with tenderness. Such scenes in many stories are so clinical, so routine, so lacking, that I usually yawn and skip them. Not here. I was enthralled by every sentence.
The intricate plot twists fascinated me, and Ms. Ranney even managed to surprise me with the villain!
Enjoy your reading! :)