Until My Last Breath by John P. Deffes
Caleb Roberts grows up in Depression era Montana. There, he meets the only girl he’ll ever love, Jamie Conner. Their love story is interrupted by the start of World War II, as Caleb, now a pilot in the Army Air Force’s 56th Fighter Group, finds himself in Europe flying combat missions. Shot down over Holland, and hiding from the occupying German forces, Caleb’s run takes a tragic turn.
Kindle | Paperback | Nook
C. Dionne "Chrissy Dionne" (Cloverdale, OREGON USA) (Amazon)
Caleb's father had always taught him to tell the truth, so when Jamie told him to wish on a shooting star they'd seen and then asked him what he'd wished for Caleb told her that more than anything he wished he could get up the nerve to tell her how he felt about her. Jamie has trouble believing that Caleb will be able to accept the secrets she's kept hidden and tells him she needs time to think about things. It was close to a week before Jamie sought Caleb out to tell him that she really likes him too, but wants to take things slow. Caleb had begun taking flying lessons at a local airfield, Jamie sometimes accompanied him. One day he catches Max, the pilot attempting to rape Jamie. Things get ugly, secrets are revealed, and Jamie and Caleb's love continues to grow despite it all. Eventually Caleb went off to college, where after only a year of education, Caleb made the decision to purse a career in flying. He signs up for the Army Corps flying training program. Soon afterwards, he asks Jamie to marry him. World War II will physically separate them, but they will love each other UNTIL MY LAST BREATH.
John P. Deffes' UNTIL MY LAST BREATH is a highly memorable story involving not just the main characters' love for each other but also touches on the various other lives and loves lost during the times of war. Everyone from the Japanese fighter pilot who left his wife and children at home, to the civilians in Hawaii who lost their lives when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred are represented. Even the people in Holland who are hiding in caves in order to protect their families as well as help downed pilots to make it back to safety will touch a place in your heart. UNTIL MY LAST BREATH will take readers back to a time where honesty and devotion are treasured traits and love lasts eternally, even in the face of such a huge foe as the war and Hitler. This is a wonderful look at the war from a completely different angle - that of a pilot who was there.
Chrissy Dionne (courtesy of Romance Junkies)
H. Kramer (Amazon)
An amazing, awesome story of love and war. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every page. Easy to read and held my interest throughout.It is a crying shame that there are not more people, in this world we live in today, who have the honesty, loyalty, devotation, love and trust that Caleb and Jamie had for each other. I did not want to put it down from the moment I began reading. From the loyalty of the Germans who helped keep Caleb hidden from the Nazi's to the Japanese bomber pilots loyalty to their country. I found this novel to be intriguing and exciting. An excellent example of the way our world needs to be today.
John Deffes, you did an outstanding job on your first novel, well written and well researched.You have alot to be proud of and I can't wait to read the next one.
Patricia Kramer, St. Augustine, Fl
D. L. surplice "mightyeighth" (uk) (Amazon)
Well researched novel based around two young lovers torn apart by the second world war,a mix of action and romance that is a joy to read certainly a book i did not want to come to an end, cant wait for the next book.
Rick Castleberry (Orange Park, FL United States) (Amazon)
A well-written book that gets better with each page. Primarily a romance, it will also appeal to the World War II buff. Historical facts and technical information are accurate and well-used. The main character, Caleb Roberts, exemplifies traits of chivalry, faithfulness, and honesty far too rare in today's world. The book has an emotionally packed ending, sure to moisten the eyes of the toughest reader. A roller coaster journey through a turbulent period in history that forced the best in men and women to rise to the surface.
In 1938 while working on his family’s Montana ranch, eighteen years old Caleb Roberts meets Jamie Lynn Connor, the daughter of his new neighbors. He is instantly stunned and realizes he is in love at first sight, which he tells her. She says she is fond of him but they just met. Later they see one another as he takes flying lessons from aviator Max. However, Caleb angrily intervenes when Max sexually molests Jamie. Max flies away, but crashes and is found dead. Jamie tells Caleb not to tell the sheriff as she knows first hand no one will believe her, as her dad touches her. Caleb’s father visits Jamie’s dad to tell him his daughter will live with the Roberts.
A year later Jamie and Caleb are married and living in Texas where he trains to be an aviator in the Army Aircorps. As a consequence to the attack of December 7, 1941 now a lieutenant, Caleb is sent to war leaving behind his beloved wife and their infant son Connor. Both adults know they may never see one another in this life again and their son may never learn to play baseball with his hero dad.
UNTIL MY LAST BREATH is a great war novel that pays homage to the Soldier by showcasing the real sacrifices and costs to the fighter and his or her beloved family members. The story line cleverly uses WW II as a backdrop to the saga of a loving patriotic couple whose life together is interrupted perhaps permanently by the hostilities. No one will remain dry eyed when four years old Connor asks his mom about his dad as readers ponder “When will they ever learn”? Perhaps not until Congress and the White House have to tell one on one that a beloved died in combat.
Fallen Angel Reviews
Caleb Roberts doesn’t really enjoy the hard work on his father’s ranch but he knows the work must get done. Besides, if he hadn’t been out working that one day he might not have met Jamie Lynn Conner and fallen head over heels in love with her. In his heart, he knows she is the one woman that he desires but no one told him that often with love, not only does incredible bliss follow but many heartaches as well. Jamie just happens to be out horse riding when she meets Caleb. He was mending fences at the time and was pounding a nail when some curse words fell off his lips after hammering his finger, when she politely insisted he didn’t have to do such to make a point. After looking into her beautiful eyes, Caleb was in love. As Jamie and Caleb begin to spend time together Caleb is completely smitten with her, but Jamie has dark things in her past that she cannot confide to him. She is surprised at his kindness and soft touch. Whether they are meant to be an item remains to be seen as they begin to spend more time seeing each other. While their hearts seem to be pulling them closer together in love they soon marry but after Caleb enters the Air Force, it is not long before war abounds. With a new wife and later an infant son, the war breaks out leaving Caleb about to be separated from his loved ones. Only time will tell if the loving family will be able to stand the test of time and love during the perils of war that knows nothing of true romance.
Until My Last Breath is a dramatic story of love, war and courage with many heartfelt moments throughout the book. Jamie and Caleb are incredible characters as they find love then learn what follows after marriage especially during wartime. Their strengths display wonderfully throughout the book as well as all their emotions especially with Jamie and her dark secret then with Caleb when he learns the truth and seeks to protect her. Mr. Deffes creates a well-written tale that allows a time of war and struggle to sprinkle through the pages in this superb read. He depicts a story that practically jumps from the pages as a family is caught in the middle of events that reach out and touch the reader. The secondary characters blend in well with all the elements to keep the story flowing smoothly. This extraordinary read should not be missed! Even though Mr. Deffes had me in tears, this is one recommended read that excels.