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Archive for the ‘Romance In Her Prime’ Category

This Time Is Different by Mae Wood


Title: This Time Is Different
Author: Mae Wood
Release Date: October 12, 2017


Life can change in a flash.Marriage and a baby wasn’t Amy Forsythe’s college plan. After a shotgun marriage glued together by her son, she’s convinced that love isn’t meant for her. Now nearing forty and single for the first time since her senior prom, her friends are pushing her to date. Her teenager isn’t thrilled by the idea and neither is Amy.Silver fox Thomas Popov isn’t looking for The One. He found her decades ago. And fell apart when she died. At fifty-three with a new job, a new city, and an empty nest, he’s focused on climbing the corporate ladder.When a softball accident lands Thomas in Amy’s dental chair, sparks fly. Lightning doesn’t strike twice. But love might.This time is different.


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“Mr. Popov! I thought the appointment was for five,” I said, closing the door to my SUV after spotting him in the parking lot. He was leaning against his car and tapping on a phone, and his face was still a wreck.

“Yeah, it is. I wanted to beat traffic, so I’ve been taking some calls from your parking lot,” he replied, sliding the phone into his suit pants pocket. Silver hair, light blue dress shirt, rolled up at the sleeves, showcasing his muscular forearms. Someone plays a lot of softball.

“Okay, well, Jana should be here soon and then I can take a quick peek and you’ll be on your way.”

“No rush. And please, call me Thomas,” he said.

“Only if you’ll call me Amy.”

“Nice to meet you, Amy.”

He extended his hand, a friendly smile lighting up his face. The bruise was healing nicely, but the impact point was still purple with a large halo of yellow. It was mainly obscured by his salt and pepper scruff. I didn’t blame him for not shaving. Except for his lip, the skin hadn’t broken. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t any less tender from the trauma. In fact, I was impressed that he was able to smile through the ache.

“And you, Thomas,” I replied, hoisting my purse up my shoulder and clasping his hand. I expected a couple of quick businesslike pumps. What I got was different. His hand was big and warm and soft, making me feel delicate, but before I could process what was different, before I could categorize it into neat little bullet points—

“I’m here already. Just noticed you. Y’all are early,” called Jana from the office’s bright red front door.

As I pulled my head out of the clouds, where I’d just begun to wonder how soft the rest of his skin was, I started to withdraw my hand. But not before he gave a little squeeze. Was that a wink?

“Amy, real quick.”


“Will you have dinner with me? I’ve got a table at Brooklyn Bridge at six thirty. And I hear good things about the lobster ravioli and tiramisu.”

The heat that had been building in me quickly cooled. I hated pity dates. I hated when my friends shoved men into my path and hoped for the best. The only one ever truly happy was the friend doing the shoving. And I’d had enough pity from men to last my lifetime. Being alone was better than being pitied.

“Did Diana ask you to do this?” I inquired, narrowing my eyes at him, trying to discern his true intention behind his offer of my favorite meal.

“No. Though she told me what restaurant. So, that’s a yes?”

She didn’t con him into asking me out? It just didn’t make sense. Men didn’t ask me out because they wanted to. Men asked me out because they were obligated to. “That’s a—”

“Yes. Let that be a yes,” he said, another gentle squeeze on my hand that I thought I’d pulled away. Maybe he honestly did want to go on a date with me.

“And tiramisu?” I asked, testing the waters with my toe.

“Of course. And whatever else you want.”

A smile tickled at the corners of my mouth. Was he propositioning me? God, really? Me, mother of a seventeen-year-old being propositioned?

“They have a nice wine selection,” I said, wading further into the waters to see whether his eyes fell—a clear sign that Diana had pushed him into taking me out—or whether they lit up because he wanted to have dinner with me. In the three years since I’d started going on occasional dates, I hadn’t seen much light.

“There you go. We’ll have wine.” And there was light in his gray blue eyes. “Thank you.”

“Thank you?” My head spun. He was asking me on a date because he wanted to. Not because someone had pressured him into it. Or that he felt like he had to take me out. I honestly wasn’t sure if that had ever happened to me before. And I meant ever.

“Thanks for taking pity on an old man.”

“Oh, hush your mouth,” I said, letting go of his hand, resettling my purse on my shoulder and turning toward the office. “Let’s see if you’re ready to eat that lobster ravioli.”

As I checked his teeth and gums and lips for healing, I got caught up in his eyes. Thick dark lashes rimmed the soft gray blue.

“Whaaa?” he asked, around my fingers, and I remembered where I was—paused with my hands in my patient-turned-date’s mouth. Blue gloves, yoga pants, a lightweight hoodie over a blue tank top, and whatever random pile I swept my hair up into for my post-Pilates shower at the gym. Yeah, no fairy godmothers here. But at least I’d taken that shower.

“Looks good, Mr. Popov. I mean, Thomas,” I said, swiveling on the stool, stripping off the blue gloves and tossing them in the bin. “The lip looks good. Your gums are healing nicely and the teeth have firmed up. No discoloration or signs of stress. You got lucky.”

He pushed up from the exam chair, swinging his legs to the floor. “I did,” he said, looking at me square in the face.

Am I blushing? My cheeks felt warm. Is it warm in here? Is this perimenopause? Is this a hot flash?  Because I hadn’t had a period in nearly two decades and was sneaking up on forty, every time I unexpectedly got warm, I wondered if I was entering menopause.

