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.
The Price to Pay by Raven McAllen
Genre: romance (older woman)
Length: novel (160 pgs. on my Nook)
TBR Reviewer: Amanda
Set against the background of a traveling fair, this story showcases a younger man who discovers that he believes in love at first sight when he meets his school friend's mother-in-law. Padraig O'Shea is 31 and Vairi McQueen (in her 40s) fights him tooth and nail all the way; first just because of the age difference and later because she feels her trust is misplaced.
Although there were occasional places where the dialect (English and Irish idioms) left me guessing for the meaning of specific phrases, I enjoyed this story. Raig is a very sympathetic character and I felt that Vairi gave him a hard time for no real reason. It was not as if he had actually lied to her, just that they hadn't yet reached a point where everything could be shared. I did like her apology and was interested in the final reveal of his past. I definitely liked Raig's character the best, but that may have been because the story was written from his point of view rather than hers, so the reasoning behind his actions and what he was thinking was usually clearer. This is a good "cougar" story with some funny scenes contained inside it. Some of the "love at first sight" was a little much, and Vairi's reaction to events was also overdone, but the story overall was enjoyable.