Four Great Stories for Valentine's Day!
PICTURE PERFECT by Jill Marie Landis
Photographer Emily Richardson has come to Sam Tucker?s ranch to take photos of life on a ranch ? before this style of living disappears forever. She was invited by Sam?s younger brother, Willie.
Sam was married to a woman who was soon bored with isolated ranch life and divorced him. Emily?s arrival brings all that back to Sam; he figures that if he can get rid of Emily, he can forget his pain. Things don?t work out that way ?.
IN A HEARTBEAT by Jodi Thomas
Colt Barnett?s wife abandoned him and their three girls 5 years before. As the girls have grown up at the army fort (their father runs), they have become as wild as the area in which they live. Colt advertises for a tutor; he neglects to mention that he expects a male.
When Joanna and her aunt arrive, Colt seems to want to send them back. However, Joanna suggests a 1 month trial. It?s obvious after a few days that Colt and the children need Joanna. But does Colt want her?
GIFTS OF THE HEART by Colleen Quinn
This is the most contemporary of the 4 stories. Elizabeth is an enthusiastic newspaper reporter ? working undercover to bring social issues to the public?s attention. She wants to highlight the meager help available to the poor and homeless of Philadelphia.
She chooses to sit on the front steps of elegant attorneys? offices and beg for money. One young attorney, Stephen, talks with Elizabeth (dressed as a gin-drinking charwoman). Trying to find a home and help for her, he finds that there is no space left for the homeless.
The two are interested in each other, but they are from different social classes. There seems to be no solution.
PAPER HEARTS by Kathleen Kane
Emma is just back from 2 years in a fancy school for women back east. Since she was such a tomboy before she left, she considers it critical that she leave those days behind. She decides to make radical changes to the annual community Valentine?s Day Dance ? waltzing on a constructed dance floor instead of square dancing out on the meadow.
The man she left behind 2 years before, JT is the town sheriff. The old Emma followed him around for hours most days; the new Emma avoids him.
JT is not good about talking about how he feels and misses every opportunity to set things straight. Then he remembers the valentine she made for him years before and decides to use it to convince Emma of how he feels.
I liked all 4 stories, but had some reservations about Jodi Thomas' entry. It wasn't up to her usual terrific level of excellence.