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on 30 November 2015
I love historical romance, especially when it is this good. I love being taken back in time to a world that was pulsing and moving way before I was born. I love reading dialogue that's written in a certain way, to fit in with the setting and time. I love reading about epidemics and wars (as awful as that sounds, it just interests me so much!) I love reading about people falling in love even though they're not deemed suitable. The author, Alexis Harrington, has done such a superb job of catching that moment in time with Home by Morning, I feel like I've just been dropped back into the 21st century. There is actually a prequel to Home by Morning titled Home by Nightfall , and I didn't realise this until I was more than halfway through the story, which I kinda kicked myself about. I'm hoping to read that one as soon as possible though, because it's sure to be amazing!

It's been a while since I dipped into this genre and this was the perfect story to have my appetite satisfied. Everything about it was perfectly written; from the characters dialogue to the details of the influenza that take over the people of Powell Springs. I have never read anything by Alexis Harrington before, but now, I plan to read the majority of her books if this is anything to go by.

The characters truly come to life in this story, and Alexis Harrington does a fantastic job of making them seem crazily real. Jessica Layton is the woman who once had Cole Braddock's heart, and still does might I add. When she returns to Powell Springs, Cole is clearly overwhelmed by all of the old, brushed-under-the-rug feelings that quickly begin to resurface. Jessica was a strong-willed character, and her determination and kindness really shines through when she's needed by her old town folk. The fact that the townspeople found it unbelievable that she was a female physician really made me giggle, and it dragged you right back to the time when this would have been the way people actually thought. Jessica was very intriguing to read about. There was constantly a hint to something that had ruined the previous relationship that she and Cole once had, and I felt like ripping my own hair out, dying to know what this "something" had been. I loved her, she took control over crazy situations, never lost her head and was polite, in an old fashioned kinda' way. When she decides to stay on for a longer amount of time in Powell Springs, that's when you know she's not the kind of person to turn her back when people need her, and I admired her for this.

Cole Braddock is a bit of a hottie if I do say so myself.He's moody, yet protective and hard-working. The way he reacts when he sees Jessica for the first time after so many years, you can totally tell that he has still got the hots for her. This guy was awesome. He had muscles, he worked with horses and he knew what he wanted. Quite clearly, that was Jessica. Somehow, he always managed to be there whenever Jessica found herself in some sort of trouble, and obviously acting like her hero, he made me swoon even more. With his dark hair and leather apron... I just... I just can't carry on. I'm sure you get what I'm trying to say. Anyhow, he was brilliant, added a total load of sexy, brooding male to the story, and made it just that little bit more enjoyable ;)

Next, I just want to say a little something about Jessica's sister, Amy. I didn't like her. Not one bit. Okay, that's a lie. I liked her a teeny, tiny bit when she was first introduced to the story. She was quite cute, a little annoying in that perfect, bouncy annoying female way. But that teeny, tiny bit of liking her quickly burned to a crisp when I realised that she was courting Cole. I mean really, your sister's ex?!? She tries to act all innocent and sweet and adorable, but she's totally not. There's a whole lot of story behind this girl, so keep your eyes peeled. I took an instant dislike to this girl. Not sure if that was the author's intention. If not, I apologise Alexis, but I was team Jess the whole way through ;)

The story itself is written in dual point of view, so I was able to read everything from Cole's perspective as well as Jessica's, which was fantastic! I LOVE dual point of view, it always allows you to feel as though you know absolutely everything that is going on, from both sides. The chemistry and attraction between these two characters was sizzling! I adored it. I love it even more when there has already been a history between two people, and then they're re-united and it is STILL there! It was exciting, it made my heart beat a little bit faster and I was gripped to this story! The detail that Alexis goes into whilst describing the symptoms and effects of the influenza is astonishing and I felt like I was in a history lesson. She brought everything to life for me; the bluish tinge to the lips, the delirium, the coughing and hacking. Just - incredible.

