Book Cover of Lynn Galli's "Blessed Twice"Wounded hearts are on the mend in this sweet romance.

There are those times when I want to have my comfort food, my comfortable seat and most certainly a comfort read. The holidays are one of the times I want to curl up in front of the open fire and lose myself in a well-written romance. One of the books for those special occasions is Lynn Galli’s well-worn copy of Blessed Twice which I have re-read countless times up to the point where I can quote some of the dialogue by heart.

Professor Briony Gatewood has moved to Virginia with her orphaned son, Caleb after she lost her wife and partner in a tragic accident. She is on the cusp between still mourning the past and wanting to move on. In fact, her friends are urging her to date again which leads to some pokes at the finer points of lesbian dating. At work, it falls upon her to build up a new program and this is how she meets Professor M Desiderius. The first name of M is what she is all about: a brilliant teacher but as a person an enigma with no social interaction beyond the call of work. Shy, vulnerable, with a core of steel and a history. When those wounded souls meet a tender, slow-paced dance begins and of course, there are young, engaging Caleb and his friend Hank who vie rather endearingly for attention.

Though both main characters are deeply wounded, this read is by no means bleak. Lynn Galli has the gift to write about attraction, the tentative building of new relationships and the blossoming of love despite the baggage of Briony and M. There is the lovely bantering about M’s name, the vivacious Caleb, there are friends, colleagues and students surrounding them. Lynn Galli has infused the whole book with a tenderness that leads to a well-paced exploration of the possibilities of loving and loving again. This is not about hot sex, but about intimacy and trust. It is about LOVE in those big letters.

Blessed Twice is a comfort read. Though it touches on abuse it is by no means a textbook for recovering. It is first and foremost a love story which of course lets us believe that love can conquer all, heal all and wonderfully so. The story flows easily, Lynn Galli writes great dialogue and light-handedly infuses the story with humour at appropriate moments. The book is well-edited and a joy to read.

Blessed Twice can be read as a stand-alone romance but is part of the stories about the Virginia clan – more comfort reads if that is what you are looking for.