on June 4, 2011
Review: At the beginning of this story, we are introduced to the idyllic trophy wife, Jean, who has stayed in her loveless marriage for decades and gets dumped...yes, you read correctly, dumped. Her ex is letting her go for a younger model - her daughter's college roommate. Despite the fact that her ex is a cad, he really has released Jean with his best wishes for her happiness, a sizable allowance, and a nice hefty settlement. On the other hand, her daughter who was raised in this loveless marriage, is furious that her mother hasn't tried to stop the divorce...The Nerve!
Enter my favorite character of this story, hands down. Nick took my heart from the very beginning and as I got to know him, he just carried it away. He lost his wife and raised his son, single-handedly. He still lives in the house she decorated twenty years before and reaches over at night to put his hand on her pillow...*sigh* His son changes before his very eyes as he begins seeing Jean and he has no idea why or what to do about it. Nick starts to refer to his budding relationship with Jean in reference to a movie they watch one night, The Showboat, an old classic, hence "The Showboat Affair" they are having since her divorce isn't final.
A chance encounter is what brings these two together and while the sparks fly for Nick, Jean is too confused to even see him at first. When they bump into each other again, Nick is thrilled while Jean is as skittish as can be. While they both want to takes things slow and be there for each other as friends, it's hard on both of them juggling their children's feelings and their own feelings...before. Before Nick gets robbed, Jean gets attacked, and before they get hit by a car. The light of suspicion falls on everyone they know close to them - his son, her daughter, her ex-husband, her lawyer, etc. Before anyone can make heads or tails of what's going on, the cops decide who's guilty but Jean is afraid they've got the wrong person in jail...
This was a pleasant easy read that I enjoyed. The characters, especially Jean, grew as she found confidence in her ability to be independent. Nick, did I mention I loved him,also grew into a man who realized he needed to move on. The unexpected friendships that developed provided a lot of humor and I felt that the story stayed true, realistic, and was very satisfied with the ending. A very touching story for anyone who has ever experienced divorce, being widowed, remarried, the loss of a partner, and understands what it takes to start at the bottom and climb back up.
on June 11, 2011
"The Showboat Affair" by Gwyneth Greer was written for people like me: Baby-boomers in their fifties who have survived their first half-century and now, through the twists and turns of fate, have to start life all over again! However, it so thoughtfully written that it will appeal to both women and men of a certain age, and also to younger readers who enjoy sweet and sensual romance with an added element of suspense. As Jean Kingston's long marriage to an unfaithful husband finally comes to an end, she meets a handsome silver-haired widower, Nick Cameron. Their initial attraction leads to a warm friendship which grows into a passionate love affair. Not everyone is as happy as Jean and Nick about their deepening relationship, and their grown children do their best to come between them. They are also threatened by an unknown stalker who seems hell-bent on causing them harm. The violence is real, but who hates them enough to threaten not only their happiness, but their very lives? The title of the book refers to my favorite movie, "Show Boat" (1951), and I was quite delighted by the references to the film scattered throughout the book. Ladies, let me say this about Nick Cameron: They don't make 'em like that anymore! He is protective, charming, courtly, and loving! I want a "Nick" of my very own!
on August 18, 2011
This is an engaging story of a mature woman who gets a second chance at love - if she can survive to enjoy it.
Jean was a society wife who allowed that to define her for many years. She remained in her unhappy marriage even though she knew her husband, Rand, was openly unfaithful. Their only daughter, Juliana, grew up as `Daddy's girl', independent and driven. Jean's world is shaken when Rand announces that he is divorcing her to marry a younger woman. Although she isn't exactly heart broken there is still pain, loss and abandonment. Jean slowly realizes that she has to establish her own self worth as an individual.
Nick is smitten the first time he sees Jean. He lost his wife twenty years before and remained single as he raised their son, Charlie. Nick has not even dated other women until he meets Jean. It is awkward for Nick but he is willing to be patient as Jean needs to find her footing.
Unfortunately neither of their children like the idea of Jean and Nick. Juliana and Charlie are very unkind, unpleasant and selfish in their attitudes. This creates some interesting conflict and tension that are a good part of the story. Another long time friend, Greg, is also pursing Jean. He seems charming but a bit pushy when Jean isn't ready to be pushed.
Rand has arranged for Jean to keep the marital home and receive a significant settlement in the divorce. When Jean is attacked all the family members are suspect. Could Rand want to eliminate Jean before he has to complete the settlement? Could one of the children be so set against Jean's new relationship that they would try to kill her? Will Jean and Nick get a chance for a future?
I really liked the well developed main and secondary characters. As difficult as it is Jean is strong enough to redefine herself. Nick is an absolutely sweet, patient man. They are very likeable while their children are quite unlikeable.
