Andy's Gift

Sandra Sookoo
Andy's Gift
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Desert Breeze Publishing
Release Date
November 2013
Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy

Devastated after her fiancé dies in Iraq, Claudia Foster packs up her life and moves to the city of Indianapolis. She wants to lose herself in the noise, sights and sounds of a place so foreign from her upbringing that she'll forget her guilt surrounding Andy's death. But fate has other plans.

Daniel Sorenson has put all thoughts of his brother Andy's death from his mind just to get through the day yet running into Claudia again stirs up all the hidden feelings he has struggled so hard to hide. How can you love the girl who was supposed to marry your dead brother?

As the two share their grief, they also share something deeper: laughter. But is it enough? As they bond over a pre-Christmas prank, memories, secrets and postponed love come to the forefront, forcing them both to work through them and accept one last thing: Andy's gift.

Book Review by Angie Just Read... (reviewer)
Dec 11, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
96 people found the following review helpful
The inexperience of youth once made them both too hesitant to declare their true feelings to one another. As adults, a tragic twist of fate may give them a second chance.

Claudia Foster was so guilt-ridden after her soldier fiancé Andy was killed by a roadside bomb that she moved away from her hometown in an attempt to escape her conscience and the awful lie she'd been living for years. She'd never been in love with Andy and had only accepted his proposal because she'd hoped to gain the attention of the man she really loved--Andy's older brother, Daniel Sorenson. Yet, soon after she and Andy had announced their engagement, Daniel had left town and never looked back.

Now, six months after Andy's death, Claudia has come to realize that mature insight and a new teaching job in Indianapolis hasn't changed anything; Andy deserved better than a woman like her who'd never committed to him with her whole heart. Her self-inflicted pain was eating her up inside.

A man never forgets his first love, but corporate tax attorney Daniel Sorenson had certainly tried. He'd moved to Indianapolis after college and distanced himself from his younger brother Andy and Andy's fiancée Claudia. Coveting his brother's intended wasn't something he was proud of, and the resentment he felt towards Andy still remained months after his brother's death in a combat zone.

Unexpectedly running into Claudia at a gathering at The Soldiers and Sailors Monument brought all those tamped down feelings of angst to the forefront. Daniel had never even attempted to be there for Claudia after Andy's funeral, and his deep-seated guilt recognized hers for what it was. So, Daniel finally made a decision; he'd be there for Claudia here and now if she'd only let him.

Sandra Sookoo has penned a moving tale of friendship and hidden teenage yearnings that became the impetus for adult misunderstandings, jealously, pain, remorse and regret. Old feelings still silently endure, but guilt holds this couple back until an unexpected gift from the man who once stood between them provides an opportunity for forgiveness, acceptance, and happiness.

Ms. Sookoo emotionally engages the reader with a skilled use of shared memories, misguided perspectives, and mature acknowledgement of youthful mistakes. At 65 pages, ANDY'S GIFT is definitely a pleasing and poignant novella that will likely remain with you long after the tale is read.
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