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A Flying Affair by Carla Stewart

A Flying Affair by Carla Stewart
Pub. Date: June 2, 2015
Source: e-ARC via netgalley (Thank you, FaithWords!!)
Summary: Daredevil Mittie Humphreys developed her taste for adventure on horseback, on her family’s prosperous Kentucky horse farm. But her love of horses is surpassed by her passion for the thrill of the skies, especially since the dashing pilot, Ames, first took her up in his plane.

When handsome British aviator Bobby York offers her flying lessons, he is equally surprised—and beguiled—by Mittie’s grit, determination, and talent. Soon, Mittie is competing in cross-country air races, barnstorming, and wing-walking. But when Calista “Peach” Gilson, a charming Southern belle, becomes her rival in both aviation and in love, Mittie must learn to navigate her heart as well as the skies.
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction
Recommended for: Fans of female pilots! Readers who enjoy 1920s histfic.

While the summary isn’t completely off the mark, it certainly builds up A Flying Affair to be more, you know, about flying with a hearty dose of romance thrown in. Okay, sure, that’s not entirely wrong, but it’s not exactly right either.

Having fallen in love with flying, Mittie Humphreys recently had to put her aviation dreams on hold once her father was injured. As the doting daughter (read: the one not getting married) it’s Mittie’s duty to help out on the family’s horse farm and, to be honest, she doesn’t mind lending a hand. She loves the horses, especially her Gypsy, and couldn’t be more proud when they place in races.

That said, her eyes are still on the sky, and when a young pilot from her past appears in Kentucky, Mittie knows fate has intervened. Charming, carefree Ames has his own plane and daredevil troupe and when Mittie expresses an interest in wing-walking (exactly what it sounds like!) Ames is more than willing to show her the ropes.

After an airshow-gone-wrong, Mittie is still determined to learn to fly and it’s another young (and British) pilot Bobby York who offers his expertise and training. Despite her mother’s wishes, Mittie’s heart is in the clouds and she’ll stop at nothing until she has her license and very own plane.

A Flying Affair was definitely a quick and highly entertaining read, but it felt as though there were too many elements the author wanted to throw in: aviation, horse racing, love triangle, sketchy horse trainers bent on sabotaging the Humphreys, marriage troubles. For a novel that’s meant to be about flying there was certainly a lot of time devoted to horses, their care, and racing.

It’s obvious from the get-go how the romance will end but I didn’t mind. That said Mittie doesn’t voice her feelings (or even realize she has them) until the very end of the novel, so there really wasn’t much in the way of romance – which could be a selling point for some folks!

I don’t want to be a Negative Nancy here – I really did enjoy this one, I swear! – but I suppose the minor issues are surfacing. The truly great thing that A Flying Affair did oh-so-right was focus on female friendships. Initially Peach comes across as a nose-in-the-air, I’ll-steal-your-man kind of woman and I inwardly groaned. HOWEVER, she blossomed and her friendship with Mittie was wonderful. Even their rivalry was fun – Peach is a female pilot too. They may be up against each other in the air, but back on the ground they’re able to put that aside. Bravo!

There were moments while reading that I thought there must have been an earlier book – or at the very least a side-story. Certain scenes and conversations felt as though the characters knew something I didn’t but should have and many times I felt out of the loop. All-in-all, however, A Flying Affair was fast-paced and entertaining. Though there was more of a focus on the horse farm than aviation, I still enjoyed this one and loved the cameos by Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart!

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