The emotional story moves along with the expected tension of the circumstances. Then the plot blends in the suspense of the attacks and stalking. I enjoyed the romance being allowed to grow slowly and the tie in with the movie, The Showboat Affair, is fun. There is also a gentle message of forgiveness and reconciliation that is so important to finding peace and happiness in life. This is an easy flowing story with a nice blend of intrigue and romance that makes for a very satisfactory read.
on May 4, 2011
In The Show Boat Affair Gwyneth Greer spins a delightful story full of family, deceit, romance, mystery, rebuilding relationships, and hope for the future.
After over three decades of marriage, Jean Kingston isn't surprised when her often unfaithful husband asks her for divorce. She quickly agrees and sees an opportunity to start her life over and to live for herself instead of her family. The first thing she decides is that she doesn't need Rand's big show home now that she is alone and finds a small condo that better meets her needs.
Picking her self up by the proverbial boot straps, Jean unearths her interior design education and uses her talents to style her new condo. She also gains a unique and encouraging friend with the woman who knows her best; her maid of two decades Selina.
When Jean meets with her attorney Greg to sign divorce paperwork he tells her that he has loved her for many years. Although they have been friend for many years Jean is not interested in a relationship with Greg. Greg is not happy with this decision and lets her know that he intends to pursue it. During the meeting Jean learns that her husband Rand is giving her a nice divorce settlement enabling her freedom not to work.
When leaving the appointment Jean runs into and meets Nick Cameron. Not only is he handsome, but he is also a successful attorney and long time widower. After another chance meeting Jean and Nick begin planning other activities. Their relationship quickly turns serious.
Both Jean and Nick's children let them know that they do not care for the relationship and things quickly get suspenseful from there. The search for the truth is offers mystery, a cross country trip and suspense. Who is after Jean and Nick and why?
The Show Boat Affair is a delightful page turner; a heartwarming tale of starting over. Each character comes to life and one really feels a part of the story. The author keeps the plot believable and unpredictable at the same time keeps you guessing about the attacker until the very end.
Jean Kingston isn't shocked when her husband of thirty plus years asks for a divorce. He has been having affairs for almost their entire marriage. She has made his life her own, so she is stumped what to do with herself now. Rand has given her a divorce settlement, so she won't have to work, but she feels their house is too large so she decides to sell it.
While making these life-changing decisions, Jean comes to know her maid of the past twenty years, Selina. They become friends, and Selina urges Jean to put her interior designer degree to use, a degree she has never used since she married Rand two months after graduation.
With the purchase of a condo, she throws herself into the decorating and spending time with her young grandchild. Her daughter Juliana and she are not close, and after Jean decides she does not want her daughter and her family living with her, Juliana decides to buy the house.
When Jean is signing divorce papers at her lawyers, she runs into a nice looking man, Nick Cameron. Although Nick appears interested, Jean wants to focus her life on herself and not men right now. Her lawyer, Greg, has been in love with Jean for years and figures now is the time to make his move. But Jean makes it clear she is not interested in anything but friendship.
Eventually, Nick and Jean begin seeing one another. Nick has been a widower for twenty years and thinks that it is time to move on. However, Jean and Nick's children think otherwise. Although they want their parents to be happy, they don't want them to be happy together. Also, Greg isn't happy with Jean seeing Nick. Then someone attacks Jean in her condo and again at an interior design job. Is it related or something else?
The Showboat Affair is a heart-warming love story with a splash of intrigue and mystery. The characters are believable and well-rounded. The plot moves along at a good rate that has you turning the pages to see what is going to happen next. Nothing is predictable, the author takes twists and turns that leave you guessing who the attacker is and why. Cleverly written, I couldn't put this book down!
on May 30, 2011
I've been bleary-eyed for two days thanks to the author of this book. My reading time now is limited to bedtime. Once I started this delightful story, I hated to put it down to turn out the lights. I kept reading into the wee hours. Somehow within the first chapter I was drawn into the story, caring for the heroine, feeling her pain--not all authors can do that. Ms. Greer can and does. This plot is like a pretzel twisted into perfection, so that one wonders who is behind these personal attacks. First I was sure it was one person, then I suspected another and, at times, feared it was a certain female. This is one you'll enjoy from Chapter One to The End. Well done, Ms. Greer.
on August 30, 2014
This book has a love affair between a couple that has grown children. Their are not happy about it. This book was now in good taste, friendship turns into love. Not overly sexy, which is good. Very good suspense and mystery, I did figured out the bad guy but that is ok. The only thing I did not like about the book was it seems so long but guess took that many pages to tell a good story. I received this book from the author for a honest review. Definitely recommend this book.
on June 22, 2011
A suspenseful story from beginning to end. I enjoy these types of adventures!! It keeps you fully enthralled. Ms. Greer has a perfect gift of holding the reader in animated suspension as to not give away the story line. I loved it and looking forward to more from this author!