Ride the Churning, Restless Rapids of a Second Chance at Love
What a rich and deep adult contemporary romance!
Kaye is in her late twenties and still in...moreRide the Churning, Restless Rapids of a Second Chance at Love
What a rich and deep adult contemporary romance!
Kaye is in her late twenties and still in love with her childhood friend / ex-husband Samuel (even though it's hard for "stubborn as super glue" Kaye to admit she still holds the candle for him). Kaye is an extreme sports enthusiast, and she and her friend run a PR firm in Colorado. Meanwhile, since the divorce, Samuel has shot up the bestseller charts as a famous author.
Samuel comes from a boisterous Hispanic family, and his sister Danita is about to get married. Naturally, Kaye is Danita's maid of honor, and naturally, Samuel will be in town for the big wedding. Though Kaye and Samuel divorced six years ago, is it possible for them to rekindle a beautiful childhood love?
Kaye is quite a quirky character, and I wonder if the author is equally quirky. There's also much sadness to the story about two broken people trying to mend themselves and each other.
I am so not a fantasy fan and at first I had trouble getting into the snippets from Samuel's wildly successful fantasy series Water Sirens. But when Samuel explains why he wanted to write faerie tales for his little "firecracker" Kaye (cutest nickname ever), I fell for the fantasy completely.
Having finished his fantasy series, Samuel moves on to writing a memoir of his childhood love of Kaye, and excerpts from this story alternate with present events. It makes for interesting reading.
There are some humorous moments in the story, like the time Kaye's attorney pretends to be her lesbian lover in order to make Samuel jealous, as well as:
The morning had been spent calmly arguing over the phone with a ski rental client about why "Going down with you since 1973" was not a family-oriented business slogan.
When we exited the theater after seeing Titanic, Hector shouted, "Hurry up, Kaye! There's only enough cars in the parking lot for half of us!"
Kaye describing a spat between Samuel and his posh editor Caroline: There was tension in Versaceville
The characters develop in a gradual, satisfying way. Both Kaye and Samuel were young when they married, and have made plenty mistakes. Samuel comes from a troubled background that makes you want to hug him.
"I don't need your pity," he said gently, firmly. "I'm a grown man, Kaye -- not that little boy anymore."
"But it doesn't mean I can't feel pain for that little boy. Or that I love him any less," I quietly added.
I like when Kaye says:
"Samuel, you have to get it into your head that when you shield people -- me, Danita -- from the big, bad world, you cause more harm than good."
This was a touching story and I'm excited there will be a sequel titled Skygods.(less)
How does a woman move on after the death of her husband? Having two adorable sons and supportive parents helps. But what really...moreFixated on This Story!
How does a woman move on after the death of her husband? Having two adorable sons and supportive parents helps. But what really does the trick is falling in love with a humble movie star who needs some fixing of his own.
So goes the romance of Kelly and Andrew, who meet when Kelly breaks down sobbing on a run. Andrew's in town for a film shoot, and he feels sad to learn it's the two year anniversary of Kelly's husband's death. They gradually get to know each other. Can a famous actor and a down-to-earth widow make this long distance relationship work? It'll be tough, given Kelly's lovable neuroticism, Andrew's shady past, and initial exchanges like this:
He fishes his cell phone and sunglasses out of the car. "Can I get your number?" "You don't want my number." "Yes, I do." "No, you don't." Seriously, is he kidding? "Do too." He shakes his head. "This is insane. Why not?" "Look at you. Come on." He stares at me with those very blue eyes. "Don't be ridiculous. Give me your number."
I loved the unique setting of Boise (said with an "s", not a "z"!) and the realistic characters. But what I loved most of all was the humor. MAJOR props for the mention of that Saturday Night Live skit "Master Thespian!" As well as these quotes:
Starting the first day I get little texts each day: "Development meeting in 90210. Lady across from me has taken 'bee stung' lips to a horrifying new level."
