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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Too Good to be True by Penelope Friday

Too Good to be True by Penelope Friday
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (49 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Toys
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Mandy thinks her love life, not to mention her sex life, is over for good when her husband leaves her—for an older woman. A chance encounter with a gorgeous man begins to change her mind. Scarcely daring to believe her luck when Jon asks her to meet him again, she agrees. One dizzyingly fantastic night of lust later, Mandy is in heaven.

But Jon has a secret. Has Mandy moved from a cheating husband to a man with an even more sinister past? Will she get the chance to explore the range of sexual possibilities Jon is introducing her to, or is her new life too good to be true?

Who says reaching forty years of age means you can’t have any fun? For the heroine of this story, it’s just the beginning of what turns out to be a wonderful romance.

Mandy sounds just like anyone I know. I don’t have the trio of good friends that she does but I sure liked hers. They were great secondary characters because they played off of Mandy, allowing a reader to get to know her by her interactions with them. They provided the reason for the internal conflict by revealing the external conflict.

I found that the first person POV worked really well in this story. She is the character with the most growth and change. A reader watches her rise up from despair to new heights of personal and sensual empowerment the likes of which she never imagined. The story never gets mired down with bitterness or too much self-flagellation. It’s upbeat, positive and at times, funny.

I enjoyed her exploration of her own sexuality. It was done with style and adventurous enthusiasm. I liked her ability to say the wrong thing because both her reaction and Jon’s, the hero, were so real and life like, it made the story come alive for me.

This story has heart. It has a sweet and promising happily ever after, sort of. By that I mean, that by the time the book ends, I realized she’s finding real love for the first time and that epiphany brings joy to not only Mandy but to the reader too. She’s been through a lot; had her beliefs tested and her trust in Jon tested as well and she persevered. It took guts to stand up for what she wanted, what she believed was possible. And that makes for a book well worth the time to read. I’d recommend this book for anyone who wants a quick story that reaffirms that love happens when you least expect it. And it’s a marvelous thing to read about when it does. I was very happy for Mandy and Jon. What a great couple.

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