This is an interesting and amusing romance, traditional in the overall arc but with some twists that make it stand out. Its an age gap romance for a start (late 20s and late 40’s), and neither of the main characters want a romance – both have absolutely solid life choices which they have no intention of breaking – really.
Bernie is an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for her best friend Constance, who is also the unrequited love of her life. Bernie not only wallows in the fruitless adoration but lets Constance control her life – what little life she allows herself outside of providing unwanted care for her deaf mother. Stevie is a rising improv star who’s overwhelming and life controlling dream is to make it to Saturday Night Live – nothing and nobody will stand in her way.
Of course love has a way of breaking down barriers and changing the most determined mind. Erin Zak delivers the whole with great style, excellent writing, a lot of wit and some serious laughs. It’s all about letting go and allowing life to happen, both women have an emotional lesson to learn and a journey to free themselves. “Beautiful Accidents” is a great read, I thoroughly enjoyed it and its great to read a book which includes a physical impairment without ever making it an issue.
(publisher review copy received)
Gerri Hill is simply one of the best romance writers in the genre. This is an archetypal Hill, slightly unusual characters in a slightly unusual setting. The slow burn romance, however, is a classic, trying not to fall in love, but unable to fight the pull.
Mel had a traumatic childhood; married for all the wrong reasons and carrying the guilt of destroying her best friend’s life. She has retreated to womyn’s land and spends her isolated days tending the goats, chickens and garden that have healed her mind if not her heart.
Erin was left broken hearted when her girlfriend of 6 years left – boasting she had been cheating for two years – and lost herself in work, to the detriment of her physical and mental health. When they are brought together by Erin’s family’s intervention, sending Erin to the womyn’s land as a retreat/detox for three months, their worlds could not be further apart. But sometimes hearts need nothing but time and quiet to heal, and find their missing pieces.
The characters are endearing and you simply cannot help engage with the older women who have lived on the land for years; when escape from homophobic patriarchal society seemed the best way to be free. Mel and Erin capture your heart from the first moment, however strung out Erin is from caffeine and the consequent crash.
The romance pulls you in, the lack of angst is a refreshing change, and the will she won’t she climax worth the wait. It’s a slow sensual tug on your heart, reminding us that not everything that glitters is worth the loss of our souls and social/partner expectation can destroy us. It reminded me of “Gaining Ground” by Joan Barfoot, a novel I read many times in my 20’s when the concept of isolation seemed immensely attractive. I love many of Gerri Hill’s books for many reasons and this one is right up there for me as an exquisitely gentle balm to the heart.
(publisher review copy received)