Release Date: March 2011
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Blurb: After thirty years of marriage, Jean Kingston is freshly divorced and rediscovering the joys of being an independent woman as well a talent for interior design. Having a new man in her life is not part of the plan. Nick Cameron, prominent attorney and long-time widower, would like to change Jean’s mind and include him in her plans. Their adult children don’t approve of either plan, and are determined to keep Jean and Nick apart.
Does their opposition include staging personal attacks against them? Could they really be desperate enough to stalk the couple on a weekend getaway? Or is there a deeper evil at work?
Review: At the beginning of this story, we are introduced to the idyllic trophy wife, Jean, who has stayed in her loveless marriage for decades and gets dumped…yes, you read correctly, dumped. Her ex is letting her go for a younger model – her daughter’s college roommate. Despite the fact that her ex is a cad, he really has released Jean with his best wishes for her happiness, a sizable allowance, and a nice hefty settlement. On the other hand, her daughter who was raised in this loveless marriage, is furious that her mother hasn’t tried to stop the divorce…The Nerve!
Enter my favorite character of this story, hands down. Nick took my heart from the very beginning and as I got to know him, he just carried it away. He lost his wife and raised his son, single-handedly. He still lives in the house she decorated twenty years before and reaches over at night to put his hand on her pillow…*sigh* His son changes before his very eyes as he begins seeing Jean and he has no idea why or what to do about it. Nick starts to refer to his budding relationship with Jean in reference to a movie they watch one night, The Showboat, an old classic, hence “The Showboat Affair” they are having since her divorce isn’t final.
A chance encounter is what brings these two together and while the sparks fly for Nick, Jean is too confused to even see him at first. When they bump into each other again, Nick is thrilled while Jean is as skittish as can be. While they both want to takes things slow and be there for each other as friends, it’s hard on both of them juggling their children’s feelings and their own feelings…before. Before Nick gets robbed, Jean gets attacked, and before they get hit by a car. The light of suspicion falls on everyone they know close to them – his son, her daughter, her ex-husband, her lawyer, etc. Before anyone can make heads or tails of what’s going on, the cops decide who’s guilty but Jean is afraid they’ve got the wrong person in jail…
This was a pleasant easy read that I enjoyed. The characters, especially Jean, grew as she found confidence in her ability to be independent. Nick, did I mention I loved him,also grew into a man who realized he needed to move on. The unexpected friendships that developed provided a lot of humor and I felt that the story stayed true, realistic, and was very satisfied with the ending. A very touching story for anyone who has ever experienced divorce, being widowed, remarried, the loss of a partner, and understands what it takes to start at the bottom and climb back up.
Quote: He hesistated. “I…maybe you looked as lonely as I felt.” Page 45.