Carrie Lahain's Reviews > From Florida With Love: Sunrise & Stormy Skies

From Florida With Love by Sarah Andre
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it was amazing

An anthology of romantic short fiction set in Florida that shows how true love can weather any storm.

I'm a little hesitant when it comes to short format romance fiction. Building a believable relationship with all the requisite character development, conflict, and satisfying resolution in a mere three, five, or even seven thousand words isn't easy. The stories in this collection all manage to rise to the challenge in delightful and decidedly non-formulaic ways.

The standard trope of young, female heroine is turned on its head in "Land of the Fountain of Old" when an ornery old man decides to take on a hurricane single-handed. "The Last Ride" gives readers lots of emotional honesty and a peek at the world of rodeo as a rancher's son struggles to rebuild his broken relationship with his father before it's too late. The beautifully surreal "She Tasted Salt" features a female heroine, but she's like none you've encountered before, a homeless and perhaps mentally ill woman with an otherworldly destiny.

If, like I do, you appreciate deep characters facing sharp internal conflict, Kerryn Reid's "Butterfly in a Hurricane" will keep you turning the pages. For Lydia, a young woman with Asperger's Syndrome, it's a battle to build any sort of in-person relationship. This presents a major problem when the police officer who pulls her over for speeding decides she's someone he wants to get to know. Reid gives this pair the kind of psychological complexity that makes for rich interaction and genuine tension. This one had me biting my nails. There were times that I really worried whether things would work out.

"Charley the Hurricane" is another story where a strong character and well-crafted plot suck you into the fictional world. A teacher ambivalent about following her husband to Florida finds herself in the eye of a hurricane--literally--when a dangerous storm bears down on her school. In "Love and Faith in a Hurricane," devout Ashley wonders whether the storm that threatens her home and her livelihood might not offer a hidden blessing when National Guardsman Jacob Lutz comes to her rescue. On the other hand, weather isn't the problem for justice-minded Jessie in "Alone." She's after the predator who hurt her little sister, but bringing him down might mean the end of everything for her and for Lars, the friend she's been in love with since childhood.

Another thing I really enjoyed about FROM FLORIDA WITH LOVE is the emotional range of the stories. A brand new firefighter can't get past the pain of failing to save his very first victim in "The Crossroads." On the lighter side, there's "Fast Lane Court Order." Buttoned-up lawyer Keira Doyle faces legal trouble of her own when a friendly judge hands down a court order--enjoy yourself or else! "The Kaine Mutiny" had me laughing out loud. It's probably my favorite story in the whole anthology. A professional matchmaker has no idea where her dedication to client satisfaction will take her when goes out of her way to help a desperate, and really attractive, doctor find true love.

All in all, an excellent collection. I've never been to Florida, but I had a great time visiting via FROM FLORIDA WITH LOVE.
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Reading Progress

August 22, 2016 – Started Reading
August 22, 2016 – Shelved
August 22, 2016 –
91.0% "Nice variety of stories all set and Florida and somehow related to hurricanes/storms."
August 22, 2016 – Finished Reading

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