[Some Spoilers; For Mature Audiences]
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
I adore romance, all types and practically every sub-genre. So when I found out that some of my favorite authors were getting together to write a book of romantic stories, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy as soon as possible! Frequent Flyers is perfect for romance junkies of all kinds. This compilation of six stories spans a range of topics, from contemporary to paranormal romance and everything in between. But the great thing is that they all, in some way, center around airports and travel. So while there’s variation, the reader also gets a sense of continuity as we move between stories. I had a blast reading Frequent Flyers: I laughed, cried a little, got a bit frustrated–and more than anything, I swooned and swooned hard! I gladly give this collection 4.5 stars and wholeheartedly recommend it!
Eye of the Storm by Beth Bolden: Tess O’Brien is having a less than stellar day. While she adores her job as a flight attendant, this flight she has to make between Detroit and Cleveland just got a bit more difficult when she finds out that Captain Grant Montgomery III will be the pilot. The first time they worked together, there was a mishap that involved coke and speculation about sexual fetishes. So Tess is pretty sure that buttoned-up and austere Grant wants nothing to do with her. But Tess makes it! She survives the flight and makes it to Cleveland sans mishap. However, as she’s about to take a breath of relief, Tess finds out that she has to make a 3 hour drive to Columbus through a blizzard with none other than Grant, himself. She’s all for well-regulated adventures, but will she be able to make it without embarrassing herself in the process?
I really enjoy this story! One of my favorite things to read in a romance is a leading man who isn’t necessarily nice to other people, but positively thaws for his leading lady. And Grant definitely thaws! I love seeing Tess and Grant get to know one another as they make this treacherous trip. We learn a lot about both characters’ childhoods, which helps to explain why Grant is so cold and also why he’s drawn to Tess’ warmth. I love that he just wants the chance to get to know Tess–even using this drive as an opportunity to do it. I also like how Grant is so protective of Tess and her reputation *beaming*
…just…you’re so beautiful. And so bright. So full of life, I guess. Like a bright halo around you. You made me want to know you, from the first time I met you.
Grant isn’t necessarily perfect–towards the end, he retreats to his aloofness, which leaves Tess pretty confused about his intentions. But she knows her worth and that, sometimes, walking away is the best way to encourage a guy to come to his senses. And when Grant does come to his senses, he does so in a grand way!
I would have liked to see a sexy times scene (come on, you know me!), but overall, I really like the premise, characters, the story’s execution.
Rating: 4 stars
Forced Landing by Angel Lawson: Nadya may/may not be obsessed with Liam Caldwell. To be honest, there’s nothing much else going on in her small Illinois town. Nadya lives with her overprotective dad working at her family’s small airport. And every time Liam Caldwell comes by to take his plane out, he’s brusque and secretive, which only makes Nadya more eager to discover his story. On one disastrous evening, she finds herself taking care of an injured, but rapidly healing Liam. In the midst of this, Nadya finds out there’s way more to this little airport and her relationship with this mystery man.
I don’t want to give too much away because I think the paranormal twist in this story is fantastic. I’m a big fan of supernatural stories, especially ones that feature ancient and epic rivalries and fated love.
I really like that Nadya is inquisitive and independent-minded. When she finds out her familial legacy, she doesn’t wilt or run away. Rather she steps right into the fray, ready to take her rightful place. I also like Liam and how protective/possessive he can be. He’s not a particularly sentimental person, but Nadya is his exception, which is so romantic.
‘Please,’ I asked, overcome by her proximity. I took her hand and laid it flat across a wide strip of red. I closed by eyes at the feeling, the surge of energy and hope. ‘I’ve waited so long.’
‘Because I’m yours?’ Her hands explored my chest, touching each cut and stroking every scar I’d gathered over my lifetime.
Even though I find the premise intriguing, I’m not sure if I think a short story is the best format. World building is incredibly important, especially in paranormal stories where the creatures and rules can’t be taken for granted. As I’m reading, I have so many questions about the history behind certain relationships and the sources of conflict. Having the time and space to obtain the answers would have helped to make the story more robust. With that said, I really hope the author will consider developing this story into a longer novella/novel.
Rating: 3 stars
Unscheduled Departure by T.M. Franklin: Rowan Elliot is in love, but unfortunately, the love of her life is moving 2,743 miles away from her. Ro has arrived to drive her boyfriend, Finn, to Seattle-Tacoma airport where he’ll catch a flight to Washington D.C. and take over the family business. Understandably, she’s torn: Ro knows how important family is to Finn and and supposedly, the trip will only be temporary. But she has the fear that once he leaves, she’ll never see him again. As Ro is standing in the airport, watching Finn walk away from her, she closes her eyes and, with her entire being, wills Finn to return to her…
…and he does! Finn changes his mind at the last minute and comes back. But as they settle back into the pattern of their lives, Ro realizes that, quite impossibly, the Finn she took to the airport might not be the same person who came back with her.
Once again, I don’t want to spoil this, so I’ll try to keep my spoilery flails to a minimum. But make no mistake, I want to flail SO HARD. I love this story and I think it’s brilliantly done. I enjoy the relationship between Ro and Finn. Of course the love is wonderful to see, but the humor and banter are equally delightful. Who knew there could be so many variations of the name “Finn”?! I also find Ro to be a very sympathetic character. There are times when I’m reading where I feel like I’m going crazy right along with her, wondering what’s wrong with Finn and ultimately wondering what’s wrong with her/me. But what I enjoy the most is the story’s use of time, and, as you’ll see, time turns out to be a pretty significant player.
