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Sweetest in the Gale

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Sweetest in the Gale (2020) Olivia Dade (There’s Something About Marysburg)

Sweetest in the GaleThis is actually three novellas, all set in the town of Marysburg: “Sweetest in the Gale”, “Unraveled”, “Cover Me”

“Sweetest in the Gale”

Griff Conover has worked with Candy Albright since moving to Marysville, and he’s always had his eye on her. But his grief at losing his wife kept him from truly being interested, no matter how much about her he liked.

But as the new year starts, something is terribly wrong with Candy.

He’d seen that particular greyness before. In the mirror, three years ago.

Yes, this story deal with grief. Candy having suffered her own loss, and Griff deciding if he is ready to move on with his life.

Why couldn’t he seem to feel the same about his own fracture, his own pain? Why couldn’t he greet his own healing with uncomplicated relief?

It’s a heavy topic, but she does a lovely job with it.

Did he intend to wait until he no longer feared another loss?

If so, he’d never move on. Never fall in love again.

“Unraveled” was in the anthology He’s Come Undone which I read last year, so I didn’t reread the story here.

“Cover Me” is the shortest story, and is the only one that doesn’t involve the faculty of Marysville High School.

Elizabeth Stone is worried.

Terrified, really.

“In the shower last month, I found a—” She faltered, then made herself finish. “I found a lump along the side. Toward the middle. You can’t see it, but it’s pretty easy to feel. I think it’s a cyst, since I tend to get those, but I don’t know. It doesn’t hurt.”

Since Elizabeth was taking advantage of a program offering free mammograms to uninsured Marysburg residents, Cailyn likely understood the situation without further explanation. At the very least, she didn’t ask any more questions.

Having gone through the process myself, if gives a very accurate description of an ultrasound breast biopsy. Which isn’t something I expected to read in a romance story, but I appreciated it nevertheless, since it’s something lots of women have to go through, and can be terrifying.

Yes, this story talks about breast cancer and the gawdawful mess that is the American health care system.

I’m not innocent. I’m a flawed human being, and I’ve made some bad decisions. Does that mean I no longer have value to you or to our society? Does being fat and a former smoker mean I deserve to d—”

Luckily, along with the side of rage served up about the health care system, the story is also a lovely friends-to-lovers, marriage of convenience story.

The stories were very good, but–as noted–they were quite heavy, and might not be right for a lot of people unless your head is in the right place.

Publisher: Hussies & Harpies Press
Rating: 8/10




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