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Monday Puzzler > Monday Puzzler for June 3: Love Isn't Enough--Or Is It?

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message 1: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
One of the reasons I love romance fiction is that even though a story has its black moment(s) where the power of love to resolve the problems seems in doubt, ultimately, love triumphs.

Heroine hung her head and stared into her cooled cup, where a few flecks of tea leaf clung to its side. She’d written to him once, just a brief note to inform him that he wouldn’t become a father anytime soon. She hadn’t been able to write anything beyond that bare statement of fact, not even to ask the questions that kept her up nights. What did he do with his leave time in liberated France? Had he found a new girl to dance with? He wouldn’t have considered it had Heroine accepted his ring. That knowledge filled her with guilt like a festering boil. Guilt. Regret. And a terrible longing.

She’d thought Hero unfair in making her choose. But there it was. Her choice was flying. She had no claim to him now, and neither of them had reaffirmed their pledges of fidelity. Yet her old ambitions had become so muddled. She still wanted both, but with him back in danger on the front lines, she yearned to take it all back— their fight, her pride.

Hugging her elbows, hunched in on herself, Heroine had never been so uncertain. A hundred times a day she’d wanted to tell him what a mistake she’d made.

I love you, Hero, she imagined writing once more.

But then what?

The picture after that was as blank as a city under blackout. Was she really so incapable of imagining a happy life with him? She used to think that the war limited her ability to create such a picture. After all, until very recently, she’d held out little hope of actually surviving the beastly thing. German victory had seemed so very near while London burned. Curled in her grimy little bunk in Aldwych, she’d expected the roof to collapse with every shuddering bomb blast.

Then, once she had survived, flying had once again become her obsession. It remained her lifeline out of a mire of heartbreak.

Now the tide might be turning. Morale was an unlimited ceiling on a sunny day. Not tomorrow, and maybe not even by Christmas, but peace would come.

If she couldn’t imagine a future with Hero under such buoyant circumstances, then perhaps their notions of happiness were simply too divergent. She couldn’t give up her purpose and pride, not even for Hero.

And he wanted the kind of wife who . . .

She blinked. She sat up. What kind of wife did he want? He’d never mentioned dreams for the future, as if that part of him had been crippled by prison, combat, and the loss of his family. Surely he had a few rattling around in that wounded heart of his. She’d only assumed the rigors of combat would forge his conventional bent into steel. He would yearn for peacetime with a traditional wife at his side. He had said as much in London.

But the weeks since had tempered her stalwart resistance to change. How had they affected Hero? Was there any room in his heart for compromise, as she’d begun to find in hers?

After downing the cold tea with a grimace, Heroine searched the hangar until she found a sheet of paper and a pencil. She sat cross-legged in a quiet corner. Looking at the yellowed sheet, she nodded once as if giving herself permission.

The future. Hope was becoming easier to find . . .

message 2: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2045 comments Mod
I haven't read this but it sounds great.

message 3: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 889 comments One of my favorites from last year. Excellent choice, Janga!

message 4: by Okie (new)

Okie (okieb) | 2015 comments Mod
I haven't read this one.

message 5: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1867 comments Mod
I have a good guess!

Aly is so frigging bored | 836 comments Mod
I don't think I know this.

message 7: by Monica (new)

Monica | 548 comments Mod
I don't know it either, but it sounds good!

message 8: by Janga (last edited Jun 04, 2013 07:56PM) (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
The puzzler is from His Very Own Girl by Carrie Lofty. Like Irish, I list this one among my favorite reads of 2012.

message 9: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1867 comments Mod
I guessed it, though I haven't read it yet. Which I need to remedy!

message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 965 comments Oooh, I had no idea! Sounds like a great read.

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