DROWNING HER SORROWS
Thirtysomething widow Gayle Connolly works in the beer business but all the beer in the world won't drown her grief over losing both her husband and son in a fatal crash. Parting the waters of her self-blame is no easy task for Noah Stokes, the young man whose own dreams were dashed by circumstance but whose fatal attraction for his new boss Gayle provides an entirely new bottle to drink from.
Overcoming grief and giving one's self permission to forgive and move on is the major theme here. Though tragic, Gayle Connolly's three year wallow in self-pity seems a little overdramatized. Also, her ultra-rich, more-money-than-Croesus lifestyle is a little unbelievable, as is some out-of-character dialogue and sudden, slutty behavior on both character's parts. However, she manages to turn the head of a hard-working and honest young man several years her junior. Predictably, she pushes him away but gradually succumbs to his advances. The sad part is the wringer she puts him through along the way.
While I like the older woman-younger man pairing, it's not without its obvious problems. He wants to avoid being the boy-toy and poor Gayle doesn't know how to treat him any other way. Noah doesn't give up though, which is a 'testament' to his patience and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. And like the old-testament Noah, perseverance does pay off; you just have to be the bearer of the olive branch once in awhile. The result is a story and a relationship that is a uniquely crafted brew of attraction, grief, guilt, forgiveness, hot sex, and eventually love. Cheers to that.