After Hours

Short Story in The Power of Love Anthology

By Toni Blake

Berkley Sensation - June 2008

Contemporary Romance

Twelve authors coming together and providing short stories for an anthology. Twelve short stories of empowered women overcoming obstacles and finding success and love. The Power of Love is an anthology of twelve romances written by some of today's brightest stars in the romance genre showing that sometimes anything is possible, given the power of love.

After two years of unrequited love, Marla Shepherd knew that there would be no chance of a relationship with her boss, and friend, Michael Gates. When a new job opportunity arose five hours away, she accepted. It was the perfect job and she would be doing what she had been trained to do.

Finally working up the nerve to tell Michael, Marla goes to see him. Through some slight misunderstandings, they both admit their love for one another and make love. For Michael, this is a dream come true. He had loved Marla for awhile, and been hesitant to pursue it, after all, he was her boss. But now, Michael knew that with their love, they would be able to overcome that obstacle, and build a life together.

Marla, however, still had to tell him she was leaving.

After Hours was a romance of a boss and secretary, who had become friends, finally admitting their love for one another. The characters were well developed, and I really enjoyed them coming together. I did have some trouble with Marla's, shall we call it, deceit. She also knew Michael had been terribly burned before on a long distance relationship. I think that if it had been reversed, and Michael had done this to Marla, instead of empowered, different adjectives would have been applied.

Included in The Power of Love are: Sweet Dreams by Lori Foster, Unpredictable by Erin McCarthy, After Hours by Toni Blake, Last of the Red-Hot Mammas by Dianne Castell, Salesman of the Year by Karen Kelley, Dance the Fandango by Rosemary Laurey, The Girl Next Door by Janice Maynard, Chicken Soup for Annie by LuAnn McLane, No Angel by Lucy Monroe, Angel in the Alley by Patricia Sargeant, Hannah's Choice by Kay Stockham and The Mouse Who Roared by J. C. Wilder.

Kathy Andrico -