by Sharon Struth
Why did you choose this book? I saw it on the new book shelf and recognized the author
When did you read this book? September 2013
Who should read this book? readers who enjoy romance with a bit of mystery
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.
This was an interesting book. At the beginning it reminded me of another book I recently read, Equilibrium by Lorrie Thomson, because the main character in both novels is a widow who had lost her husband to suicide a year earlier. For this reason, I was a little slow getting into the story because I subconsciously made comparisons. However, once I got into the story, it was very easy to keep reading.
Brenda, the widow, is a psychologist, and one of the difficulties she is struggling is her guilt over being unable to prevent the suicide of her own husband. She is an author of self-help books who worries that this will affect her credibilty in the minds of her readers and patients. She is at a writers’ conference when she literally bumps into author C.J. Morrison. They do not get off to a good start when she spills hot coffee on him. Things get even tenser later that day, when they learn she is to be the psychological consultant for his newest book. C.J. is a highly visible widower who now runs around with younger women. As you may have guessed, sparks fly between C.J. and Brenda.
There is also a mystery aspect to this novel. Brenda’s late husband, Jack, was an accountant with a financial company. Brenda is struggling with the ‘why’ of his suicide. There was no note left and though he had been moody, she has no idea why he chose to kill himself. She learns that the SEC is currently investigating the company Jack worked for, and all indiscretions are being attributed to him. She feels this is totally out of character for him, and decides she needs even more to understand what was going on with him before he died. I really enjoyed this extra element to the story.
This book falls in the emerging genre of ‘boomer lit’. One thing I really enjoyed about this book is that both Brenda and C.J. are older than the average ‘romance character’. Brenda is the mother of grown children and C. J. has been widowed for ten years, after several years of marriage. Overall, this is a romance that is a little bit predictable, but there are enough other things going on to give the story a little substance. I really enjoyed this one.
Novelist Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. The Hourglass, her debut novel, received first place in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest and second place in the Golden Heart. She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut, along with her husband, two daughters and canine companions.
Connect with Sharon at her website, sharonstruth.com, or on her Facebook Author page. She also blogs at Life in the Middle Ages and Tempting Romance.
Here is a trailer for The Hourglass.
My Rating: ★★★1/2 3-1/2 Stars
Sharon Struth’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, October 7th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Tuesday, October 8th: Seaside Book Nook
Wednesday, October 9th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, October 14th: Three Girls and a Book Obsession
Tuesday, October 15th: Why Girls Are Weird
Wednesday, October 16th: Reviews by Molly
Thursday, October 17th: Shelf Pleasure – Author Guest Post
Monday, October 21st: Mom in Love with Fiction
Tuesday, October 22nd: Good Girl Gone Redneck
Wednesday, October 23rd: From L.A. to LA
Thursday, October 24th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Friday, October 25th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Monday, October 28th: Time 2 Read
Tuesday, October 29th: Dear Brighton
Wednesday, October 30th: Luxury Reading