Emma’s Story:  The Girl in the Picture by Donna Collins

Patty was trying to get on with her life after her husband, Dave, had had an affair.  Their marriage was over and she is happy with life, her cat Buster, and was looking at putting Buster’s picture in an old frame she had just found.

Then the dreams began about the woman whose picture was in that frame.  Was it a coincidence, or was Emma trying to teach Patty something through the experiences she’d had in her life?

Emma’s Story:  The Girl in the Picture is a story of forgiveness and learning to move forward.  It was a little disconcerting to read about Patty’s quick forgiveness of Dave after his betrayal.  I feel that had it not been in first person, and if we had been able to read Dave’s remorse, it would have been easier to accept him as being the hero in this story.

 

Love Floats by Stacy Dawn

Kelsey Ryan wasn’t sure what to make of Mitch Downs.  He had hired her to plant a garden at his home, which just happened to be on a houseboat.  He was exceedingly good looking and he seemed to show an interest in her.  The problem, she had to keep reminding herself, was that the garden was for his wedding. 

Widower Mitch wasn’t planning on pursuing a new relationship, yet when he met Kelsey, he was inexplicably drawn to her.  He was attracted to her and simply enjoyed being with her.  Kelsey seemed to reciprocate, but then she’d turn completely around and run from him.

Love Floats is an entertaining romance of miscommunication.  Kelsey and Mitch are very attracted to each other, but with each step forward that Mitch attempts, Kelsey understandably throws up a barrier.  This felt like a complete story with well developed characters.  I truly enjoyed the romance between Kelsey and Mitch.

 

The House Next Door by Carol Ann Erhardt

Author Kaylene has a new neighbor.  He had moved into the house that should have been her home, if only her fiancée Donovan hadn’t died.  But who was he?  He appeared in the shadows, he only came out during the night.  To Kaylene, he could be one of the heroes from her vampire romances.

What little Kaylene could glimpse of him, he reminded her of Donovan, but Donovan is dead and there were no such things as vampires, no matter what she writes. 

 

The House Next Door is reminiscent of a gothic romance.  The intrepid heroine, the mysterious hero, and the dark, previously deserted house.  I was pleasantly surprised by the unexpected twist of the story, but was a little disappointed that the author summarized the romance so quickly. 

 

His Son, Our Matchmaker by Tabitha Gibson

Patrick Grant had to give his son credit, when Timothy put his mind to something, he became very determined to succeed.  Subtle definitely was not Timothy’s strong point.  Patrick had no doubt that Timothy had decided to play matchmaker with his teacher, Miss Megan Trent, with the emphasis on Miss, and himself.

Megan was impressed with her student Timothy, but she never anticipated being manipulated by a fifth grader turned matchmaker.  Not that she would complain.  From the moment she saw Patrick, she was drawn to him.  Unfortunately, he was a student’s parent. 

His Son, Our Matchmaker succeeded in having the feel of a complete story.  I enjoyed Timothy’s schemes to get Patrick and Miss Trent together, and was impressed with the depth each character had in spite of the length of this story. 

 

Hattie’s Dance by Tanner Holmes

Hattie Martindale didn’t attend dances.  Her crippled leg didn’t allow for grace, and anyways, she didn’t have any suitors calling on her.  However, she didn’t have it in her heart to deny her younger sister Maribel’s request to attend the social and occupy Adam Benson, the brother of Maribel’s suitor.  She never expected to enjoy herself, and kept forgetting that he wasn’t there as her suitor.

Hattie’s Dance is a very touching story about a woman overcoming self-doubt, and the whispers of being called a cripple.  This was one of my favorite short stories in this anthology.

 

Don’t Forget the Roses by Evelyn Lucas

Jessie Harper must decide if she can accept that Bill is part of her past.  She loved him, but he has died.  Now she has been asked to marry Mark and she has come to talk to her mother about her conflicting feelings of guilt and happiness.

Don’t Forget the Roses is more of a rumination than a story.  It simply involves Jessie speaking about her feelings with her mother and coming to terms that life must go on.  There is no interaction between Jessie and Mark, nor is there more than one scene.  I feel that the author wrote well, but that this really shouldn’t be considered a story.  It should have been a scene from a longer book.

 

Night Blooms by Dana Mentink

After a very bad day, and the resulting speeding ticket because of said bad day, Corinne Brindle was working off her community service at a National Park.  She couldn’t see the beauty of the desert she was working in. 

Tom Tohono loved the land and the National Park he worked in.  He took great pride in protecting the area and cultivating the wildlife.  He was intrigued by Corinne, but it was obvious she was as out of place out here, as he would be in the city.

Night Blooms is very entertaining.  I particularly enjoyed it as Corinne had one mishap after another with either plant or animal.  I would have been happier with this story if it had been a little longer, but I still read enough to know that I will keep an eye out for additional stories by Dana Mentink.

 

Resurrection by Rebecca Ruger

Jasmine and Edward have become strangers, yet they once felt great love for each other.  Perhaps they still do.  Together, they must decide what their future holds and if they can overcome their past.

Resurrection is a poignant story of sorrow.  Although it was a touching story, it was too brief to leave any impact. 

     

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