"Fantastic collection of stories of love, the second time around"
This is a collection of stories of love, the second time
around. There are six stories included in the anthology. I
will comment briefly on all of them.
WINDS OF DESTINY: Katherine Armand's marriage is
over, which wasn't something she planned. But with her
divorce comes the opportunity to pay more attention to her
career as a paralegal and top negotiator for a law firm. A
major developer is considering building a resort in
Katherine's sleepy seaside town and is eager to buy a large
patch of land. But the man the developer sends to broker
the deal is the one person Katherine least expects—Michael
Whitfield, the man who broke her heart fifteen years ago.
This story was one of reconnection, and rekindling a love
that still burned, even if it was somewhat buried away on
Katherine's part. It's made clear from the very beginning
that she is still attracted to him, and that Michael never
stopped loving her. I thought that the two main characters
were believable and that Katherine fought a very believable
conflict: should she allow herself to become vulnerable and
love Michael again, or should she just walk away? I really
enjoyed this story.
LIZZIE'S LACES: Lizzie Rawlston left her home in
Boston for Liverpool, determined to start a new life in
England with her aunt. She was also determined to forget
all about Captain Tony Sinclair, the ship's captain she'd
fallen in love with. Unfortunately, he made it clear that
he was married to the sea, and didn't want a wife tying him
to down. But now, two years later, Tony appears in
Liverpool to bring Lizzie home, as her father is dying and
he wants to see her one more time.
This historical mostly takes place on Tony's ship. I like
historicals, and this story did not disappoint. As it's a
shorter story, it has to move faster than a full-length
novel, and I think the pacing was well-done. I enjoyed this
story as well.
SPIRIT OF LOVE: After a tragic accident devastates
Brynna and Travis's marriage, they drift apart. But as
paranormal investigators, they must complete one more
assignment together, on The Queen Mary during Yule, the
most haunted time in the Celtic calendar. It is believed
that during Yule, anam cara (soul friends) can visit. Will
they be able to reconnect and heal the rift between them?
This was one of my favourite stories in the anthology.
There was something about the setting, and the concept of
anam cara that appealed to me. Travis and Brynna's
backstory—the accident that tore them apart—is touching and
devastating at the same time, and I can understand why an
accident like that would have torn them apart. There was a
twist in the story that I was able to figure out, but the
story didn't end there. Instead, there was another twist
that allowed for a happy and positive ending. I thought
that both plot twists added to the depth of the story. I
thought this was a fantastic read.
THE GARDEN SWING: Tess Murphy inherits an old house
from an elderly patient named Emmeline. The house is in a
dilapidated state and may be more trouble for Tess. When
she tries out the garden swing that features prominently in
one of Emmeline's stories, she is sent back in time, back
to when the house is new and meets the handsome owner, Hugh
MacAllister. Tess is presented with a dilemma: return to
the future and ignore history, or stay in the past and
become a part of it.
I'm usually wary of time travel stories, but I enjoyed this
one. However, from Emmeline's stories, I knew the ending
would be bittersweet. I'd hoped that there would be another
explanation for the ending as told in Emmeline's stories,
but unfortunately there wasn't. Regardless, it was a
touching love story, especially since Tess embraces her
future, even though she knows what will happen to her.
ONLY AND ALWAYS YOU: Ten years ago, Viscount Seton
and Lady Claire broke each other's hearts. Shortly after,
Lady Claire married another man and left England. Now she's
back, and they discover that they both still have feelings
for each other. But will they be able to move past the
hurt, betrayal and outside sabotage to rekindle their love?
I liked this story, but it seemed a bit too brief for me to
truly get to know the characters, which was unfortunate as
they were both interesting characters and I wanted to get
to know them a bit more. My favourite scene in the story
is Lady Claire's showdown with Viscount Seton's mother. It
showed Lady Claire's feistiness, but also her ability to
stand up for herself.
SPECIAL OF THE DAY: Sunny Day, former model and soap
opera star, has opened a vegan restaurant next to Nick
Delatorre's diner. Sunny's restaurant is taking away the
diner's customers, and Nick wants them back. The problem is
that Sunny is Nick's ex-girlfriend from college, and he
still has feelings for her.
This is my other favourite story in the anthology. It is
more light-hearted than the others, and I loved reading
about the sniping between Nick and Sunny. They're both
still clearly attracted to each other and are hiding the
fact that there is something there. As a result, they seem
to be channelling that attraction into antagonism, which
leads to some witty and sarcastic conversation. I thought
the two characters were great, and I wouldn't mind reading
a full-length novel about these two.
Overall, I thought this was a great anthology. The stories
are all different, and yet they all present the idea that
love is out there for everyone, even if it takes a little
longer to find that special someone. All of the included
stories were great, and they all stood out for me in one
way or another. I highly recommend this anthology.
Reviewed by Charlotte Cowie
Posted June 20, 2010