Desert Isle Keeper
One True Love
One True Love is a very good contemporary romance that gives the reader three love stories all blended into a fast-moving and often very emotional novel.
The main story is the reunion of Nick Maddux and his former wife Lisa Alvarez. Nick and Lisa were married eight years ago and were deeply in love. When their infant daughter, Robin, died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, their marriage broke up and Lisa fled to Los Angeles to climb the corporate ladder as an advertising agency executive. Lisa has become a success in her profession and is engaged to Raymond, another executive who is much older than she is.
While Lisa is juggling her plans for a big wedding, and at the same time, trying to land a major account for the agency, her best friend (and former sister-in-law) Maggie calls. Maggie is a widowed mother of three children and she is at the end of her wits. The poor woman is totally worn out by her children’s demands and just recently, she has received a letter that causes her to wonder if her husband might still be alive. Lisa agrees to baby-sit the kids so Maggie can have a weekend by herself.
When Lisa arrives to stay with them, Maggie’s children have a fit and want their uncle Nick to come over. One of them calls him behind Lisa’s back. The reunion of Lisa and Nick is very uncomfortable at first, and Lisa behaved in a way that made me want to just slap her. Yes, she lost a child, but so did Nick, and the way she railed at Nick and accused him of being responsible – well, grief is grief but I thought Lisa was too cruel to Nick. For his part, Nick has worked through his sorrow much better than Lisa. He has been able to get his grief out in the open and now he can talk about Robin while Lisa still cannot even mention her name.
Meanwhile, Maggie is in Los Angeles trying to find out whether her husband is really dead or not. While she is there, she meets Jeremy, an aspiring screenwriter. Jeremy is handsome and charming, but not in the least bit shallow. He sees Maggie as a beautiful and desirable woman, not just as a worn-out mom. Jeremy offers to help Maggie in her search for the truth, and along the way they fall deeply in love. While the reconciliation between Nick and Lisa is meant to be the main story in the book, I found myself liking this one almost as much. I loved seeing a movie-star handsome man fall in love with an intelligent and warm-hearted woman who is pretty, but not drop-dead beautiful.
As for Lisa’s fiance Raymond, he finds himself drawn to Beverly, another executive who is after the same account he is. Beverly is Raymond’s age, and as he matches wits with her, he finds himself thinking that maybe he doesn’t want or need a young trophy wife after all.
One True Love is an emotional book – sometimes almost too emotional. The death of a child is always tragic and wrenching for those involved and at times the story was just painful to read. I did like it that Ms. Freethy showed Nick as the one who was able to get his emotions out in the open and work through his grief while Lisa kept everything bottled up inside – contrary to the usual male/female stereotype. This is the first book by Barbara Freethy that I have read. I enjoyed it and it will not be my last.