Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review and spotlight...The Passion Thief by: Anne McCarthy Strauss

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The tumble between the sheets can get a little stale and infrequent in some marriages. At least that’s what Betty Boomer tells herself at night, while Stan, her husband of two decades, snores upright on the couch. Emboldened by too much Chardonnay, she searches the Internet for her college boyfriend Michael, the proverbial one who got away. Memories of their youthful passion reignite a lust Betty thought had dried up long ago.

Michael responds to Betty’s cyber message, and temptation calls this globe-trotting freelance journalist. While Stan’s idea of excitement is staying up past ten o’clock on a Saturday night, Michael has evolved into a flashy Las Vegas casino manager with three ex-wives. Which man offers stimulation and which one brings monotony coupled with reliability is vividly clear.

Written with the yearning and struggle many women feel, Betty Boomer is not alone when she asks, “Is this all I need or should I take another shot at passion?” Author Anne McCarthy Strauss brings us her latest women’s fiction coupled with a large dose of romantic comedy and a dozen long-stemmed roses

My Review:
3.5 -4 stars
Review copy provided for an honest review

This was a very well written book. It touches on a subject that a lot of married people are afraid to talk about. Are you still in your marriage because it's comfortable and expected? Do you still love your spouse? Or for that matter did you ever really love them?

Betty's marriage has become a marriage without passion, without substance, they exist together and go about their daily life without connecting anymore.

Stan, Betty's husband is dedicated to his work and provides a good home and life to Betty but something is missing. They are no longer intimate and when they are it is "expected" holidays. birthdays etc. Betty begins to wonder what a relationship outside of Stan would be like, she begins to wonder about the "true" love of her life the one who got away. And at a particular lonely time she decides to google him and find him. Not before long they connect and start having an affair. Beth is living in the past and holding on to someone she knew when she was twenty. Michael her ex has changed in many ways and didn't become what she thought he would. But Betty can't let go, her and Michael have a spark and passion that she hasn't felt in a very long time. 

As Stan tries to improve their marriage Betty begins to question everything. Is she happy with Michael? Is she happy with Stan? Is she happy at all?

This book was somewhat emotional for me, I didn't know how to feel. I liked it and found it thought provoking but it was hard for me too. I can't say I really liked the characters but I understood them. I went from feeling nothing for all three of them to really feeling for them. That's what I think makes the writing so good, but the book itself isn't something I typically read. I'm a sucker for romance and a HEA and I'm not saying if this book did or didn't have that but it wasn't like I was rooting for anyone either. I wanted them all to be happy at certain points and I wanted them to all rot at certain points. I feel the characters were very self absorbed and even though time and time again Betty said Stan put her at the center of his universe, I really didn't feel like he did. Michael was just a mess and confused living twenty years ago and Betty didn't know what the hell she wanted.

I did like how it ended and how the author wrapped things up and even though this book was fiction it felt like a big dose of realty to me. I would definitely read more by this author, I just don't think I was fully prepared for the realness of this book. One thing I did hope for was a little more about Michael in the end.

I have to quote this because I found it to be very profound and right on point. 
Betty:  "I wanted to teach her that passion fades, but true love endures...that happily ever after can mean having someone to nurse you through a horrific illness...or leave the lights on until you get home. But that sometimes even those things aren't enough."

HEA? (1)<<<click here if you want to know.

About the author:

Anne McCarthy Strauss

Anne McCarthy Strauss is a writer of women’s fiction as well as articles for publications and corporate media.

Anne lives in upstate New York with her husband and their two dogs. She has written for both consumer and trade magazines including Old House Journal, Waterfront Home & Design, Design Trade Magazine, Design New England, Distinction, Log Home Design Ideas and Florida Design Review. She has been a regular contributor to Martha’s Vineyard Magazine and Vineyard Style. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA). Anne is hard at work on her next novel. When not writing, she’s likely to be hiking, kayaking, crafting, swimming, or walking her dogs.

To learn more, visit her at:

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