Review of: This Time Around: Three Sweet Romances
This collection of sweet contemporary romances will appeal to readers seeking the perfect novel for their summer vacation. In the first story, “A Summer Detour,” Allie offers to drive her grandparents’ newly restored 1957 Chevy to their home as a surprise gift for their 50th wedding anniversary. However, after realizing that she is unable to operate the manual transmission, she is left with little choice but to ask her ex-boyfriend Luke, for assistance. Luke was almost like a member of her family growing up, and they dated for a few weeks secretly during high school before Luke broke it off right before Allie’s prom. She assumed he was seeing another girl, but the truth was Luke was fearful of losing the only family he had ever known if their relationship didn’t work. Forced together to drive the car to Allie’s grandparents, they confess their past mistakes and admit they never stopped loving each other.
The second story by Ferguson, “Pining for You,” contains more adult themes and complex characters than the first. Theo, wealthy owner of Evergreen Farms, runs into his ex-girlfriend, Skye, after 14 years at the home of her father, the farm’s caretaker. Skye has returned to her childhood home after learning of her parents’ dire financial situation, for which she blames Theo. However, Skye discovers that her father has a gambling addiction, and that she was wrong in her assumptions. She and Theo both realize that love is more important than money and rekindle their relationship.
The the final story, “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not,” is a delightful tale by fan-favorite Fuller. Sophie, a 35-year-old single florist, is determined not to date Joe, a divorced high school coach and teacher, even though she is attracted to him. She is afraid of being hurt by love, which leads her to accept a date with wealthy lawyer, Landon, Joe’s rival, even though she has no real interest in him. Sophie soon realizes she has nothing in common with Landon and begins to face her fears of commitment as her relationship with Joe deepens. Joe, also, must overcome the pain of his past in order to have a second chance at love with Sophie. Together, they are able to finally able to risk being hurt to discover true love. July 2021.