Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Romance Contemporary
Whiskey Creek Press
ISBN# 978-1-59374-072-6
Price: N/A (ARC)
200 pages
eBook - Available October 2007

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Life is bleak, grey and ugly for fifty-year old widow Joanne Montgomery. Not wanting to hurt their children with the stark, ugly truth about their father, she carries the burden of his infidelities and abusive streak alone. Depression lurks like a pernicious cloak around her, and she often seeks solace in the bottle. Until the day Ritchie steps into her life.

Richard Collins, better known as Ritchie, is fifty-three years old and a divorced father of three. Ritchie has brought his kids up single handedly, and there has never really been time for him to seek more from life. When he meets Joanne, Ritchie knows she is his second chance at love.

From here starts a quest to win over first Joanne’s trust, then her love, both of which he gains after his relentless pursuit of her. Joanne, wary of love, finally falls for Ritchie. Things couldn’t be better – if only her daughter Becky could be happy for her. Becky held her father in saintly light, and she is aghast at her mother being with another man, especially Ritchie, whom she views with much distrust. To further stir things up, Ritchie’s gold-digging ex-wife steps back into the picture. She’s been ditched by her latest lover, and wants back into Ritchie’s life. She won’t let a small obstacle like Joanne stand in her way, and she convinces Joanne she and Ritchie are back together.

Joanne is hurt and feels betrayed. She withdraws from the relationship. But Ritchie is not ready to let her go, at least not without putting up a fight. He will expose the lies keeping them apart, come hell or high water.

Here is one story with an apparently simple plot. Simple? Not so much. While I will admit the plot is rather uncomplicated, there is a big surprise awaiting all the readers, and this is the author’s delightful writing voice. Mr. Cooke’s mastery of relationships and the characters he creates in Love in the Afternoon is simply to be applauded. Rarely have I read of a hero more worthy of being termed a hero – Ritchie, despite being in the afternoon of life, is a man any woman would find hard not to fall for. The interaction of the characters in this set-up is simply marvelous, especially where Ritchie and his daughter Sally are concerned. I had one laugh after another with these two.

This is one story to curl up with and read in one single go. It will fill you with a soft warm glow, and you will fall in love along the way.

Enchanting Reviews
October 2007

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