Looking for Laura
This book had a bit more potential than it delivered. Still, it’s a solid read with likable characters and a sweet love story between two people who manage to turn loathing into love.
Sally Driver is a widow. Her husband, anal attorney Paul Driver, died on an country road one day when his sports car slid on some black ice and plowed into a tree. It’s been three months, and Sally thinks she’s finally ready to go through Paul’s belongings, sort them, and pack them away. When she finds a packet of love letters folded into one of his sweaters, she is shocked. Sure, she and Paul didn’t have a perfect marriage, but she had thought they’d had a good one. The letters are all from someone named Laura. But, Laura Who?
Todd Sloane, editor of the local newspaper, was Paul’s best friend. Ever since they were kids, they’d been friends. When Paul got the uneducated waitress at the local coffee shop pregnant, and she insisted they get married, Todd was furious. He thought this Sally person had trapped his best friend into marriage, so over the six years Paul and Sally were married, Todd hadn’t made much of an effort to get to know her. After all, Paul told him all about the weird, quirky, unconventional Sally. What more could he possible want to know?
Sally takes Laura’s letters and confronts Todd with them. Shouldn’t his best friend know about Laura? She demands that Todd come clean and tell her about the affair her jerk husband had had. But Todd is just as stunned as Sally. And feels just as betrayed. Sally was only Paul’s wife, but Todd was his best friend. Why hadn’t Paul told Todd about Laura?
Despite how much they dislike each other, Todd and Sally join forces to track down the elusive Laura. In the meantime, events and conversations begin to sway their preconceived notions about each other and Todd and Sally begin to fall in love. Sexual tension builds between them until finally they can’t stand it anymore and they give in. The first time they make love, they realize what they’ve been missing and that this thing between them just might be the real deal.
Todd and Sally are great. They are perfectly drawn individuals who go through life with intelligence and humor and enthusiasm. The secondary characters are very well crafted as well, especially Todd’s parents and Sally’s co-workers and customers. The one big problem I had with this story, however, was Rosie, Sally and Paul’s five-year-old daughter.
Rosie is the reason Paul married Sally, but as far as I’m concerned, she played far too big a role in the book. Rosie is one of those kids who appear in books who you just wish would stay at the babysitter’s through the whole thing. Her adorable-ness and constant presence was too much. She didn’t sound like a five-year-old and made observations and comments in advance of her years. For her father having been dead only three months, she seemed to be coping remarkably well. Overly precocious children do exist in real life, but they don’t read all that well in books and I found Rosie a bit much to handle.
There is lots of humor in Looking For Laura. Some of it works; some seems too contrived. But the main reason I liked this book was Todd. He’s a decent guy who just happens to be gorgeous. He learns to love Sally, who is not petite and has a very strong personality, in spite of his preconceptions about her.
Do Todd and Sally ever find Laura? Sure they do. But this story is more about who Paul really was than who Laura is. While not perfect, Looking For Laura a nice, sexy, funny read. Enjoy.