But I quickly realized that it wasn’t a life change. It was the big, handsome, and very forward man in my office. I didn’t know what to do because he clearly wasn’t talking about his softball accident. I spun around and typed a few notes into his record so that Diana could pull them up on Monday. I logged out of the computer, but not before taking a quick peek at the birthdate at the header of his profile. He was fourteen years and two months older than me to the day. May eleventh. He’d just turned fifty-three.

“Okay, you guys, let’s hit it. Thanks for coming in, Jana. I really appreciate it,” I said.

“Happy to, Dr. Forsythe. I’m going to go lock up,” said Jana, leaving the two of us alone.

“Am I cleared to eat?” he asked, standing up and offering his hand to me.

“Absolutely. As long as there’s no pain. Pasta would be a good starting food on the injured side.”

I placed my hand in his and it happened again. The warmth. The electricity. The parking lot wasn’t a fluke.

Amy is a 38 year old, then turns 39, divorced, single mother with a teenage son, who works on a 53 year old male patient who calls her Doctor Dentist Angel when he is full of pain meds. That is how it all starts. It was a fun beginning.

From there it is all about Amy and Thomas, their kids, their spouses, and finding a way to move on together. Their kids played an important role in their lives and in their decision to keep seeing each other. They were both parents first. That both added and subtracted from the story for me.

It was good that Amy got a chance to be independent and that she was the one to file for divorce. She was in charge of her life. And then there was Thomas with his medicated promises to marry her and take her skiing. Love at first sight? Definitely the case for Thomas. He was a hospital administrator and loved to garden, not your typical romance hero.

There were some sexy scenes as well as fun, romantic ones. In this mature romance, I really liked that both had life experiences that did not destroy them, but allowed them to be vulnerable and open to love.

This is a new-to-me author. I got the ARC (advance reader copy) from the author, and this is my honest opinion. I enjoyed it, and I am interested in reading more by her.


ADD TO GOODREADS LINKSFree with Kindle Unlimited



Mae Wood is a mommy, bookworm, and lawyer (in that order).A while ago Mae decided that she needed to give up the fear that she couldn’t write “great literature” and write what she wants to read. And she wants romance. And laughter.She wants heroines who are brave. Brave enough to be themselves and brave enough to fall in love. She wants men who are strong and kind. Mae lives in the Southeastern United States.



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New! Pretty In Pink Slip by Jennifer Skully


New release from Jennifer Skully!

Ivy is 34 and her hero Brett is 52 in PRETTY IN PINK SLIP, book 3 of the After Office Hours standalone series.
Anything can happen after office hours.
She’s a single mother who works at his company. He’s a brilliant CEO. She gave her heart and soul to the wrong man once. Can she ever trust enough to give it all again?

Ivy has a six year old daughter named Joy, and Brett has his first grandchild. They work at the same startup company. Ivy called out Rhonda, and now Brett fears that she might sue the company. Ivy is not sure if every flirtation from Brett is done to avert a lawsuit. But their attraction cannot be denied.  Can they mix business with pleasure … as long as it is ‘after office hours’?


Buy Links:






I have read all of the books in this sexy series at the startup company that I would like to work at just for all the romances and friendships!
Desire Actually has Jordana (30); Love Affair to Remember has Gloria (48); Pretty in Pink Slip has Ivy (34)
I also like that the titles are derived from romance movie titles! Desire Actually is from the movie, Love Actually; Love Affair to Remember is from An Affair to Remember; and, Pretty in Pink Slip is from Pretty in Pink.

Jennifer Skully AKA Jasmine Haynes Links:

Amazon USA

Amazon Author Page




4.5 stars! Cool title. Ivy gets told off by Rhonda, a work colleague, and has to decide whether she will sue the company or whether she is falling in love with the CEO, Brett. Rhonda has been a thorn in the side of all three ladies of this mature romance series. At this company, Rhonda practically terrorizes everyone. But with Brett giving Rhonda a leave to think about things, Ivy gets a chance to figure out what she wants.

I liked Ivy and Brett. Ivy was the single mother abandoned by the baby daddy. Her daughter, Joy, is as bubbly as her name. And then there is her mother who has been bitter since her husband left years ago. Ivy takes some time to figure out whether she wants to sue the company or whether Brett is sincere and not playing her in order to keep her from a lawsuit. Her mother gives her two cents as often as possible, and Joy is falling for Brett as well.

For me, this story worked on quite a few levels. Ivy had to determine who she was outside of her own harsh judgment of her past, if she could trust Brett, and if she was bold enough to go after her real dream. She went from passive aggressive to assertive. Her character developed and grew. I liked her interactions with Jordana, Gloria, and Hannah. I like females being friends in romance novels, that it’s not just about the guy.

Brett is 52, a grandfather, and divorced; Ivy is 34, a single mother, and a college dropout. They don’t seem like a likely couple, but the author brings their story to life. I was a bit bothered by Ivy allowing Joy to get so close to Brett so fast, but it was a minor concern. Their Thanksgiving together was the turning point, and her mother’s advice surprised me. And then Ivy confronts Rhonda with quite the unexpected result.

While I enjoyed the story, I skimmed Brett and Ivy’s sexy scenes. I didn’t fall in love with Brett, but I liked him, which is why I rated it 4.5 stars. the sexy scenes were romantic and detailed. I preferred the other two couples, but I loved that the series included a single mother!

I hope that Hannah will be the next to get a story in this series. I received a review copy, but since I enjoyed the previous two books, I 1-clicked a copy. This one is a keeper because of Ivy.

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