I have a feeling my tendency to go het contemporary in both this and the one that came after (that I'll post next week) is indicative of my desire for something different. I've been doing primarily m/m for a while now. I'm ready to mix it up again.
“He’s a player.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Really? I can give you the names of six different women he’s dated from this building alone.”
From across the narrow table, I stared at Jenny. I loved her to pieces, but ever since she and her husband went into marital counseling, she’d been a real thorn in my dating side.
“I can give you the names of seven guys from this building I’ve dated,” I countered. “Does that make me a player?”
As her eyes softened, she patted my hand like she was my Nana’s nosy neighbor and not my best friend. “You’re just lonely. I know that.”
“Maybe he’s lonely, too.”
Jenny snorted. “Dating that many women? Not likely.”
Silently, I counted to ten. Our lunch hour wasn’t the time for a lecture on Jen’s willful blindness to the double standard she imposed on a total stranger. “I’ll take the chance.”
Before I could stand, she grabbed my wrist. “Remember Neil? He was the same way and broke your heart. Just do me a favor and say to yourself, ‘This is a place I don’t want to go back to.’ Then you’ll see I’m right.”
Carefully, I tugged free. “If I judged every guy by Neil, I’d never go on a date again. Let it go. I’m asking him out.”
I felt better as I walked away. Life was too short not to take risks. How could I know if he was The One if I didn’t try?
What I find so refreshing about this one is a heroine who owns her sexuality and doesn't believe in labels, and yet is oddly hopeful about romantic relationships. Plus, I know a lot of women like Jenny, who hold different standards for the same behavior depending on whether you're a man or a woman. They often mean well, but that sort of gender-bias thinking is dangerous, especially when it comes to how we raise our daughters. Hopefully, I'll get to this one some day.
I have a new release coming out on Sunday, so I'll be back on Monday to talk more about it. This weekend, I get more bonding time with my daughter and friends, though I have a ton of chores to do around the house before that can happen. Plus, meal planning for the next week. Since we've gone more vegan-oriented, it takes more forethought if I don't want to get bored. That's always my downfall. I want food to be interesting. When it fails, I make bad choices. I need to break that mindset. And I will. In time.
Have a great weekend, everyone!