A Soldier's Wish
The year is 1969…Gary Fairchild is proud to be a hippie college student, and he protests the Vietnam War because he believes in love and peace. To him, it isn’t just a counterculture movement—it’s a way of life. When tickets to the Aquarium Exposition—3 Days of Peace & Music, or Woodstock, as it was better known, go on sale, there’s no way he isn’t going.Richard Ronsman is a sheltered farm boy who lives in the shadow of his overbearing father. He’s hidden his darkest secret to earn his father’s love, but nothing is ever good enough—not even volunteering for the Vietnam War. And with just a few days left before he’s deployed, a striking hippie invites him to join them at a music festival.Three days of music, drugs, rain, mud, and love forged a bond between these two very different men that would shape the rest of their lives. They share dreams and fears, and when Richard is shipped off to war, they share letters and love. For Richard’s first Christmas home, he is gifted a special angel ornament that just might make a soldier’s wish come true.

A Soldier's Wish Details

TitleA Soldier's Wish
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 2nd, 2018
Rating
GenreRomance, M M Romance, Historical, Holiday, Christmas, War, Military Fiction

A Soldier's Wish Review

  • ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
    January 1, 1970
    ~4.5~Told in three distinct sections from a dual first-person POV, A Soldier’s Wish spans almost eight years and takes us from Woodstock to Vietnam to San Francisco. The mood of the story shifts from joyous exploration to fear and longing to quiet contentment. Heavy on the hurt/comfort, this book is angsty but not so angsty that it leaves you feeling hopeless. The ending is a HEA, or as much of a HEA as two men in love could have in 1977.I very much enjoyed this love story between a farm boy tur ~4.5~Told in three distinct sections from a dual first-person POV, A Soldier’s Wish spans almost eight years and takes us from Woodstock to Vietnam to San Francisco. The mood of the story shifts from joyous exploration to fear and longing to quiet contentment. Heavy on the hurt/comfort, this book is angsty but not so angsty that it leaves you feeling hopeless. The ending is a HEA, or as much of a HEA as two men in love could have in 1977.I very much enjoyed this love story between a farm boy turned reluctant soldier and technology student who’s a hippie at heart. Gary invites Richard to come to Woodstock with him and his friends after seeing Richard staring forlornly out a café window. Richard, who’s never done a spontaneous thing in his life, throws caution to the wind and, just days before he's due in New York to ship off to Vietnam, accepts the invitation. Their time at Woodstock is magical. Being with a man, loving a man, is more than Richard had ever hoped for. Essentially forced to join the military by his religious parents, Richard is desolate and uncertain. Being with kind, carefree Gary makes him feel whole. The three days they have together pass far too quickly, but the men keep their promise to stay in touch. Richard and Gary’s relationship is heartfelt and true. Even though Richard returns from the war a broken man, physically and emotionally, Gary never gives up, and Richard doesn’t want him to. Thank god there was no unnecessary drama with Richard pushing Gary away; the long separation was difficult enough.The angel of the series title isn’t as prominent here as it was in the other books I’ve read. Richard finds the angel (or, rather, the angel finds him) in the last third of the book, and she becomes a symbol of good fortune for the men. Gary and Richard make wishes during the first Christmas they spend together, and both believe the angel had a hand in their wishes coming true. “I did wish for something.”“Shhh … Don’t tell me or it won’t come true.”“It already has … It was about you. And forever.” This review wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out to Kat, a smart, free-spirited woman and a wonderful friend who’s entirely supportive of the men’s relationship and facilitates their reunion. Kat reminded me of my mom, who was a hippie in her day and played beard to a dear friend (also named Richard) so he could be with his boyfriend. This was in the late-60s in a communist country where engaging in or aiding and abetting a homosexual act carried a severe penalty. Some people, like Kat, like my mom, are always tolerant and brave, despite strict societal norms to the contrary. Maybe they are the true angels after all.
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  • Anne Boleyn's Ghost
    January 1, 1970
    A Soldier's Wish is the fourth story that I have read in the Christmas Angel series, and it is my favorite. Both poignant and hopeful, it is a tale about love doing what love is supposed to do - inspiring, comforting, and persisting, bringing light into the dark.
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  • .Lili.
