Wait for It

M. O'Keefe

Fans of gritty, blue-collar romance will enjoy Wait For It, a dark and sexy look at a woman emerging from an abusive relationship.

Tiffany married Blake’s abusive brother Phil, whose messes Blake has been cleaning up for decades. Blake is wealthy, thanks to managing the racecar inventions of his friend, and the first time he meets Tiffany he cuts her a check and considers his obligations discharged. They cross paths again a few years later, as Tiffany, now the mother of three small children, tries to leave Phil, and Blake realizes things are going to be more complicated than he wants them to be.

These are two people with a lot of problems, and the author doesn’t gloss over them or how difficult they are to resolve. Sometimes this means that Blake is a complete asshole, because that’s who he’s been for years. But I liked that Tiffany stands up to him, and Blake starts to like and respect her for it. More importantly, Tiffany starts to like and respect herself. Their chemistry is well-written.

At the same time, neither of these characters is terribly memorable. I’ve read a lot of Blakes – working-class guys who hit it rich through some sort of manual skill – usually involving vehicles – but keep it real with their street connections and tough attitudes. While I’ve read fewer Tiffanys, nothing tremendously original or detailed is done with her emerging-from-domestic violence storyline. The author is sensitive in dealing with some of the sexual scars and strategies that Tiffany has acquired, and what it means to her to, for instance, associate oral sex with rewarding her husband for not drinking his entire paycheck. Beyond coming out of her life with Phil, Tiffany’s major defining characteristic is her motherhood, and I did like her in that role. I liked her practicality in accepting money from Blake. I also liked that she doesn’t have angelic children, and that her oldest child shows realistic scars from the violence to which he’s been exposed.

In other areas, the domestic violence plot wasn’t what it could – or should – have been. All characters place faith in restraining orders, which are not magical force fields but legal punishments that often kick in after it’s too late. Custody isn’t presented as a major issue. I know Phil didn’t like his kids, but going after them to hurt the mother is a typical abuser move. Worst, the book ignores guns completely. Blake and Tiffany act as if teaching Tiffany some fighting, which will allow her to hit Phil back, is going to be satisfying and safe. Nobody asks about what could happen if Phil is carrying a gun when Tiffany hits back, or if he’d use it before getting close enough to be hit, or if he’d come back with one to escalate revenge. For a book that is so meticulously thoughtful about examining the mental and emotional impact of domestic violence, omitting this horrible reality on top of legal generalities is a major oversight and letdown.

O’Keefe is a very good writer, making her point with simple, straightforward prose that suits her regular-person characters. At one point, as Tiffany starts to come into her own, she says “My life had a new center. My kids yes. And maybe… me. Maybe I could be in the center of my own life.” That’s not only great for a recovering abuse survivor, but also for any story about a mom of three on her own. There is a lot of profanity, but I would have seen a character like Blake as unrealistic without it.

There is a “type” of darker, borderline erotic romance, and this book is a perfect example of it. If you like that type, then definitely give Wait for It a try.

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Book Details

Reviewer :      Caroline Russomanno

Grade :     B+

Sensuality :      Hot

Book Type :     

Review Tags :     


  1. Amanda February 25, 2017 at 3:00 am - Reply

    I’ve been so, so excited for this book. I really liked the first book but wasn’t as big on the second one, felt it dragged out too much. And while I only gave the third one 3 stars, because of some issues I had with it, the book really stuck with me. Going into this one, Blake seems like such an anti-hero, and I love those. O’Keefe’s gritty style in this series is definitely not for everyone. But after reading so many books that just feel like the same story over and over, her voice is refreshing.

  2. Dabney Grinnan
    Dabney Grinnan February 25, 2017 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Ah yes, the problem of guns in Romantic Suspense. It’s hard to take seriously a story with a scary ex that wouldn’t involve fear of his/her having a gun. But guns take all the suspense out. I sympathize with authors on this one.

  3. Keira Soleore February 25, 2017 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    Gun violence is so prevalent in our society that my mind always goes there in such situations. It is unbelievable to me that guns wouldn’t be involved.

    • Blackjack February 25, 2017 at 8:26 pm - Reply

      My thinking exactly, Keira! Guns are such an enormous part of American culture today and something American contemporary authors should deal with for the sake of authenticity, just as American authors writing westerns do.

      • CarolineAAR February 26, 2017 at 8:58 am - Reply

        Especially since the book is set in North Carolina, which has one of America’s most egregious records on guns and domestic violence. For instance, you can be convicted of domestic violence assault and not be considered a violent domestic abuser for purposes of federal firearm restrictions: http://nccriminallaw.sog.unc.edu/fourth-circuit-north-carolina-assaults-dont-count-misdemeanor-crimes-domestic-violence-purposes-firearm-prohibition/

        • Dabney Grinnan
          Dabney Grinnan February 26, 2017 at 1:51 pm - Reply

          It’s true–NC has crap laws about guns–and they’re getting worse every day. Nationally about 20% of all domestic abuse cases involve a weapon. Interestingly, a weapon was involved in a larger percentage of violence committed by other relatives (26%) than intimate partners (19%) and immediate family members (19%). I think it’s hard for authors of all kinds of stories–books, film, TV–to realistically add guns into the mix. The gun almost always wins. Not much suspense to be found in that.

        • Blackjack February 26, 2017 at 4:23 pm - Reply

          I haven’t read this book, but if it’s set in contemporary North Carolina and focuses on domestic violence, that makes the absence of guns even stranger. I think like others, the issue would get stuck in my head and deter from my reading.

          • Dabney Grinnan
            Dabney Grinnan February 26, 2017 at 4:42 pm

            Yes, I think many thinking readers will respond that way.

  4. Em Wittmann
    Em Wittmann February 25, 2017 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    I liked this very much. I’ve made my peace with romantic suspense and the requisite need to “suspend” reality in order to enjoy a story. Though I think you are right – a gun significantly limits Tiffany’s options in any conflict with Phil, I liked that Ms. O’keefe chooses instead to focus her narrative on what Tiffany needs to feel powerful. Again, it’s not realistic but I’m willing to overlook it. Blake was still a bit of an enigma by the end but a liked him as Tiffany’s sort of knight in shining armor.

    Romantic and sexy. Also a B+ for me.

  5. CarolineAAR February 25, 2017 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    I think this was particularly conspicuous to me because I had just read Robyn Carr’s Shelter Mountain, which also features a domestic violence survivor heroine but is much more attuned to the technical legal aspects. Carr’s book is very clear on the problem with restraining orders, which is that they can’t prevent murder-suicides, and the custody-pawn problem. My concerns did go beyond guns.

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