ForeWord Reviews

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Katie's Way

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

Katie’s Way, a steamy, breezy romance novel, has all the usual elements of the genre: sexy man meets sexy woman; man and woman have frequent lusty involvements; their relationship teeters, but a happy ending follows. Author Gwendolyn Shover knows the formula and applies it to her plot and characters, without any big surprises.

Maggie is a home health nurse with a sad secret that destroyed her first marriage and now puts her at risk from the actions of her violent, vengeful ex-husband. Maggie meets Nathan when her job takes her to the home of Katie Stewart, Nathan’s wealthy, feisty grandmother who has raised him and his best friend, Roger. Both men are deputies, and Nathan plans an eventual legal career.

Katie is a shameless matchmaker, doing her best after a minor stroke to put Nathan and Maggie together from the moment the nurse arrives. Katie describes Nathan as “hot,” and Maggie quickly realizes that she is right. Her attraction is to Nathan immediate, and he can’t restrain his impulses toward her, even on an official visit to her house.

Maggie’s refusal to talk about her past and her dark secret causes her to break away from Nathan more than once. She also refuses to share her secret with her closest friend from work. The nature of the secret is hard to understand as the reason for Maggie’s drastic decisions, but it moves the plot along in soap operatic fashion.

The story relies on frequent visits to the local hospital by the Maggie and Nathan, several falls and nasty bumps on the heads, numerous fainting episodes, much vomiting, and occasional heavy sex. Unfortunately, the constant fainting by more than one character becomes cartoonish, rather depicting real-life action. Even if intended as comedic, it is overdone.

The author overuses some descriptions, such as describing eyelashes as fans, and employs other trite expressions, like “time flew by,” and “bees buzzing happily.” Numerous punctuation and spelling errors are also present.

Katie’s Way, however, does include worthy observations about abused women and the behavior of elderly people after a stroke or in need of home care.

The book also provides a reminder about how important communication is in a relationship; once Maggie opens up about her past, her future is assured.

Katie, a delightful character, continues her matchmaking to the book’s predictable conclusion, pleasing romance readers who are hooked on the genre, especially for its sexy action.

Linda Salisbury