Review: Right Here Waiting by K.E. Belledonne

Right Here WaitingRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

It’s 1942 and Ben is content with his job and his life with his love, Pete. When the two men collided while Pete was dog walking, they became inseparable immediately. Moving in together under the guise of roommates, the men give each other everything they need.

As World War II approaches, Pete joins the Air Force to train as a pilot, leaving Ben behind. The men promise to stay true to each other, but there simply was no other choice as their love is everything they have both always dreamed of. Remaining home in New York has Ben at times scared, unsettled, and constantly worried for Pete’s safety, with good reason on the day the dreaded telegram arrives. Ben keeps busy working and volunteering at a USO club until a chance meeting with a singer sends him to the stages of Europe. When nowhere is safe, the men encounter loss and fight their way to return to their once perfect life back home.

Right Here Waiting is a historical book and it is not a genre I ever read as books set in historical places or times just do not appeal to me. I chose this one with the thought that it would be more character driven. The style of this book was engaging and the book was reminiscent of a 1940s film with the structure and feel of the Golden Age of Hollywood and a true wartime romance.

challenge monthIn its heart it is a true old fashioned love story. The author really captures the time and location with many well placed details. The dialogue is appropriate for the era as the men get “gussied up” for an evening out, joke about “unmentionables,” shout out “jeepers,” and use a rotary phone complete with the sound effects.

Ben is more of the focal character, although we do get point of view from Pete as well. Their initial meeting and early love story is told through flashbacks, but they are portrayed as warm and well loved memories that flow smoothly through the narrative. For as complicated as the times were, their love is portrayed as simple. When Pete leaves to go overseas, all of Ben’s emotions are clearly on display as each day becomes harder for him to function without Pete. In a subtle manner the author was able to show the isolation of the era when a loved one went off to war with only the radio for comfort for those left behind.

The war is the back drop for this story but it’s the love between the men that shines through as was evident when Pete asked Ben to move in with him.

I want you here all the time, every day and every night, and when you’re not here, I can’t help feeling that it’s not really home…. I want to see you every minute of every day, when you’re cranky because the coffee hasn’t been made….And when you’re excited about something, and you glow, and you’re just so fucking beautiful, Benny. I just…I want you. All the time, and for the rest of my life. Just stay with me, live here with me. Please, Ben.

The men write letters to each other throughout the book that add to the emotion of being separated and certainly adds to the era of waiting for that next letter to arrive. The war aspect is described, but it is not overly graphic and Pete’s missions are not highly detailed. Likewise with the intimate scenes, they are not overly explicit but fit the story and the cinematic feel and Belledonne expertly lets their intimacy and love take center stage with well written emotional scenes that perfectly display their bond. There are well placed secondary characters that all fit and have a purpose and the author introduces us to and lets us enjoy characters like Gwen as she tries to make the lives of soldiers just a bit better.

The only area that I had any issue with was the way Pete’s Air Force crewmates were handled. Ben and Pete kept their relationship very private as was necessary for the time. When some crew members of Pete’s did find out about their relationship, every one of them was accepting as well as anyone that Ben chose to tell. While this certainly was refreshing to see, it was not authentic or reflective of the era.

For emotional readers this book could wind up being emotional all the way through, even from areas where you would least expect it. Right Here Waiting was a perfectly paced character driven novel of true love and hope set in the time of war.

This review is part of our September Reading Challenge Month for Genre Challenge Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win this week’s fabulous prize of all 12 books released in September, plus an audiobook, from Less Than Three Press, as well as our amazing grand prize sponsored by Riptide Publishing. You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on Genre Challenge Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes! 

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  1. It sounds like one that might appeal to me as a fan of contemporaries for some reason…aside from the wartime and slang details, the plot sounds nicely timeless!

    • The majority of my reading is contemporary as well. The language added a subtle authenticity to the time and place without being overdone and the author did capture a classic love story. 

