May 9 2006
Dear. Ms. Stacey,
There is a lot to like about Forever Again. I enjoyed how Gena, the heroine, has progressed in her life. She made a mistake when young but has not let it keep her from achieving her business degree and starting a successful career. She’s also not let that bad experience in love and sex ruin her for future relationships. She hasn’t spent the last 16 years moping and crying about “that one night” or even the short and disastrous marriage which followed but has dated and had several serious, and healthy, relationships. I also like how she’s not above slyly teasing the hero a bit about his predicament.
I like Mia and think you’ve really done a great job with her character. She feels like a teenager. I like how you let her get mad about certain situations and how she tries to carefully manipulate things to her liking, all the while acting as a total innocent. How many of us didn’t try that when we were younger? But she still realizes when she’s gone far enough and has the grace to admit it.
Travis is where things start to break down a little. It’s been 16 years yet his first thought, and many subsequent thoughts, are that he’s back in the presence of the woman who nearly ruined his life. Even before he knows about Mia, he thinks that a lot. Well, his life wasn’t ruined. Not even close…but initially he hasn’t seemed to progress much past that same thought in 16 years. Yet, eventually he does start to see Gena as she is now rather than spending the entire book thinking about how she almost ruined his life. Of course he’s mad at her for something else now. And wow, for a man, he really wants to talk things out. He wants to talk about a relationship and a hawt kiss far more than most men I know. Even past when the heroine wants him to shut up about it, he wants to talk.
And I was puzzled by a reference made during Travis’s friend’s art show. About how that man was surprised to learn that Travis was Mia’s father. Just who did this incredibly small town think was Mia’s father? Gena and Travis got married there and I don’t think Gena was shacking up with anyone soon enough for the town to think Mia could be anyone else’s daughter. Not a major problem but it just struck me as odd.
But the biggest problem just seemed to me that Travis’s biggest attraction to Gena, for a lot of the book, was physical. He’s hawt for her and wants to kiss her but they don’t really appear to get to know each other beyond physical desires until right at the end. I mean, beyond what she looks like and how much he wants her body? As a reader, that was mainly what I saw. And they spent so much of the book trying to avoid each other, again due to the lust, that it just didn’t seem as if their relationship was built on much else but lust and a shared daughter.
So, while I liked a lot of the book, somehow it didn’t quite live up to the great beginning. B-