Title: A Road Through Mountains (Love’s Encore #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Miranda MacLeod (Apple Blossom Press)
Publication Date & Length: April 2, 2016 — 223 Pages
When Cecily Parker volunteers backstage at the Oakwood Theater, the only thing she wants is a few hours of relief from the doldrums of her upper class suburban existence. The last thing she expects is to be reunited with the only person she ever truly loved, a woman she left behind almost twenty years ago.
Rorie Mulloy has built a career as an award winning production designer in Hollywood, but her personal life is anything but a success. When she agrees to design the sets for a community theater production of A Streetcar Named Desire in Connecticut, she has no idea that the woman who broke her heart and ruined her for love will be assigned to her crew.
As the sparks are rekindled between them, these star-crossed lovers just might have a second chance at love. But only if they can overcome the ghosts of their past, and survive the sometimes comic cast of characters determined to keep them from their happily ever after.
Cecily is on the surface a’Stepford Wife’, carrying on the family tradition of marrying well and never causing a fuss. She is lonely and unhappy but can’t see a way out. When she volunteers at her local theatre she bumps into Rorie, now a Hollywood set designer but in a previous life, her lover. Their relationship ended badly as Cecily wanted to keep them a secret and Rorie couldn’t live that way.
I really loved this book. It went back and forward between Cecily and Rorie at college and how they came to be together. Cecily was living under such pressure from her political dynasty family and I could see why she was in such a quandry about their relationship. It was 1998 after all and people were not so accepting of gay relationships. Rorie was out and having to deal with other people’s attitudes and wanted to be open about their relationship.
Present day was not any easier for Cecily but once she and Rorie were sleeping together again I wanted her to see that she could break away from other people’s expectations and be free at last. She was a woman who had to find the strength to be herself and it was great reading her journey. Miranda Macleod has a wonderful story- telling style and weaves so many other side stories and tensions into a great read. The threat of Polly and her group of awful, cruel and gossipy women was a real worry for Cecily but the way the author dealt with her was poetic justice! I was sorry to finish this book as I so enjoyed reading about Cecily and Rorie. I was overjoyed though, when getting to the last page and discovering that there are two more instalments to come in June and September! I can’t wait.
An original, riveting and captivating novel.
The opening chapter had me smiling at the self effacing humour. As the book progressed I was completely enthralled. I particularly admired the way the author related the story by switching between past and present encounter’s between the two women. This gave a comprehensive background to both their characters and their situation.
As the relationship continued to unfold the author veered between relating the conversation as it occurred, interspersed with snippets from what had happened in the past. This added to the emotional impact of this moving and passionate novel.
The ending had me laughing as well as proving to be a huge relief!
Being a Brit I had some reservations about how life was described coming from the deep south of USA, in terms of being a lesbian, however Ms MACLEOD writes with such determination and authority I accepted her description wholeheartedly.
A talented author and a really splendid novel I can’t wait to read the sequel.
I have to admit, I had a hard time reading this book. I didn’t like Cecily and had a very difficult time connecting to her. I liked Rorie, but I couldn’t figure out the draw to Cecily. In college, Cecily was timid and paranoid about anyone figuring out their relationship, which would have had uncomfortable consequences for her if her parents, mostly her mother, found out about it. Rorie was out and comfortable with herself, and didn’t like the restrictions Cecily put on their being together. The problem is, they meet up eighteen years later and Cecily still can’t stand up for herself. She’s in a loveless marriage, with a man who doesn’t want her, and a life filled with nothing but her son, who is in his last year of high school and about to go off to college the next year. She doesn’t like the women who are her peers; she can’t even say they’re her friends. She doesn’t like the things that most women in her position usually do to fill up their time. It seems like she’s a total milquetoast, and she’s spent most of her life suppressing anything she wants or desires in order to conform, but I’m not even sure who she’s conforming for. So I kind of agree with Cecily when she wonders why Rorie would even want her. I wonder that too. It’s only at the end, when Rorie has gone back to LA and Cecily thinks everything is over that she finally, finally stands up for herself and what she wants. But even here, the thing that makes her do it is that Chet, her husband, has finally been dumped by the woman who spent 18 years as his mistress. Wow. So yeah, not really a fan of Cecily in this book. Perhaps with the decisions she’s made at the end of the story, she’d be someone I’d like in the next book. Not sure I’d pick it up though, especially if we have to read more about the decisions she makes because she’s scared to live her life. She was bold at the end, grabbing on to life with both hands, even if she never thought she’d get what she truly wanted. If that Cecily shows up in book two, sign me up.
Cecily’s heart thumped and her own fingertips began to tingle with a sudden jolt of adrenaline that coursed through her at the shock of recognition.
Surely it couldn’t be…
The woman stopped talking, as if aware that guests had joined them in the room. She began to turn, revealing a creamy bronze face, and just a hint of freckles sprinkled across prominent cheek bones like a fine dusting of cinnamon. Her eyes shone with the brilliant blue of an Alaskan glacier in the afternoon sun.
In truth, the room was drenched in shadows and not a single detail of the woman’s appearance was the slightest bit visible. It didn’t have to be. Cecily saw it all vividly in her mind just the same. She knew without a doubt, once she managed to will her heart to stop racing and forced her eyes to look up, that the face looking back at her would most certainly belong to Rorie Mulloy.
Cecily silently cursed her luck. What were the odds? The very first time since college that she’d dared to venture backstage at a theater, and she found herself face to face with the reason she’d left in the first place.
Miranda lives in New England and writes heartfelt lesbian romances featuring witty and charmingly flawed women that you’ll want to marry. Or just grab a coffee with, if that’s more your thing. She is an avid reader and a good cook, and loves to travel. Before becoming a writer, she spent way too many years in graduate school and has worked as a temp in just about every office building in downtown Boston at one time or another.
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