Williams, Denise. Love and Other Flight Delays. Berkley, 2023. 432 pp. ISBN 9780593441077 $18.99
This group of three interconnected stories set at an airport had good intentions, but I had trouble keeping the characters and their timelines straight. Chapters alternate male/female points of view.
In “The Love Connection,” risk assessor and romance novelist Bennett falls for the business manager of a pet grooming business near the gate he always flies into in Atlanta. She’s unsure she wants to have a long distance relationship and they have witty banter and a series of compelling dates on his layovers.
In “The Missed Connection,” a weather delay sends Ben’s best friend Gia, chemist, to the airport bar on New Year’s Eve where she asks a cute stranger to pose as her husband to gain herself a seat. By midnight, they’re dancing and kissing. Fast forward three months, and Felix turns out to be A.F. Ennings, the new colleague joining her work team–the one she dislikes through their correspondence. When they get sent as ambassadors together to tour multiple universities, the forced proximity brings some grudging respect and rekindles their mutual admiration.
In “The Sweetest Connection,” best friends Silas and Teagan both work at the airport; he in and she at an upscale chocolate boutique. They’ve been in love with one another for years but haven’t taken the leap. Silas hasn’t told Teagan yet that he’s broken up with his long term girlfriend. Teagan’s about to leave for a semester abroad in France, and has discovered a traveler’s pro/con list on whether to make feelings known and make the leap from friends to lovers. It never occurs to her it might be Silas’s–but she engages his help in trying to solve the mystery, convinced it must belong to a friend, co-worker, or regular traveler. This was my favorite story. Their story moves back and forth in time, and then crosses paths with the other stories.
Elements of the story reminded me of Love, Actually. I did have to pay close attention to how everyone was interconnected. The plotting and pacing are excellent, and if anything, I wanted longer stories about each set of characters, and could see peripheral characters getting their own spinoff.
I received a free advance reader’s review copy of #LoveAndOtherFlightDelays from #NetGalley.