ONE TOUCH, ONE GLANCE: A SWEET ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY
Gwen Hayes, M.E. Ellis, Maryann Miller, Adelle Laudan, K. Starling, Trinity Blacio, Debbie Gould, Ava James, Faith Bicknell-Brown, Savannah Chase, Lisa Alexander Griffin, Kensana Darnell, Brieanna Robertson, Nicolette Zamora, Kathleen MacIver, Missy Lyons, and Jambrea Jo Jones
Rating: 5 Cups
5 AM on a Sunday Morning by Gwen Hayes
Kelsey and Ryan have been friends since college. Their friendship has endured through all of life’s ups and downs but they both have a secret they have kept for ten years.
Gwen Hayes explores the confusion that can occur when friends fail to be honest with each other. I giggled when I read about their dates leaving with each other. This is a whimsical story of friends who become lovers.
I Heard You, You Know by M.E Ellis
Goldie and Stanley are visited during various times in their lives, some good some bad. Through these visits we see how true love lasts despite all that life can throw at it.
I Heard You, You Know is a sweet example of enduring love. Goldie and Stanley are a loving couple who meet and find love where they never thought it would be.
New Love by Maryann Miller
Jean and Patrick have known each other most of their lives. They have become distant over the years, but each has thought fondly of the other. In the sunset of their lives, they come together again to explore the possibilities of love.
New Love is a charming story. I found the age of the characters fascinating because most people have given up on finding love so late in life. Patrick and Jean give hope to anyone that thinks they are too old to find love.
A Ride to Remember by Adelle Laudan
Desiree meets the grandfather of one of her students and finds an immediate attraction. Albert spontaneously asks Desiree out to dinner. Together they discover just how much they have in common on a ride to remember.
A Ride to Remember is a wonderful example of how appearances can be deceiving. The author explores life after sobriety and does a remarkable job of it. I found the story lovely and thrilling.
Sweet Tea Maggie by K. Starling
Stanley Howard is a pig farmer from Alabama who has lost all faith in God since the death of his beloved wife 17 years ago. Maggie has spent her life relying on God, and Stanley has no faith left to give. The two must learn to give and take if they are to find their way to each other.
Maggie is a darling character whose struggle to accept the path that God has set her on is endearing. Sweet Tea Maggie is a divine story about changing the path we choose for our lives.
Tuesday’s Affair by Trinity Blacio
Ike left his wife Tuesday and unborn son because of a perceived deception he now knows was wrong. Ike has a plan but is scared that Tuesday will have no forgiveness in her heart. Both are shocked to find that love can endure even the worst pain.
The character, Tuesday, was a wonderful example of a woman who picked herself up and never let bitterness rule her life. The author did a wonderful job of exploring the faith that some must have to take another try.
Lavendar Heart by Debbie Gould
Lisa steps into a music store and looks into the lavender eyes that hold her destiny. Grant Munroe is a cursed man, destined to go through life a shell of the man he once was. He must find the one woman who can release him from that curse, and Lisa is the one.
Lavendar Heart is a fabulous fairy-tale story complete with a prince and a curse. Debbie Gould twisted a fairy tale of old and created a contemporary story that left me smiling.
Forever Found by Debbie Gould
SrA Kelly Fuller is a single mother serving in the US Air Force dealing with life after being abandoned by the father of her son, Cole. TSgt Jason Miller admires Kelly, and is unable to resist the lure of getting to know her and her son better. Together they just might find what they have been searching for.
Forever Found is an endearing story about new beginnings. The characters were fascinating and as someone familiar with military life, I was enchanted by the story. Jason Miller is a true hero to his country as well as his new wife and son.
Waking Up by Ava James
Jaysen, a Red Cross volunteer nurse, is drawn to Demetri, a Ukranian soldier, when it takes some time for him to wake from his injuries. Day after day she sits and tells him stories about her brother in the hopes that in the telling, she will finally heal. Demetri hears the voice and is drawn to it, so much so that he is compelled to wake despite the pain. Once both return from Iraq, they are compelled to find a way to be together.
Waking Up is a sad story about the loss and love that can be discovered in a war zone. Jaysen is such a wonderful and giving character who compels the reader to cheer for her success. I found the story very moving and sweet.
Under the Christmas Stars by Faith Bicknell-Brown
According to her mother, Lana is looking for love in all the wrong places. Lana wants a faithful and loving man. She thinks her co-worker, Derek, just may be that man. Patiently waiting for Lana is a lifelong friend, Ron. She has been blind to the love right under her nose. Ron will be there when she falls to show her what real love should be.
Ron’s patience is stunning. The author took the time to round out Ron’s character so that the reader would truly understand how rare he is. The story is a testimony to the idea that true love will wait.
He’s On the Menu by Savannah Chase
Jessie Patrick is a waitress and Ian Knight is a rock star. Jessie sees past his stardom and Ian feels drawn to her. A rock star and a waitress find love in an unexpected place. When Ian leaves town, Jessie assumes that she will never see him again, but Ian has a plan.
