A Pair of Wings [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Lorna K. Grant
eBook Category: Romance/Historical Fiction
eBook Description: Colleen Vaughn, a US Army nurse, has experienced the effects of war firsthand. When she's told her fiancee's been killed in action, she vows never to fall in love again. Until she meets a pair of haunting blue eyes and dimples. Only problem is--he's another pilot flying into danger. As a P-51 pilot, Captain Daniel Ryan has one mission: protect the bombers and get back alive. The last thing he needs is to fall in love. Soon he wonders just who is more dangerous--the enemy firing back at him or the woman who fights the love they share.
eBook Publisher: Vinspire Publishing, Published: 2006
Fictionwise Release Date: January 2007
March 1944 London
1 Reader Ratings:
"Ms. Grant paints a wonderful picture of wartime romance, with realistic plotting, likable characters, and just the right balance of hopeful perseverance amid the danger and devastation of war. Lovers of historical romance will enjoy this heart-warming story. 4 Cups!"--CoffeeTime Romance
"A Pair of Wings is a poignant story set against the background of war. The strength of the story lies in the characters and the accuracy of the time period. It is very easy for readers to understand and empathize with the pain and hope the characters feel as they react to the very real devastation of war. A Pair of Wings will leave readers moved by the depth of love and friendship Colleen and Daniel discover, while also serving as a reminder that life and love are never to be taken lightly. 4 Angels!"--Fallen Angel Reviews
"A Pair of Wings is a wonderful book set against WWII that showcases the loyalty and strengths of lovers from the Greatest Generation. It makes me wish for more books from this time period. I can't wait to see what Ms. Grant comes up with next."--Jaycee Clark, Author of Deadly Obsession, Nominee for Romantic Time's Best Small Press Romance 2004
"A Pair of Wings is a wonderfully moving story about the power of love, the value of friendship and the resiliency of the human spirit during desperate times. Set in WWII London, the characters will grab your heart as they face danger and treachery where they least expect it. Keep a stack of hankies close while you read this tender, gripping tale."--Laurie Paige, USA Today Best Selling RITA Finalist
"Hey, Vaughn, hurry up, will ya?"
Colleen lifted her gaze from the crypt's plaque and smiled at her group of friends. All four women wore their "Class A's", and it felt good to get out of their nurse uniforms for a day. The olive-drab color did not flatter any of them; but then again, the Army was not known for its fashion sense. It felt wonderful to put on stockings and pumps, to fix their hair and apply more than just lipstick. In other words, it felt good to be just a woman again. She smiled.
What a group they made. Melanie, the petite Southern Belle from Atlanta, out-shone them all with her white-blonde hair and twinkling blue eyes. Vivian, a Texas native born and bred, garnered many second looks, though no one knew if it was because of her striking red hair and violet eyes, or her nearly six foot tall stature. Ruth called Brooklyn home, and her jet-black hair and moss green eyes gave a softness to her brusque New York City manners. Their backgrounds certainly differed from her own in rural Iowa. Though different in looks and personality, they shared a strong bond. They were sisters in spirit. They were Army nurses.
"Come on, girls! How can we meet tall, dark and handsomes standing in a church?" Ruth asked. "Let's hit some pubs and dance halls, and see what we can find." This was their first three-day pass since they arrived in England several months ago from the field hospital in North Africa, and restlessness skittered along their nerves.
"Ruth! We're in a church! Can't you control your feline instincts for a few hours?" Colleen teased.
"No, I cannot!" Ruth placed her hands on her hips and tapped her foot.
The band of girls laughed at her antics. They counted on Ruth to sniff out the local male "attractions." And London was full of both men and attractions.
Colleen caught the disapproving glare of a clergyman and pulled the giggling nurses out the door.
"Come on, let's go," Ruth said. "One of the medics told me about this dancehall called Muscle Palace."
"Can't we find a bite to eat first, Ruthie?" Melanie asked, her southern drawl whisper soft.
"Yeah, Mel's right. Besides, I'm hungry and want something a whole lot better than Sgt. Kettrick's "mystery-rationed-meat" special." Vivian wiggled her eyebrows. "I heard the Savoy is swank. They have tons of men there, Ruth."
"Oh, all right. The Savoy it is."
The four nurses interlocked arms and headed for the legendary hotel. With gasoline a precious ration, walking was the best transportation. Besides, as the porter at the rail station told them earlier, on foot was the only way to see the town.
Colleen looked around as much as the tugging arms of the other three allowed her. She wanted to take in all of London's sights and sounds. As the war raged on, who knew when they would get another chance like this or what would be left standing in the morning.
Everything passed quickly as Ruth, Vivian and Melanie pulled her along the crowded streets. The sky darkened as day quickly faded. Without streetlights and with all the windows covered per blackout regulations, Colleen was afraid they might get lost in such a large city. But she trusted Ruth's city street smarts to get them around town.
Shadows from damaged buildings fell across their path, and the wreckage from the German bombs became more sinister in dusk's fading light. The once vibrant and proud structures were reduced to scarred, skeletal remains. Gutted dwellings threatened to tumble to the ground at the slightest breeze. Pictures defiantly hung on blackened sidewalls, while the front facades lay scattered near the street.
The sulfuric smell of burnt and decaying buildings lingered in the cool night air, accented by the ever-present scent of death. Boarded-up windows and doors stood as silent testimony to the destruction rained upon the city and its inhabitants by the German Luftwaffe. Yet the ruins of the city stood defiant, as did England herself.
Laughter drifted out from the various doors they passed, the sandbags piled high around the openings. Even the war did not dampen the Brits' spirit for too long. Colleen wondered if Hitler realized he had managed only to strengthen their resolve, not intimidate them.
They headed down the street, passing men and women in various military uniforms. Few civilians seemed to be around. Even the elderly men wore the uniforms of the Home Guard, keeping the home front safe and making certain everyone followed wartime regulations. Colleen noticed disparaging looks cast their way and worried they had broken some unspoken English code for unescorted females, but nothing from their orientation came to mind.
"Hey, Viv, why does everyone keep staring at us?"
"I dunno. Think we should worry?"
"Just ask," Ruth said and shrugged. "If we're doing something wrong, better to find out now."
Melanie nodded. "Ruthie's got a point, y'all."
"Fine, then, Mel." Colleen grinned at her friend. "You ask the next person who looks crossways at us. If anyone can get away with it, you can."