A Better Forever
by Tracey Cramer-Kelly
GENRE: Contemporary romance
Connor Lawson has always been a nerd. A rules follower. The valedictorian who worked his way up to Chief Financial Officer at his company on the Iron Range in Minnesota—and married the girl of his dreams. But his perfect life is crashing down around him. He could lose his job in a company acquisition. And the wife he deeply loves has discovered the shameful secret he’s hidden for most of his life.
Melina “Mel” Lawson was the opposite of Connor in college, but she fell hard for the man she could talk to for hours. Now, twelve years and two kids into their marriage, life is a blur of hockey practice, drama rehearsals, part-time work, and volunteering. Still, she can’t shake the feeling that something is missing. When she discovers what Connor has been struggling with all these years, his betrayal leaves her devastated.
Picking up the pieces…
They’d once vowed before God to love one another for better or worse—but Mel never imagined anything like this. If Connor is willing to work things out, is Mel ready to salvage this marriage in crisis? Can they recapture true intimacy and find a better forever… together?
Tears filled her eyes and spilled down her cheek, and he couldn’t help it; his thumb brushed her cheek, then his hands slipped around her neck. Her skin was so soft against his fingertips, igniting a yearning deep inside him. He wanted so badly to kiss her, but he suspected that would be too much. Instead, he rested his forehead against hers. “I won’t keep any more secrets from you,” he said. “I promise.”
She didn’t pull away, a fact for which he sent a silent thank you heaven-ward. It also gave him the courage to make his next request.
“Jamie told me about a marriage retreat,” he said. “He knows a couple who attended, and they said good things about it. It’s next weekend in Minneapolis.” He paused. “Would you consider attending?”
Now she did pull back. “The kids—”
“Could stay at my parents’,” he said.
“I don’t know, Connor,” she said. “That seems so… soon.”
Soon? Every night he spent sleeping at his parents’ was killing him.
She stood. “I’ll… I’ll think about it, okay?”
Reluctantly, he stood too, knowing he was being dismissed and aching from that single touch of her. “That’s all I’m asking.” He handed her the print-out he’d made from the internet. “Here’s some more information about the retreat. They have them once a month.”
His entire being rebelled at the thought of going on like this for another month…
I’ve just got to say that this book wasn’t what I was looking for but it definitely opened my eyes not only to Connor and Mel’s marriage but to my own. That’s a gift that Ms. Cramer-Kelly gave to me and I will cherish it forever. I read this book a couple of weeks ago and it is still with me. It’s one of those books that makes you think and think again. The one thing that I took away from the book is communication is the key. I know it sounds so cliched but that’s one of the major problems that most marriages have. Don’t lie and shake your head. I know that my marriage could use some work in the communications department. It happens. Life happens. We get busy with our jobs, the children, and everyday stressors. The spouse is the last person that you will talk to if you have something personal to share. I know I do. Same as my husband. I actually get jealous when my husband decides to talk to his friends and not me. Fortunately, we don’t have the problems that Connor and Mel have.
I’m not going to spoil what the problem is because that’s what makes this book unique. It’s something that is not discussed but should be. I admire Connor for owning up to it and seeking help. His brothers are pillars of strength for him as his parents and it’s comforting to him to get back to his family and figure out what is most important to him. There is true love and devotion between Mel and Connor, they just lost their way. Their kids are there but they aren’t the main focus of the book. Mel and Connor are and Ms. Cramer-Kelly keeps the focus there most of the time.
Trust me when I say that everyone should read this book. It is an eye-opening, cautionary tale of how a disease that manifests itself in youth can affect a solid marriage that unfortunately, spirals out of control. Ms. Cramer-Kelly doesn’t let her characters have It easy. She tells it like it is. I will have to tell you that the scene in the shower is beautifully written. That scene is when I finally connected with Mel as a person. I had already connected to her as a married woman but that scene alone…
I highly recommend this book to everyone. It’s heartfelt, eye-opening, and oh so good. You will thank me later.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Many experiences influence Tracey’s writing, and she has been known to undertake unusual endeavors (such as firefighter training and learning to fly a helicopter) just for the sake of the experience. Being an Army-trained combat medic (and civilian EMT) and a “biker chick” for over 30 years has had significant influence in her books, but even “ordinary” events have struck a chord or inspired a character or plot idea. To support her writing habit, she also works PT at a substance abuse counseling center and manages the family business (Leader Motorcycle). She’s a soccer fanatic who’s blessed with a very understanding husband and two children who put up with the “embarrassment” of a motorcycle-riding, romance-writing mom!
Web site: www.TKRomance.com
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Tracey Cramer-Kelly will be awarding autographed copies of the Army Ranger Series (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.