- File Size: 2136 KB
- Print Length: 202 pages
- Publisher: e-penguin (March 15, 2016)
- Publication Date: March 15, 2016
- Sold by: PEN UK
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01CJB30AE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,213,253 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$2.99|
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The Reluctant Lover Kindle Edition
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Liam Kennedy grew up in a small town where his diverse ethnic background stood out and made him a target for bullying. It tainted his view of home and set him on a path to being a foreign correspondent. Driving him on, keeping him running from his past, is his perceived obligation to the grandmother who sacrificed everything for his family to live freely. These acts molded him into a passionate journalist, sworn to protect others through his words, but never making a home of his own is a lonely existence. With budget cuts looming though Ian could lose the most important thing to him...his job. With few options left he soon finds himself co-anchor of a news show struggling to stay on the air and paired with the more seasoned Katharine Bright. The sparks soon fly as his attraction to her has him goading her at every turn. After one unexpected kiss he realizes he wants more, but with her self-esteem issues and his problems with committing, they may never find a HEA. Liam's immensely likable from the moment we first meet him, rugged and sexy with just a bit of arrogance. He openly flirts with Katharine and makes her see past her age through his sensually-charged compliments and constant acknowledgment of her journalistic talent. Seeing him surprised by his ever-strengthening feelings for her was sweet and made him even more charming as he set out on his plan to claim her. The compromises he set forth showed a man of maturity, one who realized that love is more important than accolades and that living a life of happiness is the greatest honor you can give to your ancestors.
Katharine's a strong-willed woman who's sacrificed much for her career. She gave up the chance to have children when she divorced the man who thought she should be at home instead of having a career and working so many hours leaves no chances for dating. Approaching the age of 40 though is bringing certain truths to light that have her fearing for her future and the career that's defined her. Television news seems to be all about looks and with the appearance of more wrinkles she feels as though the sand in the hourglass is running out. Meeting the brash Liam on a night where the torch is passed to a younger generation gives her a momentary soothing of her bruised ego but leads to bigger complications the next morning when he joins her at the anchor desk. Theirs is a connection that crackles the moment they meet. Sexual tension oozes from them both on the air and off and while it makes for great ratings it leaves her confused as they continually fight their attraction. With management weighing in on her looks and her future with Liam in question Katharine takes a bold stand that's cheer-inducing, but will it be enough to help her get her HEA? For the most part I liked Katharine and her classiness in the face of humiliation and uncertainty. Her strength will always have her landing on her feet but it's her self-doubts that sometimes hold her back. There's one cutthroat moment though that reflected her desperation and tarnished her image a bit in my eyes. As this is a cutthroat business it didn't completely surprise me and it led to Liam's eyes being opened to the reality of ageism in their field and ultimately brought them closer. It still felt wrong but as long as Liam could forgive her so could I.
From the first page to the last this is a compelling read that subtly yet believably depicts the ins and outs of the journalistic world. Ms. Lewis nicely balanced a sweet and sensual romance with the handling of issues related to sexism and ageism in that world while also touching on issues related to the theme of an older woman in a relationship with a younger man. All these issues were thought provoking and handled with respect, showing promising talent from Ms. Lewis. Liam's brash and playful and just what Katharine needed at this time in her life. He brought lighthearted moments to a life that was becoming less clear for Katharine while she helped him stop running from his painful past. She helped him become the man his grandmother always wanted him to be as opposed to living a life of loneliness in her honor. Though I enjoyed the scenic excursions I felt they went on a bit long and made the middle section of the story lag a bit. Despite that the likable main characters, engaging narrative, and immensely satisfying conclusion made for a good read that will have me looking out for this author in the future.
At forty, Katherine Bright is in that sort of late afternoon period of her career. She's a news presenter, one of the most accomplished in Australia, with a cache of awards and recognitions. She co-hosts an evening news show whose penchant for hard news is declining along with its viewership. Network management wants to go with lighter fare and, Katherine fears, younger talent. When her longtime cohost is replaced by the younger, swarthier, hard news-focused Liam, Katherine feels grateful for the ratings boost but still nervous.
For Liam, this is no promotion. In fact, he feels like it is decidedly a demotion. He prefers traveling the world, reporting on issues that affect humanity in general, not trotting out the latest in anti-aging products or reality TV stars. Katherine, though. He likes her. She's gorgeous and she's intelligent, and he finds himself intrigued by the vulnerability he sees in her.
There actually are two reluctant lovers, albeit for different reasons. Katherine refuses to sacrifice her professional life for her personal, even if she fears she will never have children. A relationship with Liam could prove disastrous. First, there is the age gap thing, then there are his professional goals - goals that do not include Australia. Liam, on the other hand, fears being tied down to a quotidian life that feels meaningless. He wants to help the unnoticed and forgotten, and he can't do that from a comfortable anchor desk in a comfortable job.
Lewis addresses ageism, especially how it works against women but for men, particularly in the media. A fiftysomething male news anchor is reliable and trustworthy; a fiftysomething woman is old and dull. Lewis also uses a subplot involving Liam's family to touch on racism and the biases it causes. Both Liam and Katherine face prejudices, one with anger and the other with fear.
This is a pretty quick read that, for some of its heavy subject matter, is sweet and gentle. There is no hot headboard rocking, but there is plenty of romance. There are a few times when the story gets sort of bogged down in a subplot, and Lewis doesn't quite do enough with some of the supporting cast. It's a gentle little read, though, so consider it when you're deciding on some summer reading.