Air Ticket by Susan Barrie 1974 *****
This is a really sweet little book. Shorter than most HM&B books it is still quite a satisfying read. Caro has just married off her only daughter very successfully and is facing life alone. Her brief, youthful marriage to a submariner left her largely untouched emotionally. The sixteen years since his death have been ones of struggle to make a living as a portrait artist in miniatures. Now she is quite successful but feeling rather lost. A suggestion by her cleaner sends Caro off on a journey to Switzerland and she meets Dr Lucien Andreas on the flight to Zurich.
She ends up in the scenic mountain region of Oberlaken where Dr Andreas has his practice and runs a clinic for children. Thrown together by an accident their romance is swift and overwhelming for Caro. Especially when she learns of Lucien's tragic first love from the lips of a woman claiming to be Lucien's good friend.
This is a very enjoyable story of the challenges facing a very nice couple as they embark on a second marriage for both of them. The mistakes they make and the things that come between them are realistic and quite moving at times. Both characters are endearing and the HEA very satisfying.
Meeting in Madrid by Jean S. MacLeod 1979 ****
This is a fairly typical romance set in Spain. The English heroine, Catherine Royce is to be the tutor to a
Spanish teenager for twelve months.
The romantic lead is Don Jaime de Berceo Madroza. Cathy almost immediately compares him to the tall lean and very hard Conquistadors of Spain's violent past. Don Jaime is the uncle and guardian of her pupil Teresa. He is a man who has little interest in women after a betrayal in his youth.
In any case, his sister-in-law Lucia, the step-mother of Teresa, has already staked her claim. Having lost her first husband, Don Jaime's older brother, she is keen to establish her authority over the family property by marrying his brother. It is Lucia who causes most heartburnings for our heroine as she begins to fall in love with Don Jaime.
In spite of the rather familiar story line, this is a pleasant read with a suitably alpha hero. The ending had a nice touch of drama to help the climax and lead to the HEA.