I didn’t list the authors in the title of this blog because there are three of them. Yes, you get one short stories from three best-selling authors for a total of three. Three authors I enjoy who know a little bit about writing a great romance: Terri Blackstock, Candace Calvert, and Susan May Warren.
In “For Love of Money” by Terri Blackstock, Julie Sheffield waitresses to earn money while struggling to launch her own design firm. After spending one rainy evening talking with a customer, she is interested in the man, believing God brought him to her. But when he leaves her half a sweepstakes ticket and an IOU instead of a tip, her anger quickly overcomes her interest.
While Blackstock is best known for her romantic suspense offerings, it was a change of pace to read a straight romance from her. And she didn’t disappoint. Julie is likable and charming while Blake goes after what he wants. This couple will balance each other’s weakness (if they can trust each other enough to give love a chance).
“The Recipe” by Candace Calvert finds Aimee Curran, a hospital dietary assistant, struggling to find her purpose in life. She believes she’s finally found her calling, a way to honor her mother, when she enters a Vegan Valentine baking competition. No stranger to heartbreak, Aimee is drawn to Lucas Marchal, whose spare time is spent beside his ailing grandmother’s hospital bed. After being blackmailed into helping with food service, Aimee and Lucas begin to talk about their lives—their concerns, their fears, their hopes. But has Aimee truly found her calling with her competition or is she just filling time with another fruitless endeavor?
This short story was my favorite of the three. Aimee’s life has not been easy and her desire to find her place in life may resonate with a few readers. The story starts out with a fairly humorous scene that will at least have you smiling. The love Lucas has for his grandmother is endearing and made him likable from the beginning, even when he’s not-so-pleased with the hospital staff.
The final offering in this anthology is from Susan May Warren. “Hook, Line & Sinker” follows several students from Bethel College to a fishing competition in Deep Haven (readers of Warren will definitely recognize this town!). Abigail Cushman is determined to try and win Deep Haven’s annual fishing contest to bring more attention to her struggling campus ministry. The problem is she’s competing against the man she’s loved for years (more years than he knows). Their relationship fell apart when tragedy struck and time has not healed the gaping wounds from words spoken during her grief.
Warren’s a master at romance and even her short stories pull a reader in. The only story in this anthology where the main characters have a history before the beginning of the story in the anthology (which I usually prefer) and that history is a long one. Miscommunication, misunderstanding, and pride are what keep this couple apart despite the strong feelings they still have for each other.
This anthology is a nice read for several reasons. It’s the length of a regular book but the three stories within are short. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time putting down a book when I’m in the middle of a good story. You won’t have to do that with Chance of Loving You because you can finish a complete story in a couple hours’ time. This is a fun way to either get to know a new author or to visit some favorites. Novellas and short stories are always a nice way to pass on a favorite author as well. If you’re looking for a nice, uplifting beach read, consider picking this one up.
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Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.