Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat Rating: 1
Love can't flourish in the dark
Fifteen years ago, Elaine fell in love with Johnny McMannus, the local bad boy. He was nineteen and she was jailbait. To keep them both out of trouble, Johnny left town.
But years later his father's heart attack brings him back to run the family garage. Hoping to reconnect with Elaine, Johnny has to first fix the mess his parent's alcoholism has made of things. Before Johnny can deserve Elaine, he has to salvage his family's reputation, save their home, and rescue the business.
Too bad Elaine doesn't want to be deserved. She wants to be loved. She never got over Johnny and she's done sneaking around with him as they had before. If he can't love her in public, to her way of thinking he doesn't love her enough.
Warning: Nosy neighbors, hypochondriac mothers and underage girls
This novella would have real potential if the characters were given a chance to develop. Unfortunately, because of its size that can be hard to achieve. It was very difficult for me to connect to either Elaine or Johnny as adults. I had a better understanding their teenage years. However, as adults neither character seemed to mature very much.
Johnny came home after 14 years still in the same frame of mind. He still doesn’t feel worthy of Elaine. He let his parent’s alcoholism and poor reputation tarnish his own life. In fact, the only reason he drug his sister to Alanon meetings, at first anyway, was to improve their family’s overall reputation, in order to be with Elaine.
The last 14 years haven’t changed Elaine that much. Even though she has become a respected teacher in their small town, she seems to be just going through the motions of living life. Elaine’s routine life spins off kilter when Johnny returns. In fact she is so upset over Johnny’s return that she drowns her fears in ice cream and Bailey’s Irish Crème. The rest of the time is spent avoiding Johnny instead of confronting him. The little interaction they do have feels rushed and the ending was predictable and anti-climactic.
2 ½ Tea Cups!