|Central Park Rendezvous|
Central Park Rendezvous
by Ronie Kendig, Dineen Miller, Kim Vogel Sawyer & MaryLu Tyndall
Barbour Publishing, 2012
Review by Marian Baay
5 stars *****
Dream a Little Dream by Ronie Kendig
Afghanistan War, present day
Jamie Rosso's uncle Alan is a collector of war memorabilia. He reseaches medals and other pieces and tries to find out who they belonged to. He's a Vietnam veteran and when he returned the woman he was supposed to marry was gone. He always kept hoping he would find her. Now after almost 40 years he's ready to move on with life and he's closing his shop. Jamie can't believe uncle Alan is giving up and she decides not to give up. When Alan is not looking she's snatching away a box with letters from the Wolfe Estate. The Wolfe family is very dear to Uncle Alan and Jamie can't believe he wants to get rid of this box with letters. Jamie decides to dig through the box and tries to find the living Wolfe relatives.
Sean Wolfe got injured by an IED in the Afghanistan War. He's suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury and has scars on his neck and jaw. His fiancée broke up with him. He is hurt and swears he is done with women.
Sean comes from a family of warriors. His father served in Vietnam and came back a different man. He killed himself when Sean was just 4 years old.
Jamie found Sean and gave him the letters from his grandfather. First he didn't want to read them, because of the bad memories they would give. But Jamie told him: "We all need the bad memories to recognize the good ones." (I love that quote!)
Sean starts reading the letters and finds out that his dad was a better man than what his mom let him to believe. When he is reading the letters he finds out about a coin that has passed through the Wolfe family for centuries. He asked Jamie if she also found that coin in the box with letters.
Jamie wonders if Sean knows a woman called Gail. She is the woman her Uncle Alan was supposed to marry. Jamie is convinced there must be a connection to the Wolfe family.
Together Jamie and Sean are reading the Wolfe letters and learn the history of the Wolfe family.
A Love Meant to Be by Dineen Miller
Vietnam War, 1973
Alan is at his friend's (Sean's father) house and there he meets Gail. He's struck by her beauty and disappointed to find out she's engaged to another man. Gail is in New York City for the Summer. Alan offers to show her around and finds himself falling in love with her. Gail is attracted to him, too, but she's engaged. Can their love ever happen?
When Alan is called for duty to Vietnam. Gail promised him to wait for him and they agreed to meet each other on the Bow Bridge. Alan gave the Civil War coin to Gail as a promise of his love for her. But when he came back there was no sign of Gail. What ever happened that she wasn't there and couldn't be found?
To Sing Another Day by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Helen Wolfe is the oldest of her siblings. Their parents died and Helen tries to run the family. But when her sister gets sick for a long time, she must stop working to care for her and they ran out of money. Her brother Henry has the Civil War coin and it's the only thing of worth they possess. Helen went to the pawn shop in hopes to get good money for the coin. There she met shop owner Bernie O'Day. He felt sorry for Helen and gave her more money for the coin than its worth. Some time later Henry Wolfe came to Bernie's shop asking for a job. Bernie decided to hire him although he didn't need an extra hand. He just wanted to help the Wolfe family. He starts to care for the family and hopes it might grow to something more with Helen.
When Japan attacks the US, Bernie signs up for duty. Will the coin return to the Wolfe family?
Beauty from Ashes by MaryLu Tyndall
Civil War, 1865
Permelia and Annie Shaw are sisters who live on the Shaw Plantation. Their parents died during the Civil War and their brother is serving in the Army. Annie is engaged to Wiliam Wolfe, colonel in the Army. When he left he gave Annie the coin with the inscription 'Love Never Fails W W'. He's been gone for years and Annie gave up on William and found a new boyfriend. She stopped writing to William and tossed the coin out of the window. Her sister Permelia found the coin and started writing letters to William. William thought Annie was writing the letters and he discovered that she has more depth than he thought. He started to fall in love with this new Annie.
When the war is over he rushes over to the Shaw Plantation and wonders what Annie will think of his injury--burn marks on the right side of his face. When Annie sees them she is shocked and she cannot make herself look at him. Permelia is shocked too, but she is not afraid to look at him or his scars. What he sees in her eyes is confusing him.
Annie is hiding in her room for two days and Permelia is trying to encourage Annie to come out and meet William. When she finally meets him she can't look him in the eyes or to his injured face. William finds out that she sounds so much different than she did in her letters. He also finds out that he is no longer attracted to her, but Permelia makes his heart race.
A Wolfe is man of his word and he promised to marry Annie, so he still intends to do so.
When Annie's other lover comes calling, she must make a decision, but she doesn't. Who will she finally choose? What will William do when he finds out who wrote the letters? Who will meet William on New Year's day on the Bow Bridge?
This was a tremendous read! I loved to see all the novellas get connected to each other. Ronie Kendig's Dream a Little Dream is split up in four parts and is told between the other three novellas. Jamie and Sean's story each time develops further after they have learned more about the Wolfe family (after another novella). Will they also find love?
All novellas center around the Bow Bridge in Central Park - William Wolfe's coin with inscription 'Love Never Fails' - in each story someone is struggling to trust God and in each story a man goes or went to war.
*Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy.*
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week's contest. Drawing will be late Saturday. Your choice of Dineen's books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners only receive the book in ebook format, not as a paperback.