REVIEW: ME FOR YOU, BY LOLLY WINSTON

 

The last thing Rudy expected was to wake up one Saturday morning, a widow at fifty-four years old. Now, ten months after the untimely death of his beloved wife, he’s still not sure how to move on from the defining tragedy of his life—but his new job is helping. After being downsized from his finance position, Rudy turned to his first love: the piano. Some people might be embarrassed to work as the piano player at Nordstrom, but for Rudy, there’s joy in bringing a little music into the world. And it doesn’t hurt that Sasha, the Hungarian men’s watch clerk who is finally divorcing her no-good husband, finds time to join him at the bench every now and then.

Just when Rudy and Sasha’s relationship begins to deepen, the police come to the store with an update about Rudy’s wife’s untimely death—a coworker has confessed to her murder—but Rudy’s actions are suspicious enough to warrant a second look at him, too. With Sasha’s husband suddenly reappearing, and Rudy’s daughter confronting her own marital problems, suddenly life becomes more complicated than Rudy and Sasha could have imagined.

 

My Thoughts: Throughout Me for You, the characters tell the story of a fifty-something couple, Rudy and Bethany, ready to enjoy their golden years, when the wife dies in her sleep.

Rudy struggles throughout this engaging story that reminds the reader to savor the moments.

Rudy’s daughter CeCe is annoying, but persistent in her attempts to help him. She even creates a dating profile for him, despite his objections, since he is involved in a unique friendship with Sasha. CeCe thinks he is moving too fast. However, there is something about Sasha that gives Rudy the joy he has been missing.

I always appreciate a story with characters that feel real, even those who presume to know what is best for others. Especially when they are the adult children. Could these characters remind me of people in my own life? Good characters are those that could be people we might know, so I couldn’t help enjoying the scenes playing out with these characters.

As the story moves back and forth in time, I am caught up in everything about them. Even the mysterious news brought to Rudy by the police detective.

How will Rudy find his new path, and what must happen first before he can finally move on? As the story took us through the changes in the characters’ lives, I was eager to join them on their journey. 4 stars.***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.

REVIEW: REDESIGNING ROSE, BY LYDIA LACEBY

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When Rose unexpectedly stumbles upon a big lie told by her husband Frank, she begins searching for clues. What else might he be hiding?

And when she discovers the extent of his deception, she is sick with fear about how she has missed the signs all these years.

Packed up and fleeing the house, she has no plan. Where is she going? How will she manage on her own?

It was easy to connect with Rose’s panic and to worry a little about how she would fare. So when she serendipitously meets up with a friend from her gardening club, who offers her a place to stay until she figures things out, I felt relieved. Betsy has some issues left over from her marriage, too, and as we learn more, it is evident that both women are struggling to make better choices.

It took sheer guts for Rose to make this bold move…and because her “Frank habit” was long-standing, she was tempted to go back. More than once. Thinking she could change him…or he would change. The struggle to change was realistic, since nobody can learn new behaviors without a few stumbles.

In the aftermath, Rose’s journey to building a new life felt real and like something that could actually happen. Her friends and her mother were supportive, and she slowly begins making better choices for her life. As she flounders in a new relationship, it was encouraging to see how she spotted the red flags sooner. Like in real life, stumbling, falling, and then changing.

Redesigning Rose was an engaging read, recommended for those who enjoy books about relationships and issues. 4.0 stars.