Loving Nick (Chance Encounters)


It's 1976 and an unexpected encounter brings Nick Vitale face-to-face with Karen Dombrowski, the only woman he has ever loved. Eight years earlier, Karen and Nick eloped and a few months later, Nick volunteered for Vietnam. In December 1967, he shipped out. While there, he received his divorce papers, which he never signed, and soon after, he lost his legs. Since then he has moved on in his life, learning to be the man he was meant to be. Meeting Karen again forces Nick to recognize the feelings he still has for her. On Karen's part, she has to deal with her actions in initiating the divorce as well as tell Nick the secret that she has kept all these years. She is not the same young woman she was, but she has also never stopped loving Nick. A trip to Maine for Christmas will give them both a second chance in a season where miracles happen.

“Loving Nick” is a sweet, touching romance set against the backdrop of post-Vietnam America. Themes such as second chances and forgiveness elicit a range of emotions. Additionally, the author handles the disability of the hero with sensitivity. However, the story could have been smoother and less confusing if the POV hadn't gone from first person to first person for both characters and instead had used third person all the way through. Furthermore, several errors took away from the reading experience. Nonetheless, for a heartwarming story set in the Christmas season, "Loving Nick" has all the right ingredients.  

Tricia Hill