Love and Other Flight Delays
Grade : B

I’m not a big fan of anthologies, mainly because the limitations of the short story format mean I am typically short-changed on the romance. However, being a huge fan of Ms. Williams, I decided to make an exception for Love and Other Flight Delays. Like many collections, this one offers a mixed bag of stories, with some being heartwarming and sweet and some falling a bit short of the mark.

The Love Connection

Grade: B      Sensuality: Warm

Ollie always ogles Mr. Tuesday whenever he walks past Pre-Flight Paws, the business she owns with her friend. She hadn’t meant it to ever go any further than that but fate, in the form of an escape artist puppy, throws them together. The next thing she knows, Mr. Tuesday has a name (Bennett), and she’s meeting up with him during his regular layover at the airport her company is located in.

This is a sweet story with two very likable leads who are perfect for each other. The author does a great job of building the relationship and the characters are extremely well-developed. My only quibble is that we jump straight from them agreeing to give the relationship a real chance to an epilogue with a wedding, which left the romance feeling a little incipient.

The Missed Connection

Grade: C-       Sensuality: Warm

Gia is stuck in the airport on New Year’s Eve due to a flight delay, but she has no intention of letting that stop her from enjoying the holiday. Her flirtation with a handsome stranger named Felix means she has someone to kiss at the stroke of midnight and a terrific, fun memory of the evening. Both of them head back to their respective lives without exchanging any information - but neither can forget the encounter. Several months later, Gia, a scientist, is sent to pick up new coworker Alexander Ennings, a man who has been extremely critical of her published work. When she encounters Felix at the terminal, she is beyond delighted, but that quickly changes when she determines Alex and Felix are the same guy. Gia is none too thrilled that her harshest reviewer will be working in the office next door. Felix is worried the irrepressible, fun-loving Gia will be an impediment to his research. And both are concerned about the undeniable attraction that still sizzles between them.

Alex and Gia struggle to communicate throughout much of the story, and the only spark that seems to exist between them is lust. The format is far too short for the author to show us how the gregarious, free-spirited Gia and the taciturn, rule-abiding Felix can make their connection work long-term or to show us how they will be able to fix their communication and trust issues. Gia’s bisexuality is only fleetingly explored, making it seem tagged on rather than a genuine aspect of her character. The meet-cute is sweet, and I liked the epilogue, but there isn’t enough narrative in between for the story to fulfill its potential.

The Sweetest Connection

Grade: A-       Sensuality: Warm

Teagan and Silas first met virtually for an online leadership conference. They were paired up for discussion and got along so well that seven years later they are best friends working at the same airport; Silas at a customer service desk for an airline, and Teagan at an upscale candy shop in the terminal. They had both agreed they never wanted the relationship to be more than besties, but when Silas’ six-year romance implodes because his lover doesn’t want the bigger portion of his heart to belong to another woman, he realizes a decision needs to be made. Is he going to friendzone Teagan emotionally as well as physically or will he risk it all and take a chance on love?

This story is absolutely delicious. We get snippets of Teagan and Silas across several years, allowing us to see how their bond was formed and why they have made the decision to just be pals and kept to it for so many years. Teagan can be impulsive, kind, and charismatic with the more serious, somber, and sweet Silas acting as the perfect foil/partner for her. We’re shown how that makes them a perfect fit and how their differences complete each other rather than cause conflict. The relationship growth is fabulous, and the characters are both charming and well-developed. The author also does a great job with the setting, giving us a feel for the folks who surround our protagonists and the ins and outs of where they work.

Love and Other Flight Delays is a nice introduction to Denise Williams’ work. The lightly connected stories (they all take place in the same airport and the characters are acquaintances/friends) are frothy, fun tales that would make good bedtime reading or be perfect to pick up and put down while traveling. I recommend this to contemporary romance fans looking for something quick and easy to read.

Reviewed by Maggie Boyd
Grade : B

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : March 26, 2023

Publication Date: 03/2023

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Maggie Boyd

I've been an avid reader since 2nd grade and discovered romance when my cousin lent me Lord of La Pampa by Kay Thorpe in 7th grade. I currently read approximately 150 books a year, comprised of a mix of Young Adult, romance, mystery, women's fiction, and science fiction/fantasy.
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