"You'll fly down here. A quick visit. Now go, make the phone calls. Make it so." "I will see what I can do, Jean-Luc Picard. You're a huge nerd." "You're the one who knows the name of the captain."
The salesgirl is done giving me the up and down. "Size six is the largest we go." "I'm sorry, I missed it. Did the sign above the door say Big Heads on a Toothpick R Us?"
If my life were a movie this'd be the part where the montage begins. You know, they'd play a kicky song like "Walking on Sunshine," and there'd be shots of Andrew and me getting ice cream, riding bicycles through the park, playfully doing lots of things as a happy couple.
Ha ha ha!
The only part of the story I didn't eat up was when Kelly reveals something about her deceased husband Peter toward the end of the novel. That part of the story didn't quite seem to fit as essential, unless I'm missing something.
Kelly and Andrew admire Ernest Hemingway, and it appears author Beck Anderson does as well, evidenced by her short sentences and overall clean writing.
Spend some time with Kelly and Andrew and you'll enjoy them as much as I do!(less)
Nicki Elson, author of the fun and flirty college romp Three Daves, heads in a different direction for this adult spiritual romance....moreDeep and Affirming
Nicki Elson, author of the fun and flirty college romp Three Daves, heads in a different direction for this adult spiritual romance. I loved the realistic characters, the suspense, and the deep questions this novel provokes.
Maggie Brock is reeling after her husband Carl divorced her. Together they have a daughter Kirsten and a son Liam, and Maggie has to figure out how to proceed as a single mother. She takes a job as administrative assistant at her Catholic church, and tries to tolerate Carl's new girlfriend establishing a relationship with her children.
Nightly dreams of an angel visiting her bedroom intrigue her, until she awakes one night and realizes this male angel is real. Quiet, lean, and handsome, he invites Maggie to give him a name: Evan. It's not clear why God sent Evan to protect Maggie, but it is clear she is in some sort of danger. Eek!
Complicating matters is the arrival of a prissy, suspicious priest to oversee the workings of the church, aka the Monsignor. Maggie gets bad vibes from him. Is he the malevolent force Evan is supposed to thwart? When Maggie runs into the monsignor and he questions her, she keeps Evan secret.
For all she knew, the monsignor would attempt to incarcerate Evan E.T. style to study him.
Ha! Maggie struggles with her attraction to Evan, knowing God would disapprove of her getting it on with one of His angels. I have a little crush on Evan too, I must admit. Poor Maggie!
Evan provides this heavenly advice: "Stop trying to control what you feel and just feel it. Trust."
Meanwhile, ex-husband Carl woos Maggie back into bed. I wonder how common it is for divorced couples to sneak sex again? That happened in a recent read Blue Shoe but I enjoyed Divine Temptation far more than Blue Shoe. Maggie and Carl's sexy reunion leads her to think that maybe they can make it work again, until Carl bursts her bubble. Their ensuing argument is painful to read:
"You know what?" Maggie fumed. "Thank you, Carl. Thank you for reminding me of all the reasons we didn't work. You're absolutely right---we're so much better apart. Because you never ever did anything wrong. Ever. I t was just mean old Maggie telling you things were wrong. I just made it up in my crazy, little mind, but really, you were perfect in every way."
I love the shades of grey in the characters. Maggie's no saint--she's just trying to do her best--which makes her imminently likable. I'm impressed how Evan comes across as both sweet and powerful, matching my view of divinity. Kirsten is a whiny pre-teen who pushes the limits like a teenager but needs those limits like a child, and Liam adores video games like Mario Bros. Maggie's friend Sharon is direct and funny. Even Father Tom and the Monsignor have their obvious faults.
The plot twists and turns, leading to a creepy showdown between good and evil. This is one of my favorite quotes from the story:
"You might not believe in the devil, but do you believe evil lurks in this world?"
Wow, that gets to me. I view God as a loving force, and at times I question the presence of hell and the devil. But I have witnessed evil in this world--no question.
You can tell how much this angel story affected me. I encourage you to let Maggie and Evan into your heart as well!(less)