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96 Hours - Sapphic Romance Before It Was Cool

I recently re-read Georgia Beers' 2011 sapphic contemporary romance, 96 Hours, and it was just as emotional reading it for the sixth time as it was the first. These days we get new sapphic romance books dropping every other day, but this gem came out when looking for a GOOD lesbian romance was about as easy as finding Waldo after 5 Negroni Sbagliatos with a little Prosecco in it.

For those of us old enough to remember the fall of the twin towers, this book hits different. The romance was second to the heartwarming story of community and comradery in the midst of tragedy.

On September 11, 2001, the small Canadian town of Gander, with a population of less than a thousand, found itself host to over seven thousand strangers when American airspace shut down.

This story starts on one of the planes that was diverted to Gander and follows the experiences of the passengers who found themselves stranded in the goose shaped town (seriously, that's how it got its name). Now, this is a romance, and the main plot is about the free-spirited Abby Hayes, and the very buttoned-up Erika Ryan finding comfort in each other's arms (or bed) during this crazy time.

The true MVPs of the story are the residents of Gander. The community comes together to support the thousands of people stuck in their town. High schools and community centers are stacked with cots, tables are covered with landline phones for people to contact home (this is before everyone had cell phones), and walls are lined with TV's continuously playing the news. All of this feels so real, and Beers does a great job of evoking emotions from that time.

The first time I read the book, it was hard to get through the initial scenes of the "plane people" (as they are called in the story) learning of the events in New York City. We meet parents whose children worked in the North tower, and children whose parents' normal commutes cross the Twin Towers. I'm reminded of all the posters of missing people after the towers fell, and all those who were lost during the rescue.

This book is everything I look for in a good romance. Not only do we get a sweet love story, we get deep characters, a plot highlighting the complexity of mankind, and a reminder that in the darkest of times, there are people who will be there to bring us light.

Beers has a large collection of books, and if you are looking for some lighter reads with equally deep characters and a good story, check out some of these. Happy reading!

Too Close to Touch is a "Forbidden Love" story between Kylie O'Brien, an executive assistant, and her boss Gretchen Kaiser.

Blend is an "Enemies to Lovers" story about the manager of a small winery, who loves the business, and the woman who will soon inherit the company.



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