SECOND TIME AROUND – A ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY
CYNTHIA BREEDING, KRISTEN SCOTT, KAREN MICHELLE NUTT, ERIN E.M. HATTON, GERRI BOWEN, AND KIMBERLY IVEY
Highland Press Publishing
PO Box 2292, High Springs, Fl 32655
Ratings: 4 Cups
Wings of Destiny by Cynthia Breeding
Katherine Armand wants to forget all men after her husband cheats on her with some Barbie doll. With her marriage gone, she concentrates on her career.
Michael Whitfield takes over the land deal negotiations when an associate has a family emergency. It was like icing on a cake running into Katherine again.
Katherine is trying to enjoy her birthday alone when she meets a handsome man at the bar. She had no idea it was Michael who broke her heart years before. No longer married himself, Michael wants to push the card with Katherine. Once he is able to explain the past years, he is certain she will take him back. Will Katherine give her heart back to the man she ached for all those years ago, or will business be the only thing on her agenda?
I really loved this story especially when Michael referred to Katherine as exquisite. They are a loving couple with romance and passion that ignite. Cynthia Breeding incorporates a story that kept this reader tuned to every page, anxious to learn what would happen to Katherine and Michael.
Lizzie’s Laces by Kirsten Scott
Lizzie Rawlston has never forgotten Tony or his icy-blue sardonic eyes that mesmerized her. When she learns her father is ill, she immediately joins Tony on the ship.
Tony Sinclair knows Lizzie will do anything for her father. With the love of the sea in her bones, can he survive being in close accommodations with her on the journey?
Lizzie is certain the only reason Tony is at her home is due to her father being ill. She knows it could be nothing more but about her father, certain he no longer cares for her. After hearing about her ill father, she jumps at the chance to go see about him and bring him home. It makes no difference that she will be on the ship with Tony for twenty-five days. The sailing does not bother her since she has always enjoyed the water, but being so close to the man she still loves may present a problem.
Kirsten Scott paints a visual description of the characters, in the story that allowed this reader to get a good scope of everything happening. The wonderful dialogue made this story a page-turner. Lizzie was strong and adamant, and I loved her character. The way Ms. Scott allows Lizzie and Tony to make eye contact is sweetly crafted.
The Spirit of Love by Karen Michelle Nutt
Brynna Jones was a paranormal investigator in San Diego when she first met Travis on a ghost tour. They eventually married, had a son, then complications arose tormenting her soul.
Travis Smith is a certified ghost hunter who fell in love with Brynna and married, forming the Smith and Jones Paranormal Investigations.
It was ten years ago when Brynna and Travis found each other. Three years later, they had a son, but an accident and an affair soon sent their marriage into a separation. Many times Brynna blamed Travis, but in reality, she had never been there for him after the accident. Travis blamed himself for the marriage falling apart. When they are called to handle some business on the Queen Mary, they can only hope love will play a huge part in reuniting them again.
Karen Michelle Nutt fashions a loving story to read again and again. She crafts lovely players that instill just the right amount of paranormal twist to give this reader thought. I love how she spins a tale that stays with the reader once the story is finished.
The Garden Swing by Erin E. M. Hatton
Odessa Murphy, or Tess, cannot believe a dear old woman leaves Tess her lovely home when she dies. Tess had been nice to the elderly woman and this gift is too much.
Hugh MacAllister is the owner of the old house and finds Tess quite unique when they meet. He wants to keep her an active part of his life.
After Tess looks through the old Victorian house, she knows she cannot sell it. When she sees a swing in the yard that seems to beckon her to it, she sits on it and is transported into another time and place. After she meets Hugh, the actual owner of the house, they form a loving bond. Their time together turns to love and romance, but where will their love go if Tess returns to her time?
I found it enjoyable when Tess had the encounter where she was suspected of being a call girl. It was fascinating watching Tess revert to different era. I adore the way she and Hugh casually get to know each other. Erin E. M. Hatton transpires a story that is worth reading again. I love the ambiance spun around Tess and her journey back into time. This is a story truly composed from the heart.
Only and Always You - Gerri Bowen
Harry Seton rides daily and is a solitary rider. Once his sisters are married, he plans to retire from society and stay to himself, since his love married another.
Lady Claire had her reasons for not marrying Harry. Now that she is a widow and returned from India, she hopes to be able to meet with Harry again.
After ten years, Claire still remembers how she and Harry and Claire use to make each other laugh. Still she has not forgotten either how he broke her heart. He likewise still bears the hurt inside where she broke his. Others saw him as ice water Seton, but she saw him as warm and caring. His mother pressed Harry into believing all Claire wanted from him was his title. When she married another, Harry realized his mother had to be correct. When Claire and Harry make a connection again, will his mother break this couple up again, or will the two finally make a stand for each other?
This story had this reader mesmerized. I was saddened, then happy, then anxious with worry for Claire and Harry. The twist with the mother is a nice addition, even though I wanted to choke her at times. Gerri Bowen incorporates a good pen of a read, not only heart-warming but left an impression on this reader.
Special of the Day – Kimberly Ivey
Nick Delatorre only wants to run a nice restaurant to keep the business afloat. When the once love of his life tries to outdo him, he decides to take her to court.
Sunny Day, an ex-model and former soap opera diva, opens a restaurant. She wants to offer her customers healthy choices and not greasy food like her competitor, Nick.
Nick cannot afford to go into a major hole because Sunny’s restaurant plans to outdo him. Taking her to court had been a mistake, made even more ridiculous by the Judge’s ruling. Now for a week they must eat at each other’s eatery until they earn each other’s respect. This was not a good way to try to get back the girl he lost fourteen years ago. In fact, it only irritated Sunny even more. Sunny shut Nick out years ago. She does not wish to hear any of his explanations, but being forced to eat in his restaurant for a week allows her to see him differently and the same is true for Nick. But is it enough to help them find what they lost years ago?
I love this delightful read. Kimberly Ivey instills rounded characters with a great sense of humor as they work through obstacles. She creates a story visual enough I could picture the whole scenario in the restaurant and the way Nick and Sunny egged each other on. I loved the part about the salad. I haven’t tried the coconut pie recipe yet, but I am sure it is going to be very tasty.
From betrayal, to broken hearts, to finding love again, Second Time Around has a story for just about anyone. The authors really know how to spin some tales and even include some twists along the way. They have created delightful reads that this reader could connect with in many ways. I think the one with Nick and Sunny is one that I will always remember, especially when going to an eatery. Lizzie and Tony will always pop into my mind when I see a boat, for sure. Brynna and Travis will be in the back of my head when I watch Ghost Hunters. I found the story of Tess and Hugh nostalgic, and it will stick with me through many things. As for Claire and Harry, whenever I see lovers holding hands, I will most likely share fond memories of their story. So you see, these fine ladies created stories that will always stay fresh in my heart; ones that I will treasure forever.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More