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Monday, August 2, 2021

Studfinder (Busy Bean #5) by L.B. Dunbar

A Review by Wendy
4.5 Real Second Chances Stars
* * * * 1/2 

Spoiler Free

When an author and publisher make a decision to approach topics and age ranges not the norm, I feel like doing a personal Woo Hoo for them. Society is not made up of only a younger demographic and people who haven't had serious life experiences. To address this older segment with realistic romance themes shouldn't be brave but in some ways they are.

Rita Kaplan is a self-realized woman.
She has a successful law practice, has had all the knocks life can give, and rose above them to feel like she knows who she is and what she needs. She has a special way to destress, going to The Busy Bean and vegging out on their plush, comfy, cozy couch that is her safe place...a place to center herself, and where she feels it is hers, period.

Jake Drummond is back in his old stomping grounds, living and assisting his brother and nephew. His brother was permanently disabled from a terrible fire. Fire was something that had been part of both their lives due to the brother being a fireman and Jake being a former arson investigator.

Jake has been away for seven years. He was convicted for starting a fire and did the time. Although he didn't do this crime, there were too many circumstantial things that seemed to make it look like he did. Now he is in a work rehab program dictated by his parole. He is not looking for any complications, just wanting to get through things and then move on. The one thing that he has been so proud of is his nephew. The young man has grown into someone Jake wants to succeed.

These two meet at the Busy Bean and it is the fact that Jake is sitting on "Rita's Couch" that causes the interaction. Rita approaches and demands he move as the couch is hers, Jake looking at this feisty woman and decides, no...

This confrontation had sparks for both of them, an interest that both shot down before it even started. Jake, needing to restart his life was interested but let the woman go. Rita, irritated, felt a stirring of feelings she hadn't had for a very long time. She wouldn't accept it happening.

We then get to the complication- Rita is in charge of the non-profit where Jake is doing his rehab/parole job. The non-profit does rehab housing for those in need. It was started by Rita's father and she has been part of it from the start.

There is the added contact between these two when Rita is in charge of the AA meeting Jake is required to go to as part of his rehab. So no matter how much these two are trying not to be attracted and act on it, fate keeps putting them together.

All of these elements give us backstories and the perspectives of these characters. Each has had life experiences to deal with before they could accept the love that was being presented. We were given a smoking hot romance, PUN INTENDED, but also a suspense element, too.

I happen to be a solid fan of L.B. Dunbar as she never shies away from grown-up issues.  

 

L.B. Dunbar has an over-active imagination. To her benefit, such creativity has led to over thirty romance novels, including those offering a second chance at love over 40. Her signature works include the #sexysilverfoxes collection of mature males and feisty vixens ready for romance in their prime years. She’s also written stories of small-town romance (Heart Collection), rock star mayhem (The Legendary Rock Stars Series), and a twist on intrigue and redemption (Redemption Island Duet). She’s had several alter egos including elda lore, a writer of romantic magical realism through mythological retellings (Modern Descendants). In another life, she wanted to be an anthropologist and journalist. Instead, she was a middle school language arts teacher. The greatest story in her life is with the one and only, and their four grown children.

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