Well this was refreshingly different. Leo Blake is a burned-out pop star being driven too hard by her manager. When she gets a call to say her father has had a stroke she welcomes the chance to step off the treadmill, even though she doesn’t want to go home to small town America and a father who has never acknowledged her success. But the reality is very different to her teenage angst based memories and her relationship with both her family and the town is not what she imagines. Add in Holly, her father’s asexual nurse, who is less than impressed with Leo’s stardom and her lack of care for her parents and the stage is set for some interesting self-development.
Anybody who regularly reads my reviews knows I love Jae’s books. Her writing is well crafted and edited, her research and empathy for her subject are always spot on. She writes in a variety of sub genres which makes her an interesting author because one book might be a historical romance and the next a light-hearted romcom with the hint of paranormal, and that’s without even mentioning werewolves.
In “Perfect Rhythm” Jae tackles a new and interesting subject; Holly’s asexuality is central to the story and is a welcome inclusion of ACE women who must feel alienated from trad romance. As Jae mentions in her notes the ACE spectrum covers many nuances, and while many will be unaware, I suspect this may resonate with many lesbians who have no or little sex drive and find that part of a relationship rather a chore. Some will find the romance unrealistic – but it really does take all sorts and while many might not be prepared to get involved with somebody different there are myriad examples of those who are.
While the ACE elements of the story are important they don’t overpower an interesting tale of self development and a charming romance. Leo has issues with her attitude to the town, her family and her career, she has an inflated sense of her-self importance while emotionally undermined by her father’s negation of her career and this trip home while literally change her world. The whole is an interesting exploration of growth and trust, done with Jae’s usual style and excellent writing skills.
Highly recommended.. just be open to something different.
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(publisher review copy received)
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