GENRE: Contemporary romance
Connor Lawson has always been a nerd. A rules follower. The valedictorian who worked his way up to Chief Financial Officer at his company on the Iron Range in Minnesota—and married the girl of his dreams. But his perfect life is crashing down around him. He could lose his job in a company acquisition. And the wife he deeply loves has discovered the shameful secret he’s hidden for most of his life.
Melina “Mel” Lawson was the opposite of Connor in college, but she fell hard for the man she could talk to for hours. Now, twelve years and two kids into their marriage, life is a blur of hockey practice, drama rehearsals, part-time work and volunteering. Still, she can’t shake the feeling that something is missing. When she discovers what Connor has been struggling with all these years, his betrayal leaves her devastated.
Picking up the pieces…
They’d once vowed before God to love one another for better or worse—but Mel never imagined anything like this. If Connor is willing to work things out, is Mel ready to salvage this marriage in crisis? Can they recapture true intimacy and find a better forever… together?
Connor hadn’t slept a wink. In twelve years of marriage, Mel had never kicked him out of their bed, and it was a damn cold place to be. All night long, her words had banged around in his head.
She knew. She knew everything.
And she thought he was capable of cheating on her.
Yes, he looked at other women, but that’s all it was.
It’s still wrong, the small voice in his head said.
By morning he’d resolved to do some serious groveling. And explaining. And he’d give her the attention he should have been giving her all along.
Instead of heading to work at first light, he started the coffee when he heard movement on the upper floor.
Mel looked surprised to see him when she came down, already dressed in a floral blouse and tan slacks, Andie right behind her.
Dad!” Andie jumped into his arms. “What are you doing here?”
“Yeah, why aren’t you at work?” Kurt appeared behind her, rubbing his eyes. “Are you sick?”
“I decided to go in a little later than usual.” He ruffled Kurt’s hair. “I wanted to have breakfast with you guys before you go to school.”
“Are you sure you’re not sick?” Andie said as she slid into her chair at the table. “You never eat with us. Not even on weekends most of the time.”
He winced inwardly. “Well, I am today.”
He glanced at Mel, but she wouldn’t look at him. Instead, she busied herself making the kids’ lunches. Nor did she say anything during the short breakfast of toaster waffles and cereal.
He didn’t try to interfere with their usual morning routine—heck, he didn’t even know their morning routine—instead staying seated at the kitchen table until the kids were loaded with their lunch boxes and backpacks.
“Kids, get in the car.” Mel gave them a little push toward the door. “I’ll be right there. I need to talk to your father for a moment.”
“Bye, dad!” Andie skipped out the door, Kurt following at a more sedate pace.
Connor waited for the door to close behind them. “Look, Mel, about last night—”
“I did a lot of thinking last night.” She looked down at her sandalled feet, then back up, although her gaze didn’t meet his. “I’m obviously not meeting your needs, Connor, and frankly, you haven’t met mine for a long time.”
Her words held no anger, only resignation. Still, they felt like a punch to the gut. “I know I didn’t handle our conversation very well,” he said. “Why don’t we talk about it after you drop off the kids?”
Her mouth flattened. “It’s a little late to talk. I think it’s best we take some time apart.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Many experiences influence Tracey's writing, and she has been known to undertake unusual endeavors (such as firefighter training and learning to fly a helicopter) just for the sake of the experience. Being an Army-trained combat medic (and civilian EMT) and a "biker chick" for over 30 years has had significant influence in her books, but even "ordinary" events have struck a chord or inspired a character or plot idea. To support her writing habit, she also works PT at a substance abuse counseling center and manages the family business (Leader Motorcycle). She’s a soccer fanatic who’s blessed with a very understanding husband and two children who put up with the “embarrassment” of a motorcycle-riding, romance-writing mom!
A Better Forever by Tracey Cramer-Kelly is a Marriage in Crisis romance and book 5 in the ‘Lawson Family’ series. The story centers around the stress in the marriage between Connor and Melina Lawson as he deals with challenges in his profession and his unwise coping mechanisms and she struggles with the estrangement she feels from her husband and his lack of commitment to their marriage.
This sensual Christian romance provides a realistic and inspirational look at the obstacles that can arise in a marriage as the family grows and stresses increase. I couldn’t help feeling sympathy for each of the main characters as they sink deeper into the ruts of daily life yet grow further and further apart. The shocking revelations and the wake-up calls are deftly depicted, and the importance of having a strong faith to rely on and good counseling from both friends and professionals is underscored. The value of good communication and trust and honesty in a relationship are also emphasized in this heartwarming story.
Although this tale is part of a series, it stands alone with no problem and features cameos by other members of the family with enough details to pique interest in their stories as well.
A copy of this title was provided for review