I had to say one thing about security at Sea-Tac airport: They were fast. Efficient. And strong as hell.
I love it when a story takes me outside of myself to consider the possibility of alternate universes. This totally kept me on my toes, and I had a blast reading this!
Rating: 5 stars
A Midsummer Flight’s Dream by Kira A. Gold: The last few months have been really tough for Jolie Flynn. Not only is she still recovering from a divorce and a recent job loss, but also Jolie just found out that her Great Aunt Tove has passed away. For the first time in 20 years, Jolie is returning to Sweden to bury her Aunt. She’s also hoping that a little adventure will lift her out of the funk her life has now become. While making the trip she runs into the boy (now man) who gave her her first taste of romance so many years ago. Both Jolie and Mattias have changed a lot over the last 20 years. Yet even after all this time, passion sizzles.
This story is gorgeous. I love how rich the descriptions are, especially the way the different airports are characterized. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling myself, and seeing LaGuardia described as “an old friend with a drinking problem” or Charles DeGaulle described as “being inside the carcass of a giant slaughtered animal” makes me cackle with laughter and nod in agreement.
But, mostly, I enjoy watching Jolie heal from the tough hand life has dealt her in the past year. Reliving the summer she spent with her Aunt 20 years ago and her first love with Mattias is the sweetest medicine.
He brought me coffee and chocolate truffles and wild strawberries, and carried me to the shed behind the garden, and I was tipsy enough to giggle at the pain, while he gasped and whispered in Swedish and pulled out of me, spilling himself on my belly. Twilight faded into dawn, and when I nodded off, he teased me awake and then touched me between my legs again until I saw my own solstice.
*SWOON*SWOON*SWOON* See what I mean? Such gorgeous and evocative language!
Even though I’m able to figure out where the story is going pretty early on, I still enjoy watching first love unfold for Jolie and Mattias and then seeing them get a second chance at happiness.
Rating: 4 stars
Fly Me To The Moon by Bev Elle: Jessamy Taylor is in the midst of a slump. Since her father passed away and she moved her mother in with her, dating hasn’t necessarily been at the top of her priority list. But whenever she’s at work at the East West Airlines ticketing counter and everyone’s least favorite customer, Dr. Griffin Sanderson, gets into her line, she can’t help but reminisce. Jessamy and Griffin used to date and things were getting really serious between them. Unfortunately, there was one thing that forced Jessamy to walk away: Griffin has really bad OCD. Now, don’t think too badly of Jessamy–she also deals with OCD tendencies and she really tried to be understanding. But Griffin has one post-coital, OCD habit that literally drives her back to therapy. However, in the 2 years that have passed, Griffin seems to be doing better AND he’s still interested in Jessamy. Would she be open to trying again, or is the prospect of dealing with his extreme OCD keep Jessamy away?
This story is SO funny and quirky! I like Jessamy and her relationship with her best friend and Mom. And of course I really like Jessamy and Griffin together. They both have their idiosyncrasies, which includes a passionate love of Game of Thrones (*WOOT*). I love that Jessamy is so kind and patient and that Griffin is determined to win her back. Towards the end, they have a bit of a misunderstanding, but hey overcome it with help and advice from friends.
She missed his kisses. She’d missed his gentle, yet passionate way of making love to her until she was no longer coherent–as if she were intoxicated with wine–but was just intoxicated with a lot of Griffin. In that moment, she want that again and she took it.
While reading, I alternate between giggling and swooning from the sweetness. Add in the Game of Thrones references and I’m all in.
Rating: 4 stars
The Friendly Skies by Amanda Weaver: Cassandra Sinclair can’t remember the last time she took a vacation. Sure, she does a lot of traveling because of her job. But even though she’s visited tons of exotic locales, she only ever sees the inside of the airport and her hotel room. Cassie is at the beginning of such a trip when she meets fellow traveller Simon Barrett. He’s gorgeous, chivalrous, and has a sexy English accent to boot. As they’re making the flight from NYC to Mexico City, Mother Nature has a different plan, which lands Cassie and Simon back in New York. But rather than worry about losing a day of work, Cassie and Simon decide to spend the evening getting to know one another. Even though she’s given herself permission for one night, one might not be enough.
This story gives me allllllll the tummy flutters! From Cassie and Simon’s first meeting, I’m a goner. I love watching these two get to know one another, and right from the beginning, there’s such ease between them. In only a few hours, Cassie and Simon feel comfortable sharing their goals, past disappointments, hopes, and wishes. Neither of them have experienced something quite like this before and they both want to hold on to this for as long as possible.
His hand came up to cup her cheek, his thump brushing her cheekbone. It was such a sweet, tender gesture, completely at odds with the way he was assaulting her body.
‘Come on, love,’ he muttered. And that was all it took. One brief endearment and she was done…
LAWD! *KEELS OVER*
And then the ending just tops it all. Relationships are hard, especially when dealing with job that requires extensive travel. But it can be worth it when you meet the one that makes you want to run away and take a grand adventure.
Goodness, this story swooned me so hard and repeatedly. There are several lines that I want to quote here, but in the interest of keeping the spoilers to a minimum, I won’t. However, you better believe I’m on the look out for a Simon of my very own!
Rating: 5 stars
I’m also very happy to share that We So Nerdy will be giving away one ebook copy of Frequent Flyers, so make sure to enter below!
Many thanks to the authors for the opportunity to read this book!