I meant to post about this ages ago but, alas, that never happened. Back in late March, my debut book review at the Wonkette vertical, Happy Nice Time People, was published. And it was a gushing review of Ruthie Knox’s novella Making It Last:
It’s an emotional ride, and one that might be difficult to get through. You can likelly see yourself in both characters, recognizing the struggle to (and the messiness of) maintaining a long-term relationship. You might quit reading if you didn’t know that Knox was driving us all toward a happy ending. These are the books we read for escape, not soul-searching. Your trust in the formulaic genre allows you to push through in moments when the plot and the feelings were too close to home, too personal. You need the resolution and you need the happy ending.
Also, over at Sulia, I have a short review of her novel, Flirting With Disaster, which is cross-posted in full here:
Here’s the synopsis of Flirting With Disaster, from Knox’s website (http://www.ruthieknox.com/book/flirting-with-disaster/) :
Fresh out of a fiasco of a marriage, Katie Clark has retreated to her hometown to start over. The new Katie is sophisticated, cavalier, and hell-bent on kicking butt at her job in her brother’s security firm. But on her first assignment—digging up the truth about the stalker threatening a world-famous singer-songwriter—Katie must endure the silent treatment from a stern but sexy partner who doesn’t want her help . . . or her company.
Sean Owens knows that if he opens his mouth around Katie, she’ll instantly remember him as the geeky kid who sat behind her in high school. Silence is golden, but he can’t keep quiet forever, not with Katie stampeding through their investigation. It’s time for Sean to step up and take control of the case, and his decade-old crush. If he can break through Katie’s newfound independence, they just might find they make a perfect team—on the road, on the job, and in bed.
The genius of this book is that Sean stutters and all of those things that people carry around that impede relationships with other people, those are represented physically through Sean’s speech. But it isn’t that Knox makes it corny or that this aspect of Sean’s character is seen as a problem by any other person except for him. He is the one who must come to terms with a past that includes a harsh, not-very-motherly mother, a years-long crush on Katie, and a desire to escape the town where he grew up. His journey to find himself is not some kind of triumphal moment where he overcomes a disability and is cured. Knox is too smart for that and she knows her readers are, too.
It is a love story about acceptance, not from someone else but from yourself. This is as true for Katie as Sean, as she is dealing with the scars of a relationship that she felt had buried her own identity under that of her partner’s. Who is she? And does she like that person?
Good stuff, Ms. Knox. As always.