He’s on the Menu is a cute love story that shows that rock stars are real people despite what we read about them in the paper. Savannah Chase brought a star down to earth and showed how human they really are despite their fame. It is wonderful to see that famous people can find true love against all the odds.
The Unexpected Gift by Lisa Alexander-Griffin
Elise Terry loses her beloved husband to a heart attack, but he leaves her a part of himself to love. Two years later Elise takes her daughter, Jamie, Christmas shopping and finds her future in the eyes of Santa. Cade McPherson lost his wife and daughter in a devastating accident two years ago which left him the walking dead. He never dreamed that his need to play Santa at the local department store would bring him his reason for surviving.
I was moved to tears by the author’s portrayal of how two people devastated by life can come together and find peace. Lisa Alexander-Griffin created a stand-out character with baby Jamie. Jamie was an enchanting little girl that no one could resist.
Whispers in the Wind by Kensana Darnell
Allison Braddock is affluent while Mitch Colbert is not. In Mitch, she finds a strength she can rely on, and Mitch realizes that money has nothing to do with the quality of a woman. She is on the cusp of attending the Duke medical program. They agree not to see each other in person until she has completed school and then if their love endured the separation, they would be together.
Kensana Darnell pens a fascinating tale about how money has nothing to do with whom someone falls in love with. I adored Mitch for not only sacrificing to help a friend but for not being bitter when the friend betrays him. It is a delightful story for the exuberant spirits of both Allison and Mitch.
Musician’s Monsoon by Brieanna Robertson
Sophie is an orchestra and choir teacher who has an unusual need to listen to heavy metal music in her off time. Zane Blake is the keyboardist and song writer for Shadow’s Rising, but he has lost the music. Standing on stage, just when he finds his muse, a crazy chick flies out of the audience and pile drives him to the stage. True love comes from the strangest circumstances.
More than once during this story, I found myself laughing out loud. I struggled for control of myself in order to continue. Brieanna Robertson writes with an incredible sense of humor that brought me great joy. While reading her story about the rock star that fell for an orchestra teacher, I wanted to rush to see what happened to these star-crossed lovers.
Little Cowgirl by Nicolette Zamora
Nan Winslow is wrangled into attending her sister’s costume party as, of all things, a sexy cowgirl. She is bored out of her mind until a real cop shows up looking for someone to turn down the loud music. A phone call from Greg Louison’s mother forces him to take action. When he sees the sexy cowgirl across the room, he is intrigued for the first time since the death of his wife.
A touching story of how far friends and family are willing to go to help a grieving person move past their pain. This is a delightful story which lights the flame for help for everyone grieving for the loss of someone they desperately loved. I loved the author’s portrayal of a man who is just as vulnerable as a woman.
Forever Guy by Jambrea Jo Jones
Samantha Reynolds is the first female Sheriff of Port. Jack has always loved Sam but felt he needed to give her room to grow. So he joined the Marines to give her space, always intending to return. Jack has come home, but war has made a different man of him. He feels that Samantha needs someone who is a whole man. Samantha feels she has been given the opportunity to have her forever guy, and she will not give up without a fight.
Jambrea Jo Jones provides a peek into the lives of soldiers who return from war bearing the scars of their service and the loved ones they leave behind. Forever Guy is a sad but poignant tale of a wounded soul and the woman strong enough to love him despite it all. It is a touching tale of how love can save someone who lost the will to heal their own wounds.
When Time Stood Still by Kathleen MacIver
Rhianna is stuck in a time not of her own. Matthew Garlinn lost his home and mentor as the result of a fire. He decides to take a job overseas for a change of pace. He meets and falls in love with Rhianna despite her innocence about all things modern. Rhianna has but one choice: she can return to her family and lose Matthew forever, or she can find the strength to hang on to true love.
Ms MacIver pens a time-travel story that brings the past and the present together, providing an elegant backdrop for an imaginative ode to the power of love. This whimsical tale provides the reader with a glimpse of what could happen if people could travel through time. An outstanding display of how true love knows no bounds.
Wounded Hearts by Missy Lyons
Bella Thompson is picking up the pieces of the shattered lives of her and her daughter, Maddy, after the loss of her father from senseless violence. Adam Thompson and his son, Bradley, were abandoned by the one that should have willingly loved them forever. Adam and Bella must learn to move out of the past and find a new path to a future together.
Ms. Lyons explores with class the touchy subject of the aftermath of the terrorist attack, which occurred on 9/11. It was a story that reflected on the pain visited upon so many innocent people. Wounded Hearts is a story of healing and how love can go on when everything in life seems to have ended. I was moved by the insight into the pain that was dealt to the family of the fallen.
Altogether this compilation is an outstanding mixture of all the various ways love will find a way. I was enthralled from the very beginning and read all of the stories in one sitting. All of the authors should be proud of the magical stories they wrote. The wonderful combination of the various stories makes them a complete dossier on the subject of love.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance and More