Book Review: A Simple Misunderstanding by Kathryn R. Blake
Update: This contest has closed and the winner has been notified. Thank you to those who stopped by to take a look, and especially to the people who entered for their chance to win.
Arthur and Elly, sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! No, not really. I can’t imagine Arthur ever loosening up enough to have fun like that. I’m pretty sure this character hasn’t ever been loose or carefree. He’s a bully, a hater, and a low down skunk. Elly, his wife, bears the brunt of his unexplained anger, and she does it because she believes in a domestic discipline relationship. While, for most people, such a relationship is about a lover, taken-in-hand, looking toward the dominant party in the relationship to lead the way toward mutual happiness, Arthur and Elly’s relationship has morphed into something cruel and, for Elly, deeply unsatisfying, even dangerous.
Elly is a sweet person. Unfortunately, under the harsh eye of Arthur, she’s lost any self-confidence she ever had. She believes she deserves the cruel punishment she receives. That is, until she meets the town veterinarian, Jerry.
Jerry is a loving man with a heart of gold. Although he’s also a spanker, he’s a very mild one, who would never, ever harm a person in his care. Just as with the animals he treats every day with loving kindness, he would treat a wife and mate.
But how can Elly – married to the evil Arthur – and Jerry ever find their happiness? That’s what this book is about.
It’s a book with gritty reality interspersed with romantic and loving tenderness. Elly must learn that she can have love. Jerry must learn it, too.
The setting is Corbin’s Bend, a community in Colorado where spanking is the norm. That might sound far-fetched, but it is so well drawn that it seems quite plausible, even charming. There are many Corbin’s Bend books to choose from and you can start anywhere, but each stands alone and is a full story, not relying on any of the others for a satisfying read.
What I liked about this book were the characters. They were well-drawn and realistic. Although I couldn’t quite figure out what drew sweet Elly to Arthur in the first place (which is not detailed; no info dump in this novel), I could understand how circumstances had led her down the thorny path the couple had taken. Elly is multi-faceted, not an uncomplicated, simpering fool. But it will take a lot of love and understanding for her to feel confident of herself again.
Jerry is exactly the right person to help her find herself. He’s a gentle man with an open heart, willing to share himself with Elly and willing to help her fight against Arthur’s mean treatment. He accepts that if Elly finds the courage to leave Arthur, it doesn’t mean she’ll be turning to Jerry instead, but he hopes. He’s the kind of guy for whom the glass is half full, not empty.
And you’re going to love Elly’s cute little dog. She fits right into the story without making it a “dog story” as so many books with pets can be. This is not a story about animals, even though the hero is a veterinarian and the heroine has a charming dog. It’s a book about people, people with problems to overcome.
The plot moves along well, each scene building upon the one before, and leading to an exciting, romantic, satisfying conclusion. Yes, there is a happy ending.
I highly recommend A Simple Misunderstanding, by Kathryn R. Blake. If you’re a romantic person with a sympathetic heart, you’ll love this book. I know I did.
I’m giving away a copy of A Simple Misunderstanding through Amazon or Barnes & Noble (your choice) to one commenter on this post. Only commenters will be entered in the drawing, which will close on Saturday, November 15 at 11:59 PM ET. Please leave your email address, or I won’t be able to find you, and keep in mind that the prize announcement on Sunday has to make it to your inbox (not your spam/junk filter) or you won’t see it. Enter and send your friends. A free copy of this book can be yours.
Here’s where to get it if you’re not feeling lucky, or you don’t want to wait. I tend to buy books first and ask questions later — I never want to miss a good book. If you’ve already bought A Simple Misunderstanding and you win the contest here, let me know and we’ll work something out. I might ask for proof of purchase (but not a receipt or anything with your real name or payment information on it).
Thanks for joining me here today. You’re gonna love this book!