BWW Reviews: Love Rediscovered In Two Very Different Novellas
Okay, Okay. I've been a bit lax lately with my blog postings, I know. Work, my own writer's deadlines and family drama got the best of me. But I'm back and with lots to share, so I'll try to catch you all up with some of the great stuff I've been reading in the next few weeks.
First up are two novellas, both dealing with love rediscovered in very different ways: Ruthie Knox's Making It Last and Kimberly Kincaid's Outside The Lines.
Making It Last, Ruthie Knox
Ruthie Knox must have a surveillance camera in my house. Maybe more than one. Because her portrayal of Amber and Tony's ten-year marriage, replete with needy kids, an overworked husband and a wife who feels she's lost her own identity, is eerily similar to mine. And, I suspect, to many others. Which is why this novella will resonate so loudly with so many readers.
Knox introduced Amber and Tony in the first of her Camelot series, How To Misbehave. (But rest assured you don't have to have read that one to appreciate Making It Last. Although I highly recommend it.) Now it's ten years and three kids later, and happily ever after's not so happy after all.
The story opens with a puking child in an airport at the end of what Amber had hoped would be a fantasy tropical vacation. Instead she got the same old same old: squabbling kids, a disappearing husband and no privacy to even wallow in her own self pity. Not a terribly romantic start, and a bold move for Knox. And that's what this novella is, from beginning to end. Bold. Knox tackles the problems long-time marrieds face, and takes the reader on a journey from laughter to tears and back again.
Take this passge, when Amber's ruminating on the change in her relationship with Tony:
She had to admit, she'd kind of gone off cocks the last few years. Sharing a house with four of them would do that to a girl. Back when she met Tony, she'd been so inexperienced that his cock had seemed like this miraculous thing, but lately she just wanted every penis in the house put away. She didn't want to hear about them, look at them, think about them. Didn't want to know when they were stiff or itchy or getting slammed in drawers.
I mean, it's funny, right? But at the same time heart-tuggingly sad. And so, so true for so many married couples who've lost that spark in the hustle and bustle of every day life.
Tony's no dope. He sees the change in his wife, and he's scared. So he arranges for her to stay on what was supposed to be their island paradise a few extra days. Alone. And then he's even more scared. Scared she won't come back to him. So he hops a plane back to her, and this time he's not leaving until they've figured out what's ailing their marriage.