ORDER A COPY: You’re Still The One
Publisher: Zebra Books
Publishing Date: March 4, 2013
Paperback: 416 pages
Rating: 3 stars
A knowing wink…a smile that tugs at the heartstrings…a mind-blowing kiss. In this unforgettable collection of stories, four women have a second chance to rekindle an old spark…
The Devil and Mr. Chocolate by Janet Daily
Sebastian Cole still lives on the grounds of his ex-wife’s estate. He is an artist and his ex-wife Kitty, owns an art gallery and manages his art. Although he still has feelings for her, she has moved on and is now engaged to the heir of a Belgian chocolate family. When her fiancé announces that they will be moving to Belgium and she will have to sell her beloved art gallery, it is Sebastian that she runs to, and now he has one last chance to reclaim the woman he loves before her loses her forever.
This is the story you bought the book to read, but it is also the shortest story of the book at only 67 pages. It is a wonderful story of lost and rekindled love. The hero, as is typical, is handsome, funny and caring and of course, the polar opposite of the new fiancé which begs the question of how our heroine who is feisty and independent is drawn to two completely different men.
The Apple Orchard by Cathy Lamb
Allie has suffered a horrible childhood with an abusive and alcoholic father. Her only happiness she finds, as well as the only food she ever finds, is while hiding out in the neighbor’s Apple Orchard. Although her mother took Allie away when she was still young, Allie was returned to her father after her mother’s death. Her favorite memories of her mother include her mother’s delicious apple pies. Allie left home at 16, never having contact with her father again until she received word of his death and her inheritance of the apple orchard. When she returns to town, she once again meets her old flame and with his love and support finally works through her childhood memories.
This was my least favorite story in the book. The heroine is not a very sympathetic character. It would have been better to understand her if you knew all the details a little sooner. By the time we learn all of the details of her difficult childhood, the story is over and it is too late to feel any connection to her.
Kiss Before Midnight by Mary Carter
Rebecca is only 16 years old and her shyness has not made her very popular with her classmates. The popular girls at school play a prank on her, telling her that they were all going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but Rebecca finds herself there alone. As she wanders alone through New Orleans she ends going to a gypsy who warns her she will meet a stranger, but not to kiss him before midnight, ignore her advise and the price will be high.
Rebecca then meets Grant and they take a stroll through the old cemetery. Rebecca does break down and kiss him before midnight, they make love and go their separate ways. The story takes up again 19 years later, after Rebecca brings her son to college and goes off looking to find Grant again.
This story was a little better but still pretty far fetched, adding magic or voodoo to a standard contemporary story. She of course ignores the gypsy’s advise and finds herself pregnant. They go their separate ways and when her son goes off to college, she goes off looking for the father, who even though she never spoke to him after that kiss, she find him and they rekindle their love…wow, that really was some kiss.
Romeo and Juliet by Elizabeth Bass
Jane and Roy were high school sweethearts who met while playing Romeo and Juliet in the school play. They fell in love and were inseparable all through high school. After high school, they go their separate ways. Jane is now the local vet and when Roy returns to town after his mother’s death, he brings his mother’s old dog to be put to sleep. Jane refuses to put down the old, but healthy dog and brings him home instead. Although Jane is angry that Roy would treat the animal so badly, their passionate arguments bring up old feelings long since set aside.
This was a lovely and more believable story. Again, a nice story of rekindling a lost love.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
Favorite Scene (From the Devil and Mr. Chocolate):
“Everything is always whole-hog or die with you.” His voice has a smile in it. “It can be love or business; it’s always both feet. Speaking of which, who is the new love of your life?”
The hint of ridicule in his voice made Kitty loath to answer. Which was childish. After tonight, it would be public knowledge.
“My mistake.” The drollness of his voice was irritating, but the kneading pressure along the taut shoulder muscles near the base of her neck made it slightly easier to overlook. “Boulanger,” he repeated thoughtfully. “It seems as though I’ve heard that name before. What does he do?”
“His family makes chocolate. In fact, many consider it to be the finest in the world.”
“Ah,” he murmured in a dawning voice. “The strawberries.”
“Dipped in Boulanger chocolate,” Kitty confirmed, and sighed at the remembered taste of it. “Even you must admit, it’s absolutely exquisite chocolate. And it’s no wonder, either. Marcel regularly travels to Central and South America to select only the best cocoa beans.”
“I’m surprised he hasn’t been kidnapped and held for ransom.”
Kitty stiffened in instant alarm. “Don’t say that. Don’t even think it!”
“Sorry. So, when did you meet Mr. Chocolate?”
“Almost three weeks ago. He came by the gallery with the Ridgedales. He’s staying with them,” she added in explanation. “So of course, I saw him again that evening at the Ridgedale’s pre-opera cocktail party.”
“And you were smitten?” Sebastian guessed.
“Instantly.” She almost purred the word as that deliciously exciting feeling welled up inside her again.
“Love at first bite, you might say.”
“Very funny, Sebastian,” She replied without humor.
“I thought it was. Obviously, you’re in love, since you seem to have lost your sense of humor.”
“I’m very much in love,” she declared with feeling.
“And how serious is Mr. Chocolate?”
“Very. He’s asked me to marry him.”
“And you said yes, of course.”
“A man who makes chocolate—how could any woman refuse?” Sebastian murmured.
But Kitty was too wrapped up in her memory of Marcel’s proposal to pay any attention to Sebastian’s sardonic rejoinders. Besides, she was too used to them.
“It was such a romantic setting. Dinner in the courtyard, just the two of us, crystal gleaming in the candlelight, the air scented with gardenias in bloom. There at my chair was a single rose and a small gift. I opened it, and—do you know what I found inside?”
“An engagement ring. Not really very original.”
“Oh, but it was,” Kitty insisted smugly. “Maybe the ring part of it wasn’t original, but the box it came in definitely was. It was made out of chocolate. Perfect in every detail, too, right down to the slot to hold the ring.”
“Milk chocolate or dark?”