Title: Loving Again
Author Name & Publisher: Alicia Joseph (Affinity eBook Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 15, 2015 — 129 pages
Dana Perkins lost her longtime partner in a tragic accident. Although she still struggles with the loss, her profound loneliness is evidence that it is time to move on. She knows her deceased lover, Casey, wouldn’t want her living this way. Dana begins her slow process of letting go, removing reminders of Casey from her house, and dating again.
The women she meets leave Dana uninspired and missing her deceased partner even more. Just as she is about to resign herself to the belief that she will never love again, Dana meets Emily Daniels, a married woman who is deeply conflicted over her attraction to women. Soon, the two women form a friendship that leads to deeper emotions. They discover that one moment in their past had brought them together in a way neither woman could have ever imagined. Is that one moment in time enough to let both women follow their hearts, or will they let their past continue to rule their future?
I was so excited to get this book, and it certainly started with a bang that showed it would be excellent. Unfortunately, shortly after the pacing slowed to almost a crawl. This story seemed to be two in one and with a lack of focus. There was a coming out story and there was a romance story, and the two did not blend well, sadly.
I was also seriously put off by the biphobia going on in this piece. Being a bisexual woman myself, I was utterly annoyed—and frankly, ticked off—that everyone (not just Emily) had to be either “bi-curious” and in it just for a good romp in the sheets or a lesbian. Bi-erasure is real, and sadly, it’s stories like this that continue the erasure of an entire group under the rainbow.
In order for this story to work with both plot lines, it needed to be expanded and have more drama, more introspection and less repetition of things that already happened. In a story that’s only 70 pages long there was a lot of repeating of information going on. Secondly, the romance needed to be greater and bigger, needed to have more connection between the two characters to show what they were going through. There was a lot of telling in this story, and after reading Her Name and absolutely loving it to death, I was surprised to find that in this story.
I did, however, absolutely love the characters in this story. Dana and Emily were well-developed and I was able to connect with both of them. I love May/December stories, so that had me pulled in from the beginning, and I do love the power-play (teacher/student) so I was glad to see that and slightly disappointed it didn’t continue beyond that, but eh, not every story can be that story. I loved how the story ended, but wished I could have seen a bit more of that drama/internal conflict earlier in the story to make the pacing flow better.
This book had several things I loved, and a handful I could have lived without. The characters were well developed and I enjoyed the dialog and settings. The plot flowed nicely for the most part though there were hiccups here and there when Dana was struggling with herself and her feelings.
My major complaints were some formatting issues which made it difficult to read in places (dialog lines not separating – one character speaking running right into the next line written and so forth) and what I felt was a lack of ‘follow through’ for the characters. I almost felt as if I should be expecting a second book at some point in the future. If this is the case, then wonderful! If not, I feel the book ended rather abruptly.
Overall it was well written and I would recommend it to friends with a disclaimer about the hanging ending.
Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. Her first novella, Her Name, was published by Musa Publishing in 2014. Her Name is a sweet, romantic love story about a woman who believes the beautiful woman she dreams about is the real love of her life.
Her second published novella, Loving Again, is a story about two women who begin a relationship, and soon discover that one moment in their past had brought them together in a way neither woman could have ever imagined.
Alicia is currently working on a new novel called, A Penny on the Tracks, a coming of age story about love and friendship. Alicia has many works-in-progress that she hopes to finish soon.
When she is not writing, the author enjoys volunteering with animals, rooting for her favorite sports teams, and playing “awesome aunt” to her nine nieces and nephews.