Does She Love You – Rachel Spangler

GCLS clean logoDoes She Love You - Rachel SpanglerWhen Nic McCoy meets Davis Chandler one night in a bar, she is captivated by the sarcasm, wit and the challenge of the chase. Without realizing what she is looking for Nic is bored by her perfect life, and Davis is exciting.

Davis has been hurt so many times by unfeeling, selfish women she is a bundle of angry self-doubt. But Nic charms her and works so hard to secure Davis’ trust that despite all the warning signs Davis is soon in over her head.

Belle Taylor is the frustrated housewife. She has given up her own dreams to support her wife and for the most part has been happy. But after 13 years she finds herself with all the trappings of wealth and none of the substance of happiness. She wants her wonderful wife more than she wants the gilded pedestal she has been placed on.

When Nic’s double life explodes on the streets of Atlanta all three lives are thrown into chaos. Davis and Belle are left doubting everything they have experienced with Nic. How each woman survives will become a test of character.

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I love Rachel Spangler’s books. While on a superficial level they are romances with a layer of wit and humor, underneath they are a maelstrom of emotions and a handbook for self-awareness.

Here we have 4 amazing characters. The naïve “Barbie doll”, the perfect southern – aptly named – Belle. She has moved from Daddy to Sorority to Wife and never noticed that she puts everybody else’s views, wishes and needs above her own. Her wife of 13 years is the archetypal poor girl made good. She has dragged herself out of the trailer park by sheer will power and is determined to prove everybody wrong with her success.

Davis is the hurt child who has rejected her parents’ middle-American lives as too boring and tried to carve a place in the city. But despite her successes she is too soft for the role of player and has been hurt to the point of emotional catatonia. And the 4th? Davis BFF is the wonderful Cass. Sarcastic, realistic and tough, she is the devil sat on Davis shoulder that tells her the hard truths.

Between them we have a full palette of character and emotion. Nic, the baddie who destroys what she claims to love, but turns out not to have even known. Davis is desperate for love and dreaming of the U-Haul. While claiming independence she is actually bound by the power of her ex’s hold. Belle the honey voiced lady who barely knows herself. And behind them all Cass, the ever present voice of reality.

These are women we can really engage and empathize with. We feel their pain, suffer their self-doubt and agonise through their growing self-awareness. Who hasn’t felt the anguish of wondering whether anything was real when our reality is shattered. We go through phases of loving and hating them all as the story unfolds. Most of us will despise Nic, not only for cheating and treating these wonderful women as acquisitions, but for being stupid enough to destroy what she had. Before the cataclysm we want to shake Belle for allowing Nic to build a cage around her. After, we want to shout at Davis for being unable to move on from under the shadow of her betrayers.

Rachel Spangler bioAn interesting and unusual tale. A plot that some will find unbelievable, but which hangs together for the very reasons people will think it shouldn’t. Shared pain, even from opposite sides of a divide, is still understood better by the victims than by an outsider. What Ms Spangler has done is taken a difficult subject and investigated the affects on those who caused the trauma as well as those who suffered by it. And she has multiplied it up by both the wife and the mistress being the victims.

Exceptional writing, a thought provoking story, multi-dimensional characters and a painful journey for each woman. Rachel Spangler goes from strength to strength and each book is a challenge to us, the reader, to look at some aspect of ourselves and gauge our own emotional development. My only complaint is it stopped too soon. I want a sequel to find out what happens next…

Product info:

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (July 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DYTHXZO
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