Title: How Still My Love
Author Name: Diane Marina
Publication Date & Length: May 20, 2014 – 151 pgs
Beth Anders is just fine with her single life. Why mess with the heart when it isn’t broken? Being alone means never dealing with hurtful ex-girlfriends, or parents who have shunned her for being gay. Being alone has its perks – she’s just fine on her own. Or so she thinks until the young, vivacious and sexy Toni Vincent enters her life. In one moment, Toni quickly unlocks Beth’s heart and the two women plan a future together.
But when Beth learns that Toni may not want the same type of happy ending she had in mind, fate steps in yet again to steal her happily-ever-after. Toni wants things that Beth might not be able to provide. When an interested new woman steps into the picture, chaos erupts.
Can Beth fix things before it’s too late, or will she lose Toni forever? Travel with Beth on this funny and heartbreaking journey to true love.
My biggest concern was that it was too slow-paced for the first half, and I didn’t have any real sense of who these women were. It was mostly spent dwelling on the progression of their too-perfect relationship. I got very tired of hearing how beautiful they were, as though anyone not thin, feminine, and pretty wasn’t welcome. The characters felt bland and somewhat stereotyped.
I found it a little strange that at the end, their assessment of their relationship was that they’d moved too fast–I honestly didn’t sense that; it felt like they moved at snail’s pace, actually. I wish instead of showing us so much of the “honeymoon phase” the author had concentrated on character development and their personal histories.
The second half of the story was wonderful. We finally got to see some of their personalities emerge (though still a bit less than for my liking). The tension felt real, and I liked that they had some very real feelings about their lives and situations. From the halfway point, it felt like a quick read as everything moved forward.
The sensuality in the book was at a heat level perfect for my taste–hot but not over-the-top, and it felt right for these characters. I enjoyed how loving it felt between them and how their emotions came into play during intimacy. It was really lovely. And of course, I always enjoy a happy ending.
I would definitely recommend this to fans of romantic, happy-ever-after stories. Other readers might not be as concerned with the pacing as I was.
Diane Marina lives in the Mid-Atlantic US with her partner of 18 years. She is the author of several short stories published in the US, as well as a full-length novel, How Still My Love, which was published as a third of a trilogy titled Triple Delight. She plans to expand on the original story and re-publish the novel in 2013.
When not writing, she spends her time reading, hiking, running, and traveling. When she’s not traveling, she’s dreaming of all of the places she’d like to visit.