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A historical fiction novel set in the years as WWII is winding down.
It is 1945 and Rose Calamia, a first-generation Italian American joins the work force at an aircraft plant in Burbank, California. There she meets Iowa farm boy, Jack Conner. Jack has recently been discharged from the Army and is still licking his wounds from an all to familiar war-time casualty- a Dear John letter followed by divorce. When their love affair leads to a wedding and a move to Jack's home community in rural Iowa, Rose is totally unprepared for the life that awaits her.
Ever the shelterd daughter and sister in a family steepedin old world traditions, Rose is exposed to Jack's world which is the polar oppositie. Living with her in-laws for the first few months of marriage, Rose is homesick and unsure of her hasty decision to move back to the Midwest with her husband of three months. On top of all the other adjustments (no modern conveniences like electric and indoor plumbing) Rose harbors a secret.
Rose pulled Jack down the steps and started to run, laughing and twirling, coaxing him to follow. The fragrant spring air and moonlight had an intoxicating effect on her. He caught up easily, his long strides making two of hers. As he grabbed her hand, she stumbled and fell, bringing Jack down with her, both laughing as they tumbled to the ground near a lovely willow tree. They lay under the tree for awhile, away from the farm house and its lights. Rose noticed how cozy it all looked, lanterns softly glowing through lace curtains. If only the people inside were as inviting, she thought.
The moon cast a silvery glow on her face. “You look so pretty in the moonlight,” Jack said, tracing her face with a finger as he positioned himself above her. His simple way of expressing things was one of the things Rose found most endearing about Jack. He pulled her arms above her head and held them there, kissing her neck and whispering endearments that young lovers do, melting her heart in the process.
His hands cupped her breasts, and she smiled.
“Would you like a midnight picnic?” Rose teased.
“What’s on the menu?”
“A little of this…a little of that…and, lots of dessert!”
She giggled, and he pressed his face to the side of her neck, noting how her pulse quickened as he did so. “I love you Rose,” he whispered. “I’d almost given up on bein’ happy again.”