KarenH's Reviews > One True Love

One True Love by Barbara Freethy
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Straight up...this book deals with the death of a child; and, although it occurs several years before the story begins, there are a few flashbacks to when it actually happened. This is simply a heads-up for those of you who do not feel comfortable reading a romance novel that employs this subject matter.

Lisa Alvarez is getting married again. Her fiance is her boss...a solid, hard-working businessman 22 years her senior. True, she never knew her father; but she is not seeking a father figure in Raymond. He is a good companion, a courteous lover and an overachiever in his business endeavors. Does Lisa love Raymond? She supposes she does in the way one loves a good friend. But love him in the heart-stopping, stomach-fluttering, sex on the kitchen table or up against a wall, wild & passionate sense? No. Never again. Lisa had that long ago...and when it was over, the grief and sorrow and pain was so intense she vowed she would never be that person again. Lisa is glad she is marrying Raymond. They are quite compatible.

Maggie Scott is seriously considering having a nervous breakdown. Her three kids are running her ragged, her house is a total mess and her life has been reduced to nothing more than one pile of dirty laundry after another. Since her husband had died less than a year ago, she thought she was doing pretty good holding it all together. But then she received that letter the other day...addressed to Keith from some woman named Serena who wanted to know why he hadn't called her. Didn't he want to see her again? And suddenly Maggie felt like her world was crumbling around her. She had to get away...have some time to herself...relax...breathe again...and track down this Serena woman to find out how she knew her husband. Maggie would ask Lisa to come stay with the kids for the weekend. As her best friend, Lisa would do this...in fact she owed it to her for not showing up to Keith's funeral. Okay, so Lisa had made it clear she was never coming back to San Diego. After the death of their child, she had divorced Maggie's brother Nick and had made a new life for herself in L.A. But this was a matter of Maggie's life or Maggie's death. She grabbed the phone and headed into her sanctuary, otherwise known as the broom closet...

One True Love was one of those books that I couldn't seem to find the right place to stick the bookmark in, close it up and walk away. Just one more page...just five more minutes...and then it was morning; and through blurry eyes (more from the predictable but satisfying ending and less from exhaustion) I read the epilogue. What a sweet, romantic ending to a story that, overall, wasn't very sweet or romantic. Instead, it was a well-orchestrated blend of three, individual stories with one common theme - surviving the loss of a loved one. Maggie...her husband killed in a freak accident that threw her into the immediate role of both mother and father...never stopped to grieve alone. Lisa...her baby girl dying from SDS at 2 months old...shut everyone she loved out of her life and ran. Nick...losing his daughter, which soon led to the loss of his wife as well...sought comfort through alcohol. Barbara Freethy does an excellent job of fleshing out these characters and giving each one a unique personality. As a reader you share their private thoughts & emotions, understand the personal demons they face; and, ultimately, feel an overwhelming (with just a hint of bittersweet) happiness when everything falls into place.

For the reason previously stated, I won't be recommending this book to anyone in particular. However, although somewhat abstract, I hope that I have conveyed a relatively decent idea of what this story is about. I am pretty sure you will enjoy the book if you choose to read it.

5 stars
(Bonus - it's a Kindle freebie!)
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