Not only was it the influenza that really intrigued me, but whilst the story in Powell Springs progresses, so does Riley's life (Cole's brother) whilst fighting in WWI. Every detail, including the muddy trenches and the awful conditions, was amazingly touched upon. I honestly couldn't believe how well put together her settings were. I could feel the rain, the mud squelching, the weight of a gun slung on my shoulder. Just omgomgomg!!!!!

Home by Morning is a beautifully written story, bringing together all of the horrific events that overtook the lives of regular people during that time. It has everything a historical romance reader could want - detailed settings, interesting characters and based upon real events. I absolutely ADORED this story, and I cannot wait to read the prequel. I'm giving Home by Morning a worthy rating of 10/10. I would not have changed a single thing about it, and I'd recommend it to EVERYONE. A huge congratulations to Alexis Harrington - it was an absolute pleasure to read and I am so thankful for the hard work that you must have put into this book. It is sensational, and I would gladly read this again and again, just to relive the romance that blossoms between Cole and Jessica.
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on 11 January 2012
Jessica Layton is on her way to Seattle from New York, only taking a break in her trip for a brief visit to her home town of Powell Springs to visit with her sister Amy. The only drawback to this visit is coming into contact again with her first and only love Cole Braddock, who is now courting her sister.
Unfortunately Jessica's plans do not turn out as she had hoped, it is 1918 and the Spanish Flu is ravaging the world and has now arrived and is striking down the inhabitants of the town, and with no doctor she is forced to stay and help out, at least until the new doctor arrives.
This is an extremely well written story, encapsulating the affect of the war and the Spanish flu and it's effect on the people of the small town of Powell Springs in 1918. Amongst all this is the rekindling of the romance between the h/h. The reasons for their split in the first place is a Pivotal part of the plot. It seems another had a hand in their break-up, which neither of them realised. Added is the person who is out to ruin them. Jessica being a doctor at this period in history was not accepted as it is today, and the author depicted very well how predudiced some of the towns people were in their opinion of female doctors. All of the characters were very well drawn, with a very interesting storyline. A very good read which I recommend.
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on 22 December 2012
Nicely written and a pleasure to read, it is an easy read, just right for the beach. Although it a predictable love story I still quite enjoyed reading this one.
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on 4 September 2013
I think I bought this on the daily deals and have only just got round to reading it on holiday. It was an easy read, interesting story with highs and lows. Not so gripping that I became totally antisocial, but a page-turner none the less.
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on 26 May 2013
Not particularly well written and very predictable from the outset. The characters are distinctly two dimensional and not easy to engage with as they are virtually stereotypes. It was good to understand more about the pandemic of Spanish flu however, which is often overlooked in novels about this era.
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on 11 April 2013
This is a good story about a women returning to her home town. It is set in 1918 at the end of the first world war and at the time of the flu epidemic. It is a nice enough story but not particularly exciting and it is fairly predictable. Best not to read it if you are having flu like symptons! Otherwise pleasant read.
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on 9 March 2012
If you enjoy a good romance set in difficult times, then this is just up your street.

I thoroughly enjoyed this from beginning to end!
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on 29 July 2013
bit slow to start and really you worked out the outcome quite quickly but the twists were interesting. Will read the sequel
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on 7 November 2013
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is well written, engaging and i fell in love with the characters. A great read.
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on 11 June 2013
Being the first book I have ever read by Alexis Harrington I found it a really nice read. The story centres on Jessica Layton who stops of at her hometown of Powell Springs, Oregon, to visit her sister and comes face-to-face with Cole Braddock, her first and only love from years ago and who is now courting her sister Amy. Jessica is now a highly accomplished doctor preparing for an exciting new job in Washington, and Cole is a successful horse breeder and as an epidemic hits the town, Jessica is forced to stay and treat the sick, the story of why they split up in the first place evolves and they finally get together. In the meantime there are other stories running along side the main characters which adds to the book in a good way.
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