REVIEW:  At Last! A Novel of Love’s Delay by Christina Rhys

REVIEW: At Last! A Novel of Love’s Delay by Christina...

Dear Ms Rhys,

rhys-aldelay.jpgThe theme of two people finding love who never expected to is a favorite of mine. And as I mature, I’m enjoying reading about older couples getting their shot at true love. And hawt sex to boot.

Nory Douglas finally decides to take a chance on finding out who she really is. After a lifetime spent taking care of others, first her mother, then her toddler son then her cheating older cancerous husband, it’s time to take care of herself for a change. Her best friend Kira isn’t too sure about all this, especially since Nory is headed off to the wilds of Michigan in late fall but Nory’s determined and, for at least six months, off she goes. What she finds at her grandfather’s primitive cabin is a mess but a few weeks of hard work and she’s finally got the place looking good. Now she can settle down, relax and try her hand at writing that children’s book she’s always dreamed of doing.

Lee Lowrey has made a life for himself in Michigan. A medical procedure gone wrong has caused him to suffer from a speech impediment and his fellow man has compounded it with ridicule. Now he lives quietly, makes a living as a graphic artist and yearns for someone to love and be loved by. Lately he’s had strange feelings that his Cherokee grandmother might have called fated-to-be, feelings that someone is out there waiting for him to find her. When he catches sight of his new neighbor, he realizes she’s the one. But can he risk his heart to a woman he doesn’t even know? And once he does, can he convince a woman who’s never been cherished that he’ll love her forever?

As I said, I adore watching two scarred souls find love and these two certainly bear the marks of hard lives. Lee can’t control his speech and has finally resorted to playing mute in the small town near his house. He’s known casual love and sex before and like any breathing heterosexual male he misses contact with women. While Nory is someone who’s never really been loved for herself and who’s used to taking a backseat to her flamboyant friend, Kira. Whenever Kira’s around, Nory just drifts into the background whether she wants to or not. Their hesitation to believe in the sincerity of the other is poignant and understandable. Lee’s handicap isn’t as bad to me as the book blurb would lead one to believe. For a minute I thought you might have given him Tourette’s syndrome. But I can see that he wouldn’t want to interact that much with people he doesn’t know.

Firewood is how you bring these two souls together but couldn’t you have picked another way that doesn’t make your heroine look like an idiot? I mean, moving to a remote cabin with no source of heat but firewood, in Michigan, in late fall and then not getting any firewood? Not buying any? Not chopping any? In no way preparing for months of bitter cold/snow? It gives Lee a great excuse to be nice to her and meet her while he’s keeping her from freezing to death but it sure makes Nory seem stupid. And I certainly wouldn’t serve a dinner of chili to a woman I’m trying to impress and get back into bed with me! I think the major misunderstanding between them underscores how quickly this romance progresses. These two have only known each other for 24 hours or less before jumping into bed/the bathtub/the kitchen chairs/sofa/etc…And protection from diseases? Not our two despite the experience Nory had with her late husband.

So, while the sex scenes are intense, the connection between Nory and Lee is immediate and they end with a married HEA, I still found a few stumbling blocks along the way.

~Jayne

available at Fictionwise