Rating: 4.5 stars
Published: January 30th, 2013
Publisher: Random House Australia
Synopsis: The second in a series of erotic novellas, each featuring different women whose lives are changed by Ramon Mendez, a handsome, charismatic lover of women…
Thirty-six-year-old Emma’s life looks as perfect as could be. She loves her straight-laced husband Gary, who has given her three beautiful children and a secure life. But something is missing in her marriage. Gary hardly notices her anymore and she feels frumpy and invisible.
Her friend, Lisa, talks her into joining a social boot camp class at the local gym. Emma immediately recognizes their instructor as the gorgeous runner she sees each evening while walking her dog in the park. He introduces himself as Ramon Mendez. In spite of herself Emma is besotted.
Before long her mind is filled with guilty fantasies of him. One evening, when things at home have become too much to bear, she bumps into him alone in the park. An opportunity presents itself and no one need ever know. Ramon promises and delivers everything that’s missing from her marriage – passion, romance and excitement – but Emma must discover if they are the things she really wants.
Review: Emma is married with three children. As a lot of couples experience once children come into the picture, Emma and her husband have drifted apart. Their lives have become routine. While her husband’s focus is on work, hers is on the children and the home. Emma still loves her husband and longs for the days past when with just one look they were all over each other. She is supportive of her husband’s career and appreciates all he does for the family, but she can’t help but think that he doesn’t love her anymore because all her attempts at rekindling the romance in their marriage have been rejected by him. She is not naive, she knows that their dynamic has changed, but she wants to be seen, cherished and loved by her husband. She plans to take her husband on a weekend getaway to revive the sex in their marriage and encouraged by her friend she joins a gym class to lose some weight before her birthday.
In comes Ramon. He is her instructor in the Boot Camp class she joined. She can’t believe her luck – good or bad – that Ramon is the very man who has played the main role in her fantasies since the day she saw him running in the park where she walks her dog. To her surprise, he recognizes her and encourages her to continue with the class when she’s ready to quit. She struggles with the workouts and her needs and when the opportunity presents itself to be with Ramon, she decides to put her needs aside and be faithful to her husband. However, as the days pass and the distance between her and her husband increases she finds herself questioning her decision.
Once again, the writing was very good. With flirtatious dialogue, real emotions and lust-filled rendezvous, Kate Belle brought to the page a believable story of rediscovering oneself and going for what we want. The story felt real to me and I easily related to Emma. She had concerns about her marriage that a lot of women have and that made it easy for me to connect to her. From a desperate, confused woman to a determined wife who wanted her husband to see her, her development was a joy to read. I admired her perseverance and her courage.
This time around Ramon surprised me even more. He was gentle and understanding and his awareness of what Emma needed to find herself were right on point. Everything he conveyed was enlightening and added to the story, especially to the way Emma would carry herself later on.
I am looking forward to reading more about Ramon and the way he helps women rediscover themselves.
I received this novella from Random House Australia through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.