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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Review: The Showboat Affair by Gwyneth Greer

This is a lovely, warm read with a mix of romance and suspense.
The Showboat Affair by Gwyneth Greer 
  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: The Wild Rose Press (March 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160154894X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601548948
     Genre: Contemporary Romance
     My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Product Description
After thirty years of marriage, Jean Kingston is freshly divorced and rediscovering the joys of being an independent woman as well a talent for interior design. Having a new man in her life is not part of the plan.
Nick Cameron, prominent attorney and long-time widower, would like to change Jean’s mind and include him in her plans.
Their adult children don’t approve of either plan, and are determined to keep Jean and Nick apart. Does their opposition include staging personal attacks against them? Could they really be desperate enough to stalk the couple on a weekend getaway? Or is there a deeper evil at work?

Review: This is an engaging story of a mature woman who gets a second chance at love - if she can survive to enjoy it.

Jean was a society wife who allowed that to define her for many years. She remained in her unhappy marriage even though she knew her husband, Rand, was openly unfaithful.  Their only daughter, Juliana, grew up as ‘Daddy’s girl’, independent and driven.  Jean’s world is shaken when Rand announces that he is divorcing her to marry a younger woman.  Although she isn’t exactly heart broken there is still pain, loss and abandonment. Jean slowly realizes that she has to establish her own self worth as an individual.

Nick is smitten the first time he sees Jean. He lost his wife twenty years before and remained single as he raised their son, Charlie. Nick has not even dated other women until he meets Jean. It is awkward for Nick but he is willing to be patient as Jean needs to find her footing.

Unfortunately neither of their children like the idea of Jean and Nick.  Juliana and Charlie are very unkind, unpleasant and selfish in their attitudes.  This creates some interesting conflict and tension that are a good part of the story.  Another long time friend, Greg, is also pursing Jean.  He seems charming but a bit pushy when Jean isn’t ready to be pushed. 

Rand has arranged for Jean to keep the marital home and receive a significant settlement in the divorce.  When Jean is attacked all the family members are suspect. Could Rand want to eliminate Jean before he has to complete the settlement? Could one of the children be so set against Jean’s new relationship that they would try to kill her? Will Jean and Nick get a chance for a future?

I really liked the well developed main and secondary characters. As difficult as it is Jean is strong enough to redefine herself. Nick is an absolutely sweet, patient man. They are very likeable while their children are quite unlikeable.

The emotional story moves along with the expected tension of the circumstances. Then the plot blends in the suspense of the attacks and stalking.  I enjoyed the romance being allowed to grow slowly and the tie in with the movie, The Showboat Affair, is fun. There is also a gentle message of forgiveness and reconciliation that is so important to finding peace and happiness in life. This is an easy flowing story with a nice blend of intrigue and romance that makes for a very satisfactory read.
I won this book and am pleased that I did!
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