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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Long Haul to Forever by Judy Ballard

Long Haul to Forever by Judy Ballard
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (68 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Fennel

Widow Geneva Comstock is driven to achieve her deceased husband’s dream of independently owning their own tractor-trailer outfit. She is a rigid, play-by-the-rules kind of gal who doesn’t believe in serendipity, coincidence or signs for the future.

Divorced Dexter Schumann is a company man with over three decades in the driver’s seat. He’s looking forward to retiring alone to his hand built log cabin in Arizona with a hefty 401K .

What are the chances a stray tarot card found in an unlikely place can bring these two lonely people together? The Temperance card becomes a guardian angel for Geneva beginning at the instant of discovery. Dexter is drawn in by an irreversible force he doesn’t want to resist. Yet there are serious roadblocks in their path—geography specifically. Is Lady Temperance have powerful enough to find a way?

A good book contains the unusual and makes it seem normal, and Ms. Ballard does just that in Long Haul to Forever. (I hasten to add, here in the UK, female truckers are not common.)

In the first couple of paragraphs we learn Geneva Comstock is strong on character, short on money in the bank and has a canine, rather than human, companion. As the story unfolds we discover the reasons behind these factors and why Ms. Ballard’s heroine has opted for independence over romance.

Dexter Schuman, “Call me Dex”, is a loveable, dependable hero, and has his work cut out to change Geneva’s mind. Add in a touch of the paranormal – in the shape of a tarot card and you have a charming, fully-formed story in sixty-eight pages.

To the recipe of charm, love, conflicts and pages packed with emotion; Ms. Ballard then adds a ‘twister’ of an ending.

Long Haul to Forever may be short, it may be sweet, but it is definitely a story worth curling up in front of the fire with, on a dark winter’s night.