Hold Me Forever – D. Jackson Leigh

Lambda Literary FInalistHold Me ForeverWhen Mae St john’s grandmother dies she is left without anywhere to turn. The family fortune is gone, the family home is over-mortgaged and only the poodle. Rhett, has a trust fund. A personal letter reveals $10,000 hidden by Scarlett O’Hara and the news that May’s father is alive and well in Louisiana.

Whit Casey has gone home to the family horse farm when somebody finally tells her that her father is no longer coping. Now trying to run the racing stables as well as her own racing magazine, support her father and work out how to clear their debt, she is overwhelmed with responsibility. What is clear is that her long-term relationship has not survived her transition back to the farm.

Mae’s need for a job and home take her on a collision course with Whit. At first they seem to have nothing in common but Mae’s steely determinism to carve a new live proves fate has other ideas.

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What a delight! This is a book full of southern charm, idiosyncratic and witty expressions, eccentric characters and amazing women – all set on a canvas of the Quarter Horse racing world.

Our heroine, Mae, is the archetypal Southern Belle who appears to be a spoilt debutant that has frittered away 10 years at college without ever finding the right husband. In reality she is smart, intelligent, witty and incredibly good at managing the people around her. When pushed into a corner the Steel Magnolia glints through the soft southern twang.

Whit Casey is the archetypal dyke. Strong, stubborn, walled up by her own fears, incapable of expressing her emotions or showing her needs. But as we all know those tough dykes need a strong woman to break through their shell and to support that soft centered psyche. As part of the Casey family bundle we also have the delightful Clinton; suffering from Alzheimer’s and frequently mistaking Mae for his beloved late wife, his portrayal is a joy to read.

Jackson Leigh has drawn some of the most charming and delightful characters in print. Both the main characters and their large supporting cast of friends and foes, and those who sit somewhere between the two, have a depth and sincerity which lifts them off the page.

A tale of deception, intrigue and suspense, the plot to destroy the Casey’s integrity keeps us turning the page. This is a story about trust, honor and deception. It is a challenge to look beyond the surface veneer and the first impressions to see the real person beneath. Those we assume are good and bad are not all they seem; to quote another charming author “One has got all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.”

D Jackson Leigh Biog

Ultimately it is the romance that holds us spellbound as Mae recognizes and then takes charge of her own future, only to have it thrown back at her, and leave us enthralled at the plot unfolds.

Pure delight. A great setting, a wonderful plot full of suspense, a charming romance, compelling characters and a huge dollop of humor.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • First published 2013
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (September 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F8Q52IQ
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