    January 1, 1970
    I have never read a romance that takes place during the Woodstock and the Vietnam War. I requested A Soldier's Wish because of it but was also afraid it could be the reason I wouldn't enjoy it. It is considered Historical Romance and historical and I don't always mesh. Luckily, it was a good call to take the chance. Highlights:-Feels. I felt everything during the story: joy, fear, sadness, longing, anger. NR Walker did a fantastic job bringing forth all these different emotions.-I also liked how I have never read a romance that takes place during the Woodstock and the Vietnam War. I requested A Soldier's Wish because of it but was also afraid it could be the reason I wouldn't enjoy it. It is considered Historical Romance and historical and I don't always mesh. Luckily, it was a good call to take the chance. Highlights:-Feels. I felt everything during the story: joy, fear, sadness, longing, anger. NR Walker did a fantastic job bringing forth all these different emotions.-I also liked how the book was broken down. There are three parts: the time spent at Woodstock, their letters during the Vietnam War, and the return home from war. -The letters mentioned above. ♥-Gary and Richard, they were just amazing. You can't help and root for them the whole time.-The secondary cast was an integral part of the story without overtaking it.-Topics. There were so many topics handled that were relevant to that period, and it never felt wordy or too much.-Above all else- the love story, it was epic.NR Walker has hit it out of the park with this lovely holiday read. HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.4.5 Stars
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  • haletostilinski
    January 1, 1970
    N.R. Walker is one of the only author's that can take a story that includes one of the MC's going to war, to Vietnam, and still managing to make the story fluffy. There was angst, to be sure, but the fluff - especially at the end - took away any sadness from angst. I tagged this as historical because it starts the day before Woodstock in 1969, and a few days before Richard goes off to the war in Vietnam. He's in a diner, sadness rolling off him, when Gary Fairchild sees him from across the diner N.R. Walker is one of the only author's that can take a story that includes one of the MC's going to war, to Vietnam, and still managing to make the story fluffy. There was angst, to be sure, but the fluff - especially at the end - took away any sadness from angst. I tagged this as historical because it starts the day before Woodstock in 1969, and a few days before Richard goes off to the war in Vietnam. He's in a diner, sadness rolling off him, when Gary Fairchild sees him from across the diner as he and his three friends eat there on their way to Woodstock.They're all hippies, but Richard seems as far as one can be from a hippie. And yet Gary is drawn to him, can't look away, and he even goes over to Richard and invites him to come with him and his friends to Woodstock. Richard almost doesn't go, but says yes at the last second. Thank god, because it changed his life. Not only his outlook on many things - mostly with being gay, as his parents are church going, god-fearing type people who are completely homophobic - but also gaining someone to love in Gary.In those three days he's at Woodstock with Gary, he lets go and lives as he wants to, and he's free to be who he wants to be, for the first time in his life, and it means so much to Richard. Gary means to much to Richard, and vise versa. Gary is a hippie, but he's not as passionate as two of his friends are about politics - not that he doesn't care, but he's more a live and let live kind of guy, while his friends are more fight the power type of people - and he understands that it's not Richard's fault he's going off to fight in the senseless war that is Vietnam. We get to see their journey as they stay in touch while Richard is in Vietnam, and what the aftermath is like once he comes home, and how they deal with it, and how they just fall more and more in love. And with how horrible Richard's parents are, Richard thinks he'll have no one in the hospital he's in - because he gets injured - until Gary shows up, and never leaves his side. These two were stinking adorable together, in that way that Walker writers her couples. They're so in love, and so cute together, and they never waver in their love for each other.This was a perfect holiday story - even with the horrors of war (even though we only really hear about it through Richard's letters) - that managed to find so much hope even when things are dark and bleak. I loved this, two big thumbs up from me! Great connection and chemistry between the two MC's, great story with a wonderful happy ending. Definitely recommend! :D
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  • ⚣❣☙ Michaelle ❧❣⚣
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsHow in the hell do I review this? Maybe it's because I'm partial to the setting (supposedly I was AT Woodstock seeing as my mom was pregnant with me at the time) or maybe it was the constant message of unconditional love from friends, some family, and the MCs...or maybe it was the honest and vivid depiction of wartime during the Vietnam era...I can't tell you. Well, other than it was an exquisitely written, well-researched, heartbreaking, hopeful story. Because it was definitely that!I 4.5 StarsHow in the hell do I review this? Maybe it's because I'm partial to the setting (supposedly I was AT Woodstock seeing as my mom was pregnant with me at the time) or maybe it was the constant message of unconditional love from friends, some family, and the MCs...or maybe it was the honest and vivid depiction of wartime during the Vietnam era...I can't tell you. Well, other than it was an exquisitely written, well-researched, heartbreaking, hopeful story. Because it was definitely that!I also loved the side characters (KAT!!!) and I think there has to be some collusion going on between the authors writing this series - well, other than the use of our beautiful Christmas Angel (who works her magic once more!) - because yet again we have another couple I'm dying to read about (John & Dave)...plus maybe that hot threesome featuring Greg's parents? I'd totally read that. Just sayin'.Seriously, though...best one yet. And that's saying something given how much I enjoyed most of the previous installments. I made quite a few notes & highlights. A couple are spoilery so be careful reading them.
