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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.


available at Fictionwise

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Kristie(J)
    Sep 03, 2007 @ 08:12:19

    This one does sound appealing, but I don’t really read ebooks. But my goodness what a horrid font for the title and author. The cover’s not bad although I think I’d order it on line, but the print – really, really bad. It’s the first thing that jumped out at me despite the rather erotic picture.

  2. vanessa jaye
    Sep 03, 2007 @ 09:21:54

    The first part of the review makes this one sound very, very appealing. I think I can overlook the TSTL thing with the firewood. Having recently purchased my first home and gone through 5 months of renovations, there were A LOT of bone head assumptions I made–even things I’d heard warnings about previously, but for some reason thought they wouldn’t apply to me. lol — that I’m much more savvy about now. :-P The chilli? Not a good move on his part, but maybe that shows how *not* smooth he is. A little romantic bumbling can be charming. And based on the cover art, I’ll assume this is an erotic romance so I’d expect the sex to happen soonish, rather than realistically. *sigh* I’m particularly intrigued by the hero. Julia Quinn’s Simon from The Duke & I remains one of my all time favourite heroes, I think she did a wonderful job showing his stuttering as a vulnerability. It sounds like Ms. Rhys has done something similar.

  3. vanessa jaye
    Sep 03, 2007 @ 09:27:10

    Jayne, you’ve forced me to go to Ms. Rhys music-laden, twinkly animation tripod site!!! Please, could you put a link to the publisher or amazon page?!

  4. Jayne
    Sep 03, 2007 @ 09:34:59

    Sorry Vanessa, I usually have my computer speakers turned off so I didn’t realize the pain and suffering I was subjecting you to. I’ve added a link for Fictionwise at the end of the review.

  5. vanessa jaye
    Sep 03, 2007 @ 14:00:01

    Thank you! ::nervous twitch::

  6. Ayalyn
    Sep 03, 2007 @ 16:30:55

    Regarding the first comment. I don’t mind e-books, I can read more books for less money.

    But I do mind rehashed book covers. I’ve seen this cover before!

  7. Christina Rhys
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 07:53:43

    The original reviewer has trashed my E-Book; A commenter has trashed the Cover; another commenter has trashed my Site that i created for my E-Books. I don’t understand why my E-Book is even being trashed on here as I never requested that any of you read it or review it. Considering your rudeness (especially regarding my Web Site) i will definitely be spreading the word amongst E-Book Authors to avoid this Site.

    Sincerely, Christina Rhys

  8. Shannon Stacey
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 08:13:01

    I don't understand why my E-Book is even being trashed on here as I never requested that any of you read it or review it.

    As a rule, seeking publication for your book and releasing it to the public implies you actually want people to read it.

  9. Shiloh Walker
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 08:40:01

    Gah…. I told myself I was going to just go straight to work this morning. I got a plot kink to iron out.

    Christina, I’m not picking on you.

    But if you publish books, the books are going to get reviewed. You’ll get good reviews, you’ll get bad reviews, it’s just how it goes. Best response, regardless, is just to say thanks for reading it.

    Something to keep in mind…while decent promo, reviews are NOT for the author.

    They are for the reader so they can decide if they want to buy the book or not. A bad review doesn’t mean they won’t buy your book. Shoot, half of the books I love are books that reviewers hated. Bad reviews can sell books. But a negative response to bad reviews will not… it can actually cost you readers. Especially if it comes across like you’re knocking the readers.

    And honestly, I don’t think your book got trashed. Jayne didn’t say her eyes were bleeding out of her head by the end of the book and that she had to force herself to finish. Sounded to me, overall, that she mostly enjoyed the book, just had a few issues with it.

    As to the comments about your website and your covers… covers get trashed. Especially if you’re a romance writer. Your covers will get trashed by somebody. Better off to just not worry about it. Haven’t looked at your website, but if somebody doesn’t like it… they are entitled to that. They don’t have to like it. Knocking them for not liking it is one way to make sure that reader doesn’t pick up your books. Not to mention the fact that other readers are reading this thread and probably aren’t overly impressed with how you handled this.

    Now, I swear, I’m going to get to work. Guh… procrastination…my middle name.

  10. Jayne
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 08:53:06

    Ms. Rhys, I’m sorry you thought I trashed your book. But I don’t think a C grade with a few issues is trashing. And what I took from the early comments is that at least 2 other readers were considering buying the book. They might not have liked your site but they did like the sound of the story.

    We don’t require authors or publishers to ask for reviews. We review any books we want to. I read the description of yours at Fictionwise, was interested and bought it. I think you’ll find that Dear Author has a pretty good rep with ebook authors as we’re a site that loves them, reads them, reviews and therefore promotes them.

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