Keeping Pace by Dee Carney
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Length: Short Story (103 Pages)
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Clematis
One spark could burn her world down.
Six years after her husband’s death, Regina Pace is still just going through the motions, her only pleasure a nightly glass (or three) of wine to dull the ache. Tonight is no exception—until a sensual outdoor encounter with her neighbor’s son, freshly home from college. He’s older, wiser, more devastatingly handsome than she remembered. He’s also fifteen years her junior.
Despite her misgivings, it isn’t long before her nightly ritual includes a long, deep drink of Josh Smith. Ogling leads to touching, then the sparks flare into an erotic encounter that feels wickedly right—and deliciously forbidden.
Yet the intense heat can’t burn away the doubt pestering the back of her mind. That the gap between their ages is too large, even for the most determined leap of faith…
Keeping Pace is a sublime tale of love between a young man of twenty-six, who invites the attentions of his dream woman next door, a lonely widow of forty-one by giving her a show to remember.
Gorgeous, descriptive, beautifully written, yet so achingly tender and poignant with a divine first encounter over a back fence that left me breathless. Wonderful characters portrayed in such vivid detail, that I couldn’t have put this book down to save my life! So full of love and alive were they that I felt like I was watching a movie, not merely reading a work of fiction. Most memorable for me was how I couldn’t help but think that Regina and Josh so deserved every happiness together. Yet the thought occurred to me too,(and it made me grin) that perhaps it was Gina that needed to “grow-up” not Josh, who so blatantly loved her and was proud to be with her, regardless of what anyone else thought.
This is a plot that could have been a stale, repetitive litany with the stench of societies prejudice against an older woman and a younger man having a sexual relationship. Never mind the cruelty, petty jealousies and judgements of others, or even their own feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, rejection, etc. But instead it came across as fresh, bittersweet, intensely erotic, evocative and had me crying and laughing all at the same time. Simply Bliss!
I loved the way Ms. Carney drew upon her secondary characters: Regina’s slightly slimy boss Lou, the infallible and endearing secretary, Linda and even Regina’s rival, Beth. Each contributing in their own way to the inevitable conclusion and finale. The last chapter was an interesting dichotomy, in that it was the perfect beginning and end to this wonderful love story. I recommend Keeping Pace whole-heartedly and look forward to further examples of Ms. Carney’s work.