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  • Catherine
    January 1, 1970
    I should know by now not to start an NR Walker book before bed. There is no "one more page" or "one more chapter" with Walker's books and me - it's "whelp, I'm going to be tired and bitchy tomorrow at work because there is no way I'm putting this down until I finish it."But I didn't listen to my better judgment. I started the book and stayed up far too late and shed more than a few tears and woke up with the worst book hangover. I was tired and bitchy and had a headache all day (thank goodness m I should know by now not to start an NR Walker book before bed. There is no "one more page" or "one more chapter" with Walker's books and me - it's "whelp, I'm going to be tired and bitchy tomorrow at work because there is no way I'm putting this down until I finish it."But I didn't listen to my better judgment. I started the book and stayed up far too late and shed more than a few tears and woke up with the worst book hangover. I was tired and bitchy and had a headache all day (thank goodness my boss is on vacation and my workplace was pretty empty for most of the day so the damage was minimized). But it was totally worth it, you guys. This was yet another stellar book from this series!
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  • Cadiva
    January 1, 1970
    Told in three distinct parts, N.R. Walker's entry in the Christmas Angels series brings the story firmly into the remembered memories of Woodstock, the Vietnam War and a time before the rights of gay men were recognised the same as everyone else.We're in the heart of the New Age movement at the music festival which saw more than 400,000 people come together to celebrate peace. Here is where Gary, a hippie on his way to the festival, first encounters soldier Richard. This section of the book is f Told in three distinct parts, N.R. Walker's entry in the Christmas Angels series brings the story firmly into the remembered memories of Woodstock, the Vietnam War and a time before the rights of gay men were recognised the same as everyone else.We're in the heart of the New Age movement at the music festival which saw more than 400,000 people come together to celebrate peace. Here is where Gary, a hippie on his way to the festival, first encounters soldier Richard. This section of the book is full of the heady joys of new love.The central section is letters between the young men, a chilling insight into the horrors faced in the jungles of the Far East and the growing changes happening in the USA in and around San Francisco and Silicon Valley.And then we get the rest of this powerfully emotional story, which I won't spoil, other than to say it has all the things I expect from this author. There are strong female characters, there is some pain, there is all the feels and, finally just when you think she's been forgotten, there is our Christmas Angel.I loved everything about this romance, Gary and Richard's youthful ideals, their fears of separation, their joys at reunion.#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    Sweet... but just a little too fluffy for me.
  • Eli Easton
    January 1, 1970
    This is not a typical holiday read, having more angst than usual. But that made it more meaningful to me. I loved this story of the gentle soldier who went to Vietnam to escape his oppressive parents and found love and his place in the world after coming home.
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  • Grace
    January 1, 1970
    As expected, this book was really lovely!I honestly put off reading a bit, as it seemed like it might be a bit heavy, but of course, I had nothing to fear in Walker's capable hands!The pacing was really great here, and I loved the way this author managed to capture a really fraught time in USA history in a way that felt true to events without loading us down with angst. I also thought the author did a really great job with the setting and really making it *feel* like we were reading a book set d As expected, this book was really lovely!I honestly put off reading a bit, as it seemed like it might be a bit heavy, but of course, I had nothing to fear in Walker's capable hands!The pacing was really great here, and I loved the way this author managed to capture a really fraught time in USA history in a way that felt true to events without loading us down with angst. I also thought the author did a really great job with the setting and really making it *feel* like we were reading a book set during Woodstock/the Vietnam war. The characters were wonderful and I thought the connection between them was really lovely.I did feel like their relationship moved a smidge quickly, and though I honestly didn't mind too much and felt the author did a good job making it feel believable, it still was a little fast paced to really feel completely authentic. But a *super* minor quibble.
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