Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Book Review: 'Show Me Another Way' by Jenny Wood

Jenny Wood enjoys writing in series with a theme – The current series is UNLIKELY HEROES of which this is Book 3. It is evident that Jenny enjoys exploring the interstices of relationships – especially between men – and her insights are strong.

This short story concerns a fireman and an attorney and we meet the fireman Lane first: ‘The rain pelting the roof tonight brings back terrible memories for me. It takes me back to the day I walked in on my fiancé with another man in the bed we shared together. I worked nights, see; at our local fire station, I had for the last two years. On this particular night, I’d gone to work just like any other night; with a kiss from the man I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with. We were all set to make that legal in just two short weeks, but until our day; then the nine day honeymoon we were taking in Italy, I was working as many hours as I could. I had plenty of vacation days and I hadn’t cashed in a sick day but once in the two years I’d been working there, so I wasn’t too worried about it. However, when you’re saving up to start a life with someone; to get a house together, to one day have kids and live the dream- saving was smart. That was the plan right? On this particular night, I hadn’t been feeling well; I’d even told Trent earlier that evening that I felt like I was coming down with a head cold. He found me some “cold tablets” and a large glass of orange juice and doted on me like the loving, caring partner I thought he was. Fool me, right?’ Then we meet Kevin -
‘I was the epitome of a nerd. I didn’t have friends and when I got caught staring at our high-school quarterback (how cliché right?) freshman year, he and his cronies made it their mission to spread far and wide my sexual orientation. I’d never tried to hide it per-se but I’d never admitted it either. I’d never had anyone to admit it to.’ Two different men with different expectations, and that is what Jenny deals with best.

Her synopsis spells out the plot: ’Kevin is a family and adoption attorney in his small Massachusetts town. Content with his life as a loner, he does his bit to help families have a better life because he, himself, didn't have a great one. Awkward and painfully shy; he doesn't know what to do with himself when he catches the eye of firefighter and all around great guy, Lane Bennett.....Lane Bennett works with Alvin at their community’s fire station. Being around all his loved up friends and their partners; he's still a little bitter about the betrayal of catching his ex-fiancé in bed with another man. That is... until he sets his sights on the shy, timid, quiet attorney that helped his good friend Teddy. Just when their relationship gets off the ground; Lane's troubled sister comes to visit with some baggage that anyone would be hesitant to take on; let alone someone in a new relationship. Will Kevin and Lane stick together and give each other the type of love they both crave or will it be too much to handle, too early on for either of them?’

Fine set up and well developed. - it makes for a fine little love story. Grady Harp, May 18

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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