Freebie Friday, March 27th Edition
A Wing and a Prayer by Andrea Laurence: This short story is one of the Harlequin More Than Words stories that celebrate women and the causes that matter most to them. Harlequin authors choose real life women who make a difference and donations are given to charities of the winners' choices. The charities are also featured in the stories written by the authors. A Wing and a Prayer highlights Miracle Flights for Kids which provides free medical air travel for children and their families. In the story, Joann Nichols' son has been receiving flights from Dylan Alexander for herself and her son, Zack. Zack has a tumor on his spine and the flights provided by Dylan are a literal life-saver. Dylan and Jo have some chemistry between them but both are hesitant for different reasons. Zack's father couldn't handle his cancer diagnosis and split; Dylan's ex-girlfriend had a little girl and Dylan isn't sure he should get involved with another single mother as he misses that little girl as if she had been his own daughter and yet he has no legal rights to her. For a short story, this one really packed in the emotions but had a fairly realistic HFN by the end of if. I would recommend checking this one out.
The Table and Mr. Tensdale by Rebecca Milton: Emily Hazel is excited to finally be living on her own after years of roommates through college. She rents her own apartment in a building and meets one of her neighbors, Mr. Tensdale. Through her interactions with Mr. Tensdale, Emily feels that he almost acts as if her were two separate people; shy by day and wild by night. Before too long Emily finds out the real deal about Mr. Tensdale. Short and not exactly a super surprise when the big reveal occurs.
A Place in Her Heart by Trish Milburn: Katy McShea is having a bad day...her car has broken down on the side of the road and when the tow truck arrives it is driven by her childhood friend and teenage crush, Callum Walsh. Cal, who left for basic training, breaking Katy's heart and when he returned, he brought back Terry whose attentions turned Katy's head leading to a marriage that quickly turned abusive. Katy is late for her volunteer work at Women's Lunch Place, a shelter that gave Katy the sense of safety she needed as well as a home off of the streets after she left Terry. Cal quickly realizes that he has missed Katy and wonders why she seems so closed-off from him; Katy is worried that Cal will tell Terry where she has been hiding, having no idea that Cal hasn't seen him in years. In a short number of pages, all is resolved although Katy makes Cal work for her trust as much as possible in such a short time frame. When all is said and done, I feel that this one is just ok.
The Gift by Lisa Mondello: Allison Jones is running late for work when she spots a pristine, white envelope caught in a crack of pavement by the sidewalk. She picks it up and recognizes a card for a child's wish item to be bought and donated for a charity gala event. As a child, she was the recipient of such a gift and knows how much the children can rely on such gifts to brighten their spirits and their lives. Meanwhile, Derek Holden realizes he has dropped his envelope containing the request as well as a thousand dollars. When he sees Allison holding the envelope he assumes she has stolen the money. This set up allows Allison and Derek to dance around each other on their way to a HFN although Allison was a little too good to believe and Derek's natural distrust for a stranger was constantly nagged at for being too cold-hearted. Not my favorite.
Her Dakota Man by Lisa Mondella: Poppy loved Logan as a teenager; Logan loved Poppy; Poppy was best friends with Kelly who also loved Poppy. When Poppy's parents sold their house in the South Dakota badlands and moved the family to Long Island, Poppy and Logan swore they would find a way to be together. Instead, Logan married Kelly, had a son and mourned her death from cancer eight years later. When Poppy suddenly shows up after a severe storm offering to help clean up, Logan isn't sure what to think. Poppy is trying to keep a deathbed promise to Kelly knowing that she is about to take everything Logan though he knew about Poppy and his wife and turn it upside down. This book stuffed too much story into too few pages. I didn't truly believe in the HEA at the end--it was too quick of a turn around for Logan to deal with so many emotions. Poppy admitted it took her a year to get her head around what had happened and yet I was supposed to believe that Logan could do the same (when he had arguably been more affected than Poppy) in two days? I didn't buy it.