Monday, May 9, 2011

His Ordinary Life by Linda Winfree

His Ordinary Life is the second book in the Hearts of the South series, and a pretty good installment. It's a second-chance romance which delves deeply into the importance of, and what it means to be, a family.

After almost 20 years of marriage, Del and Barbara Calvert are calling it quits. Their divorce is nearly finalized and it appears to each of them that the other is getting exactly what they want – the chance to move on and make the kind of life they’ve always wanted for themselves. It seems to be a done deal, until their teenage son finds himself in trouble and dad moves back home to see what he can do to help, and decides he’s also going to fight to save his marriage.

For me, reading is a form of escapism, and I like my stories to be happy. But with this type of book there’s usually just too much angst and too many hurt feelings for it to be a 'comfort read.' So, generally speaking,  I find that I’m not normally a big fan of troubled marriage stories, especially if there’s been infidelity. Fortunately, that isn’t the case with this book and the author handled the storyline fairly and respectfully, showing both sides of the coin when it came to their marital problems. Don't get me wrong, there was definitely some heartbreak - the very nature of the story demands it - but it wasn't over the top angst.

Since this is a romance, and we know there's going to be a happily ever after I'm not giving away much when I say that I'm a big believer in accepting responsibility for your actions, so it was nice to see both parties admitting to their role in the marital discord. I'm just tossing that out there because if you're like me, this might be of concern to you.

I also appreciated the way Ms. Winfree addressed the troubled teenager part of the story. It felt honest and believable, and the way the parents struggle to understand their son and not just chalk it up to “those teen years” was well done.

Despite being published by Samhain, this is not an erotic read. There are some pretty steamy sex scenes between Del and Barbara, but nothing more than you’d find in any other contemporary romance. I’m only mentioning that for those who might be leery of erotic books, and have hesitated to read this series based on the publishing company. So far, in books one and two, while the sex scenes are definitely steamy, they’re not what I consider erotic.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Hold On to Me.

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