Historical

In Perfect Time By Sarah Sundin

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Bold, sophisticated, and flirtatious, World War II flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

Excerpt:

For Lt. Kay Jobson, flight nursing meant more than physical care. It meant reconnecting a broken soldier with the shards of his humanity.

Kay assessed her planeload of patients en route from Italy to Tunisia. A restless lot, downhearted. That wouldn’t do.

She headed to the front of the C-47 cargo plane, past six men confined to litters and eleven in seats along the sides of the fuselage. The soldiers had been wounded on the battered beachhead at Anzio or in one of the many bloody failed attempts to take Cassino. “Say, fellows, what do you think about the ’44 baseball season? Starts soon, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, it does.” Seated to her left, Sergeant Logan gave her a don’t-worry-your-pretty-little-head look.

She knelt beside the patient and took his wrist to measure his pulse. What was more fun—showing off what lay inside her pretty little head or shocking people? “Do you think the Cardinals can come back from their World Series loss?”

“Um, sure.” One bushy eyebrow sprang high. “But I’m a Tigers fan myself.”

Kay rolled her eyes. “Hal Newhouser might be a great pitcher, but the Cards have Stan Musial, and he batted .357 last season. Mark my words, they’ll take the whole shebang this year.”

Logan’s mouth opened and closed around nonexistent words.

Kay tapped him under the chin. “I don’t just follow the game, I play it. If I weren’t a nurse, I’d be the star of one of those girls’ teams.”

“Well, I’ll be.”

Swishing her hair over her shoulder, Kay turned to the rest of the patients. “So, boys, who do you like this year?”

Over the roar of the twin engines, the men called out their favorite teams and players and stats, and Kay smiled, her goal accomplished.

She loved everything about this job—the glamour of flight, the challenge of nursing, and the game of lifting spirits. Now she just needed to sweet-talk chief nurse Lt. Cora Lambert into recommending her for the Army Air Forces’ chief nurse training program.

If only she could have an in-flight emergency to highlight her skills.

“Improving morale again?” A deep voice rumbled behind her. Lt. Grant Klein, the pilot of the C-47 and one of her boyfriends.

“Always.” She tilted a smile to him. “Shouldn’t you be flying this bird?”

“Singleton’s got it under control. I wanted to talk.” His name and dark good looks used to remind her of Cary Grant, but a little flight time together had dimmed the resemblance in her eyes.

“I’d love to talk, but I’m busy.”

“Come on. Let Dabrowski finish. Just give me a minute.”

Kay took her time leading Grant to the back of the plane. She straightened her gray-blue service jacket, tucked in loose blankets, and lit a patient’s cigarette since no one required oxygen. Grant’s purpose in this conversation was obvious—and futile.

Sure enough, at the back of the plane, Grant leaned one hand against the fuselage behind Kay. “Are you free tonight?”

“Sorry. I have a date.”

“But I haven’t seen you in forever.”

Kay leveled her gaze at him. “It’s Saturday. We went dancing on Wednesday.”

“It feels like forever.” He coiled a strand of her hair around his finger, strawberry blonde around tan, and he leaned in for a kiss.

Although his kisses were delicious, she planted her hand on his chest. “Not in front of the patients. You know that.”

“I also know I need time with you.”

“Not tonight. It’s Harry’s turn, and he hasn’t seen me in two weeks.”

Grant’s eyes narrowed. “You’d rather go out with a dentist than with me?”

“He’s a swell dancer and a lot of fun.”

“And I’m not?”

Oh brother. She stepped to the side and opened the medical chest to get the meds for the litter patients. “Of course you are, but you know how—”

“Come on, baby. I miss you. I never get much time with you.”

That was the idea. Kay pulled out the aspirin bottle. Maybe she should take a tablet herself. “When we started dating, right up front I told you how it would be. I date five or six fellows at a time. I’m not going to change.”

“I don’t want you to change. You’re perfect. But I don’t want to share you anymore. And I want . . .” He cleared his throat.

She faced him, dread slowing her movement and stealing her speech. This wasn’t the kind of in-flight crisis she wanted.

He coughed into his fist, then gave her a silken gaze. “It’s time we . . . it’s time we got closer.”

Kay’s chest tightened. He’d never been pushy, always a gentleman, but now it was over.

About Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is the author of six historical novels, including In Perfect Time (Revell, August 2014). Her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to tennis and karate, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. You can find her at www.sarahsundin.com.


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