Modern women can have it all, they say. But “they” don’t ever explain how. All too often, love gets sacrificed to careers, to children, to art. In these five brand new stories, women from all walks of life discover love long after having given it up for lost.
This anthology contains:
“The Christmas Pony” by Sarah M. Anderson:
What’s Alice supposed to do with a pony? The teacher only knows the animal was left on her porch right before Christmas. Then handsome Animal Control Officer Kirk Douglas shows up, asking questions that Alice prefers not to answer. But even the mystery surrounding the animal’s origins can’t stop the holiday spark that ignites between Alice and Kirk. Can their attraction survive ugly-sweater parties, well-meaning relatives and the Christmas pony?
“Midnight Clear” by Ros Clarke
A year ago, Alison had it all: a husband, a family, and a purpose in life. But now, following a painful divorce, everything’s changed. She doesn’t know where her life is going, and her faith is as wobbly as her lopsided Christmas tree.
When she’s bowled over by an enthusiastic Irish setter in the park, and the rather gorgeous older man on the end of his lead, she’s not expecting more than a quick coffee and the mud brushed off her coat. Certainly not a Christmas like she’s never had before, full of peace, joy, and maybe even love?
“Sparks” by Laura K. Curtis
Kate Bellows has no room for weakness if she’s going to pull JanCo Moving out of the hole its in and create a solid career for herself. Her carefully-laid plans, however, are no match for the fire that burns her house to the ground. With few options, she accepts an offer to spend Christmas with the volunteer firefighter who’d injured himself trying to save her house.
But there are two major problems with staying in Adam Miller’s spare room over the holidays. First, he works and JanCo and there’s a good chance she will have to fire him. Second, he’s entirely too attractive, and Kate Bellows has neither time nor taste for romance.
“The Longest Night” by Yasmine Galenorn
The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, and the past few years have been dark for Merilee Johansson. After an acerbic divorce, Merilee moved to Starwood, a small mountain town devoted to the arts. Here, she hopes to heal from the wounds life has left on her heart and her self-esteem. What she doesn’t expect is for Chris Hunter to enter her life, bringing the promise of love on the darkest night of the year.
“A Taste of Blessings” by Suleikha Snyder
For Tiya Chatterjee, coming home for one of her community’s most joyous celebrations, Durga Puja, means coming home to her mom’s disapproval, nosy aunties…and a crush on a man who shouldn’t even be on her radar.
For divorced father-of-two Arnav Biswas, the three-day festival is a chance to keep his culture alive for his kids — not an opportunity to flirt with a beautiful woman who isn’t meant for him.
Fortunately, fate has other plans for Arnav and Tiya, who must learn that giving thanks to a powerful goddess means acknowledging the unstoppable power of love.