Read an excerpt from the contemporary romance Winds of Change by @MetcalfeMary


Winds of Change

Look to the Future

By Mary Metcalfe

Cover links to Amazon


Boston social worker Jennifer Barrett is re-building her life after losing her husband and daughter in a plane crash. She helps young client Mark Powell find work at the senior's residence where her father lives. After learning Mark hasn't seen his father, an internationally-known broadcast journalist, in over four years she can't understand how a father could abandon his only son to chase war stories.

When Jennifer meets Ben Powell, she isn't prepared to like him, despite his charm and affable manner. However, when he reveals he's been battling post-traumatic stress disorder, she realizes he didn't want to bring his demons home to Mark, who has battled depression. As Jennifer gets to know Ben, she realizes there is room in her heart for laughter and new love. Lana Fitzpatrick, a close friend of Jennifer's and a nurse who helps care for her father, is a widow. She is raising son Danny alone.

As Lana gets to know Mark Powell and sees him bonding with Danny, she finds her heart blossoming with love. As new family bonds form, all discover the power of friendship and love to overcome loss and face life with renewed hope.


Jennifer Barrett was almost sprinting down the long hallway when she heard her name being called out.

“Jennifer. Hold up a second.”

She was so focused on getting to her father’s room she found it difficult to slow down. Her pulse was racing as she slowed her steps and finally turned around.

“I’m pretty sure your dad is okay.” A petite young nurse caught up to her. “Dr. Anderson is checking him over now.”

“Hi Lana. Got here as fast as I could.” She willed her breathing and heart rate to slow down as she absorbed the news. “What happened this time?”

“It looks like he went back to his room after breakfast and tripped. He went down between the bed and the window. Sprained his wrist as he tried to break the fall.” Lana Fitzpatrick looked up into Jennifer’s worried face. “He refuses to use a walker. We’ve all been concerned this might happen.”

“The nurse who called was talking about calling an ambulance. The traffic was so sluggish. It took me forever to get here.”

“Judging by his complaining, I’d say he’s fine. He really hates anyone fussing over him.”

“My father is such a curmudgeon.” Jennifer was feeling more reassured. She smiled and sighed. “I don’t know how my mother put up with him for over fifty years. It’s only gotten worse with the Alzheimer’s. He gets frustrated so easily.”

“Dr. Anderson’ll page me when it’s clear for you to come up. I examined him. There are no broken bones as far as I could tell but his right wrist will be sore for awhile. He’s got a nasty gash on his right temple, which I sutured.” Lana was the charge nurse for Art Severn’s floor.

Jennifer patted down some silver hairs that were beginning to salt her auburn bob. The movement helped her loosen up, if only slightly. “I can’t help it. I won’t be able to relax until I see him for myself.”

“Won’t be long. I expect a page in a few minutes. I brought Danny with me today. He has a dentist appointment after lunch. Let’s check up on him while we’re waiting.” Lana guided Jennifer along the brightly lit hall towards a sun-drenched solarium.

As they walked arm in arm along the long corridor, Jennifer smiled at residents she recognized and said hello.

“I remember the day he moved in permanently. He was so confused and upset. He couldn’t really remember you or Brentwood from his respite stays.” Jennifer waved to an elderly resident in a wheelchair. “He demanded I take him home. It almost broke my heart to have to tell him no.”

“He wanted to go back home in no uncertain terms. I haven’t been lectured like that since nursing school and never as sternly.” Lana chuckled at the memory.

“You managed to calm him down and stop threatening to leave. I was impressed.” Jennifer remembered being surprised the young nurse had handled her father so adroitly. She was young enough to be his granddaughter.

“I overpowered him with sweetness and charm.” Lana’s slight Irish lilt carried the humor in her voice. “He just couldn’t resist the Fitzpatrick magic. But really, I think it was when we took him out to the gardens. As soon as he started to talk gardening with Fred, I knew he’d be fine.”

“I wasn’t so sure. I had to really cajole him into going for that ride. Told him we were going to visit the place with the pretty gardens. But he’d seen me put the suitcases in the trunk. Somehow he knew he wouldn’t be going back home.”

“You didn’t have a choice.”

“I know.” Jennifer shook her head slowly. “I think every child wants their parents to live forever and be strong and healthy.”

“Doesn’t work that way. It’s called life.”

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