The Invitation, by Jude Deveraux

The InvitationFinished 10-14-11, rating 3.5/5, romance short stories/novellas, 376 pages, pub. 1994

I don’t read many short stories, but I had this one and they all took place in Colorado, so I picked it up.  And the stories were actually perfect for my busy schedule the last few weeks.  I’ve always enjoyed Deveraux’s romances and this was no exception.  I think she tells the story from the man’s point of view extremely well.  Overall, a nice selection of stories.

In The Invitation Jackie is one of only a few women pilots in 1934 and when her husband dies she returns home to fly for the superrich Montgomery’s.  Waiting for her  there is  little Billy Montgomery all grown up and eager to please.  Jackie, a successful woman, cared way too much about what other people thought about the age difference.

Edward didn’t fully understand what he had said to Jackie to offend her.  When his wife had reached forty- an age Jackie was fast approaching she had cried for two days.  She’d said it was the end of youth and that she didn’t want to be middle-aged.  Maybe that was Jackie’s problem. She was refusing to face the fact that she wasn’t a kid anymore. No longer would newspapers write stories about her being the youngest person to do so and so.  Maybe her eyesight was failing, or her reflexes.  Maybe she was seeing the younger pilots doing so well, then seeing her own body aging, and it was making her angry. Aging often made a person angry at first.

Maybe, he thought, she was worried about whether or not she was still attractive to men.

Chapter 8 (As a woman who just hit forty I had a good laugh at this one.  What a great first date this guy was!)

In Matchmakers widower Kane Taggert isn’t looking for a replacement for his late wife and mother of his twin boys, and when he takes four city women on the trails of Colorado he finds hate/hate relationship with mystery writer Cale.  Loved the snarky Cale, but the ending was too ridiculous, even for a romance.

A Perfect Arrangement is set in 1882 where a woman is an old maid at 30.  Wealthy Dorrie proposes a sham marriage to gun-for-hire Cole and even though he’s never had a problem with he ladies, he’s found one in Dorrie.  The chemistry was good and this was my favorite of the three.

This is from my personal library.