Thursday, January 29, 2015

Beholden by R. J. Will (Love Through the Ages, #4)

by R.J. Will

My rating: 5 stars

Series: Love Through the Ages - Book 4
Publication Date: January 22, 2015
Publisher: R.J. Will
Genre: Romance
Print Length: 111 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


One week after Clare graduated as the valedictorian of her high school senior class, her parents were killed in a horrific car crash.

The tragedy set Clare adrift, and she ended up canceling her plans to go to college. Instead, she stayed home and married Henry, her high school sweetheart.

The early years of Henry and Clare's marriage, when their two children were growing up, were happy years. Clare suffered from empty-nest syndrome after the kids were grown and gone, but in time she got over it.

Or thought she did.

Now in her mid-50s, her dissatisfaction with being what she called a "stay-at-home wife" was growing. She wanted to be more than that. She wanted to "do something of worth" before she died. The empty-nest syndrome had not disappeared; it had merely morphed into a burning desire to work outside of her home. Henry, who described himself as "old school," was fiercely against the idea, and their marriage started to unravel.

Enter Steve, a classmate of Henry and Clare's who had been a big-city banker before he returned to his hometown to manage the local bank. Steve had a shock of silver hair and a silver tongue to match. He reconnected with Clare and offered her what she considered a dream job – running the food bank he wanted to set up. But there was a catch. Steve made it clear he expected certain favors from Clare.

Let the power struggle begin.

Beholden (Love Through the Ages, #4)My Review
Beholden by R. J. Will

Once again, R. J. Will takes a riveting and emotional look at life through out another decade in the lives of people whose story could belong to many of us, no superpowers or sparkles involved. Clare and Henry were high school sweethearts who married young, and stayed in their hometown of Neehawk Falls. Clare was the stay at home mom, the anchoring calm through the storms of life, but the kids are grown and gone and her relationship with Henry has degraded into a series of silly arguments, grunts and she isn’t happy. He is a good financial provider, but as a friend, he seems emotionally distant and walled off. Emotionally alone, conflicted and wondering about what could have been, Clare gets caught up in the potential for a life she has only dreamed of and a career too good to be true.

Henry doesn’t understand why Clare is always angry, sad, and often indifferent. Just back in town is a professionally successful banker, their old friend Steve, who seems to Clare to be all that Henry is not, charming, handsome, well-dressed, on and on. Steve has completely enthralled Clare, dazzled her with his charm and what started as a business arrangement becomes too much for Clare to handle. Could Steve ruin her marriage and her reputation? Is that what Clare really wants? On the one hand is Henry, loyal, hardworking and confusing love with providing, is completely mystified that Clare would look at another man. Steve has problems that go far deeper than meets the eye, but will Clare see this before it is too late and she hurts the one man who has always loved her? What was that saying, “If it’s too good to be true…"????

R. J. Will has taken the seed of an idea, planted it in the fertile soil of his imagination and feeds it from a deep and relatable emotional well, and we are the recipients of another tale of life and love throughout the years. Change, thoughts of an imaginary past, a “what if” world, we have all at least had a fleeting thought of it, and wonder if the grass would have been greener, our lives more fulfilling if we had gone down a different path. What happens when that door is opened for us, do we lose focus of the good things we have worked so hard for, while blaming those around us for our perceived failures and malcontent? What if behind that door is really a world of hurt, smoke and mirrors? R. J. Will pulls no punches, he has dared to once again, put “life” into words and given us thought-provoking romance.

I received this copy from R. J. Will in exchange for my honest review.

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