Maybe Next Time by Christina C. Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
To be honest, I tend to have low expectations for novellas, especially romance novellas. There's often not enough space and time to flesh out a story that is meaningful beyond the romantic or erotic nature of the tale. This was not at all the case here. This story had impact, beyond just the lusty stuff. This was a story of a marriage pushed to its limits by grief, anger, and a serious lack of communication.
I was apprehensive at first. The introduction to Denver's character had me seriously taken aback - like who the hell is this guy and what is his problem? But as the story unfolded, the two main characters, Denver and Kensa, took on depths that I genuinely did not expect. When they finally got down to the root of all of their problems, everything made so much more sense. Anyone who has ever been married or in a serious, long-term committed relationship can understand the overwhelming, sometimes uncontrollable waves of emotion that can arise once the union is tested by the things in life that we have no control over.
This was a rollercoaster ride. Short, but chock full of emotional lows and highs. The pain felt by both characters was palpable, and I found myself choked up once the story hit its climax. But this was also a story about redemption, and how even through life's toughest moments, love can prevail.
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