One for the Road by Lynne Marshall is the first romance novel I’ve read in many a year, I must admit. Because the topic of my blog is boomers, Lynne graciously sent me a copy of her book to review and although my last exposure to this genre was 30 years ago, I was curious to see if older heroines just might start a welcome trend.
The heroine of One for the Road is D’Anne Palmer, a recent widow who found out her dead husband was up to some suspiciously dangerous things. The two of them had taken off on a trip across country in their new deluxe 40 foot motor home, when Reese died suddenly, an apparent suicide. D’Anne was left stranded, alone far from home, and broke. How would she get back to California without any money?
Hiring out the RV with herself as driver seemed like the perfect answer. She was less than happy though when the first person to approach her was a has been country singer, Tyler White, who needed transportation for his band to a series of appearances, ending up in Las Vegas. Could an uptight, 40-something California woman with two grown sons find true happiness with a washed up country singer trying to make a come back?
I have to admit, after years of reading about reed thin beauties who find love with handsome (and of course rich) hunks, it was a bit disconcerting, if refreshing, to find a heroine who worries she’ll have a hot flash at an inopportune moment or feels self-conscious because of her crow’s feet or a couple extra inches around her middle.
The hero of the book is also in his 40′s, suffers from high blood pressure and is a few pounds overweight. He examines his hair to see if a suspicious spot on his head is showing scalp and sucks in his gut, resolving to skip breakfast.
His view of D’Anne is “for an older gal, her curves are holding up real good” and she sees him as a “little over the hill, creased and broken in like a favorite chair.”
Still and all, romance and passion for the over 40 set is still alive and well! Sparks fly and we are given a good reason too why D’Anne the recent widow could so easily fall for a broken down cowboy on the comeback trail.
One thing I liked about the book was Marshall’s handling of the reality that the characters came from two different worlds. When we’re young, we tend to think love conquers all but as we age, we know that to keep a relationship going, we really do need to have many things in common. When D’Anne meets up with her two grown sons and a good friend at the end of the road in Las Vegas, she sees Tyler through their eyes and wonders if she’s crazy to even consider falling for him.
It’s easy to see why D’Anne’s sons thought she’d lost her mind. When a normal middle-aged mom hooks up with an aging country singer and his band and travel the road with them, it might just give the kids some moments of worry! It’s very real too, to think that a mother might look at herself through her grown children’s eyes and suffer doubts about what she felt and what she was doing.
Lynne Marshall has a very entertaining style and her middle aged characters’ romance is wonderful to read about. I think the story appeals to all of us who ever think about packing up and taking to the road, living a different life and finding love along the way. If you like romance novels but you’re tired of beautiful, thin heroines and hunky rich heroes, pick up a copy of One for the Road.
On her blog, Lynne says she didn’t seriously pursue writing until age 50 and got her first book sold shortly before her 56th birthday. What an inspiration to all the baby boomers out there who think it’s too late to pursue a dream.
Visit Lynne Marshall’s blog to learn more about One for the Road and her other contemporary romance novels.