  2. I really like historical romance and am often looking for someting in that genre to read. I especially like to read those that are not regency and from your review and with this time period and setting this really sounds like something I would enjoy. And I don’t mind character driven. Thanks for the review!

  3. I love historical romance, in fact it is probably my favourite kind of romance, but I tend to avoid books dealing with war, specially WWI and WWII. The last book I read about a war was The Devil Lancer and Oh! it was a painful journey (albeit rewarding at the end). But the way you present the book makes me think that it focuses more on the relationship going on between Ben and Pete than in the war itself. That makes it really interesting, and turns it into another one in my TBR list.
    Thank you for your great review, Michelle!

    • While the war is a driving force it’s the love story that is the focus. This book is not one that will shred you and while there is tension to keep the story moving it has more heart than angst. Thanks for your comment.

  4. I enjoy historical m/m romance and remember seeing Right Here Waiting when it came out, but somehow it did not get on my TBR list.  Thanks to your review, I just fixed that oversight.  🙂

    The cinematic feel you describe is intriguing to me – also the letters they write.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Thanks, Jen. There were parts that I could see being set to music and playing out as a big screen period movie of the time. The letters definitely added to the era.

  5. I’ll put this down as a definite maybe since I do occasionally read historical but not usually ones set in the 20th century. Thanks for your review!

  6. I bought this one last month (and had it on my wishlist since it released), first because I love historicals and second because I love epistolary stories or ones that at least have letters or documents as an aspect of the story. I’m glad to read in your review that the letters are there and add the emotion I want from them. I’m also glad to read that emotion carries through the whole thing because if I’m reading a book set during the war, I definitely want a feeling like things are more emotional (though not angsty necessarily). I was already looking forward to reading this (and was so happy to see it was going to be reviewed during the challenge even though it didn’t fit any challenge criteria for me), and now I’m looking forward to it even more. Thanks, Michelle!

    • So great that you already have it. It’s an Interlude book as well-weren’t we chatting about that the other week? 

      • Aw, you remembered. 🙂 I actually got Right Here Waiting at the same time as Definitely, Maybe, Yours (at an IP sale!), and now I’m having a bit of book guilt since I’ve been wanting to read RHW much longer and haven’t yet. And now that I think about it, right now I’m reading The Rules of Ever After from IP’s young adult imprint, Duet. Sorry, RHW, you’re going to have to wait a bit longer, but at least I know where you are. 😉

  7. The setting of World War II sounds very appealing. Thanks for the review. I’ll look into this one.

  8. I can be an emotional reader, so should I wait to read this at home rather than the breakroom at work? I hate it
    when I get all sniffly and then have to go back to work. 🙂

    • Thanks Barbra-that was entertaining! It’s somewhat hard for me to say as I don’t get “sniffly” (funny) while reading but I did recognize that there were some places that could be emotional so it’s possible you may just hit on one of those while in the breakroom. But it won’t all out shred you. 

  9. Thanks for the review! I enjoy historicals, but I don’t often read 20th century ones. Your review has me intrigued, though. I may have to check this one out.

  10. I’m another reader who is drawn to epistolary novels, so this book is definitely appealing. While I don’t seek out war time romances, I don’t object to them either. I gather that the dreaded telegram is not announcing Pete’s death, since it sounds like there is a happy ending. Thanks for an enticing review.

  11. I love historical romances so I had this on my WANT TO READ List but I kept adding others above it.  Now with your review, I will stop doing that.  Thank you!

  12. I don’t read as much m/m historical romances and I’ve added this to my wishlist. Thank you for the review, I love a good love story.

  13. Until this review, I was not familiar with this book or the author.  Sounds like something I might enjoy reading.  Thanks.

  14. Yay, another historical! I know the genre isn’t for everyone but I am so glad you found a book that appealed to you! 

  15. waxapplelover says:

    I am not a huge historical fan, though I do have some faves. This has been on my TBR list for a time, so maybe I should give it a try. Thanks for the review.

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