Amanda Harte

Laughing at the Thunder,
Book Three of the War Brides Trilogy


It’s the spring of 1918, and the last thing Martha Wentworth York needs is more change in her life.  She’s already lost her husband to what the politicians are calling The War to End All Wars.  As if that weren’t bad enough, her brother and sisters have gone to France as part of the war effort.  Happy endings, Martha has learned, are meant for other people.  Instead of dreaming about the future, she devotes herself to her hometown.  Life settles into a comfortable pattern until the day a handsome stranger drives into town.

Tom Fleming is a man who thrives on change.  A renowned photographer, he’s traveled around the world and has no intention of ever settling down.  Marriage, a family and small town life are not for him.  No, sirree.  When Tom arrives in Canela on his cross-country search for a woman whose picture will inspire the soldiers, he can’t believe his luck.  Martha York is perfect!  All Tom needs is a day or two in Canela, and he’ll be ready to head back to New York, his prize-winning photograph in hand.

But life, as Tom has good reason to know, doesn’t always go according to plan, and his two-day stay is extended by Martha’s stubborn refusal to be photographed as well as an attraction neither one of them wants to admit.  Soon the rumor mill is predicting a wedding.  It’s a preposterous idea.  Or is it?

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For Ms. Harte’s final installment in her War Brides Trilogy, she deviates from the previous two books and in doing so keeps the series fresh and original.  Laughing at the Thunder is the story of Martha York, the third Wentworth sister, and instead of sending her overseas to participate in WWI like her two sisters, Ms. Harte creates a poignant war-time tale for her at home in the small town of Canela, Texas. (Laughing at the Thunder) is a very tender love story with old-fashioned sentiment that I urge readers not to miss.

Sandra Brill for Romance Reviews Today

Can a small town woman and a world traveler make a relationship work?  Amanda Harte delivers in the third installment of her War Brides trilogy.  Martha is the sister who stayed behind while her other sisters went off to Europe to help the war effort.  She’s content with her life in her hometown. 

Amanda Harte’s moving characterization shows the reader the believable process as Martha learns that she may be content, but is she happy?  Martha is a woman true to herself, her environment and her times.  Tom is an equally well-developed character, flawed and human.  As a result, their developing relationship rings true and their struggles make the ending even more satisfying.

Lea Moyer for Affaire de Coeur

Add to this story of budding love, the hatred that surfaces against one of the local women of German descent, and you will find a great love story with plenty of tension.  Amanda Harte is an author who knows how to present a great story.

Robert H. Goss for Roundtable Reviews

Harte expertly brings her War Brides trilogy to a sweetly satisfying conclusion with this gentle story of romance set in a small American town during World War I.

John Charles for Booklist

Avalon Books October 2004
ISBN 0-8034-9677-X

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