Oh hey... book review! I'm rally banging these out as of late, aren't I?
The Hourglass - Sharon Struth
"Can forgiveness survive lies and unspoken truths?"
Until Brenda McAllister's husband committed suicide, she appeared to have the ideal life: a thriving psychology practice, success as a self-help author, and a model family. But her guilt over her affair with Jack's best friend prevents her from moving on. Did Jack learn of her infidelity? Was she the cause of his death?
The release of Brenda's second book forces her into an unexpected assignment with arrogant celebrity author CJ Morrison, whose irritating and edgy exterior hides the torment of his own mistakes. But as she grows closer to CJ, Brenda learns she wasn't the only one with secrets--Jack had secrets of his own, unsavory ones that may have led to his death. While CJ helps Brenda uncover the truth about her husband, she finds the path to forgiveness isn't always on the map.
So have you ever seen the show "Who the Bleep Did I Marry?" because it's a pretty fantastic show, you should watch it. But this book basically reminded me of this because of poor Brenda. Brenda the relationship expert, psychologist, who is also a widow after her own husband commits suicide for reasons unknown to her. She has residual guilt from her own infidelity and she wonders if that is what set him over the edge. But as you read the book you know quickly that it was for far more damaging reasons than that.
Enter CJ, who hires Brenda to assist with the character development on his upcoming book. After a terse first meeting and some awkward slash rude follow up encounters, Brenda isn't sure if she is sure she made the right decision agreeing to work with him. But she continues on because she is nothing if not professional, and she is looking for a challenge.
I've seen the term "boomer lit" pop up on other blogs and some online magazines I read and I don't think I totally understand what that is as a genre, but after reading this, I would put this there. It's kind of pegged as a romance, and while there is some of that in there, it's not what you would expect from a romance novel. Not that I'm saying you need to break out nipple clamps and ropes, but that there should be something. And the something in this book is some conversation, sweet gestures and a little more, but you don't get a glimpse into the bedroom, if you will. And at first I was turned off by this because that is a foreign thing to me, I know what I want from a romance book and I'm not saying no to nipple clamps all of the time, let's just say. But when I think of the ages of the characters, basically my parent's age, mid 50's, and that's not really their prerogative. Not to say a mid-50's guy or gal can't get freaky, I'm just saying that typically, it's not really their thing. So it's like a really cute, awkward couple dipping their toes into dating towards a meaningful relationship.
While all of this sexual tension is happening with CJ, Brenda finds out her husband is being investigated for fraud. Her job, whether out of wifely duties, residual guilt, and/or fear of judgement from others, decides she's going to do everything she can to basically defend his name and legacy if not for him, but for their two children who in their own ways, still grieve for him though it's been a year.
The book is well written. The plot doesn't feel hokey and you can tell Sharon really put forth a good effort. I enjoyed the book and found it difficult to put down. In hindsight, it's not one that I would maybe have picked up right away, but I am glad I did because it didn't disappoint! Here's a trailer for the book if that helps you at all:
Give it a shot. It's actually a rather quick read and I got through it in a weekend. AND it has a pretty cover. You know how I feel about covers.