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Return to the Home Front #3

When Love Simply Is

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Laurel Richards, freelance journalist and photographer, on assignment to write about old inns in Western New York couldn't have been more surprised or stunned when Sergeant Clay Randall, the six-two, blue-eyed hunk she'd had the poor judgment to succumb to on one witless night during a layover in Israel answered the door to the Lily Pad Inn. The last image she had of him was his cute, khaki-clad behind scrambling to leave her hotel room at the break of dawn, never to be seen or heard from again--not that she tried very hard to find him. Now three years later she couldn't help but wonder what he was doing there--wearing a cocky grin and a white-flowered, kitchen apron no less.

When Ellie and Travis Johnson, the owners of the inn and Clay's aunt and uncle, tell Laurel the history of the inn she becomes engrossed in the elderly couple's love story that began during World War II at a U.S.-Based Military Hospital in Australia. As the story unfolds, Laurel learns that sometimes in the messy sea of humanity, love simply is.

Published October 2, 2019

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Tracey L. Dragon

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Profile Image for Shreedevi Gurumurty.
642 reviews3 followers
December 8, 2021
Laurel Richards, on assignment to write about old inns in Western New York, couldn’t have been more surprised or stunned when Sergeant Clay Randal, the six-two, blue-eyed hunk she’d had the poor judgment to succumb to one witless night during a layover in Israel answered the door to the Lily Pad Inn. The last image she had of him was his cute, khaki-clad behind scrambling to leave her hotel room at the break of dawn, never to be seen or heard from again—not that she tried very hard to find him. Now three years later she couldn’t help but wonder what he was doing there—wearing a cocky grin and a white-flowered, kitchen apron no less.When Ellie and Travis Johnson, the owners and Clay’s aunt and uncle, tell Laurel the history of the inn she becomes engrossed in the elderly couple’s love story that began in 1944 at a U.S. military hospital based in Australia. As the story unfolds, Laurel learns that sometimes in the messy sea of humanity, love simply is.When the US Armed Forces came to Australia, they established their own military bases and hospitals, such as the 118th General Hospital (United States Army) in Riverwood,NSW,the 4th General Hospital(United States Army) in Melbourne.Inns are generally establishments or buildings where travelers can seek lodging, and usually, food and drink. Inns are typically located in the country or along a highway; before the advent of motorized transportation they also provided accommodation for horses.
Inns were like bed and breakfasts, with a community dining room which was also used for town meetings or rented for wedding parties. The front, facing the road, was ornamental and welcoming for travelers. The back also usually had at least one livery barn for travelers to keep their horses. There were no lobbies as in modern inns; rather, the innkeeper would answer the door for each visitor and judge the people whom he decided to accommodate. Many inns were simply large houses that had extra rooms for renting.The original functions of an inn are now usually split among separate establishments.
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