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Perfect Timing by Dena Blake

⭐⭐⭐


Sometimes a story can be romantic fiction but the behaviour of the characters so real and possible that it leaves you unsure about the rating. There are things you wish were different because it is a romance but you just know that the people are following behavioural trajectories that are most typical.

Lynn Monroe’s sister had a baby when she was just sixteen. The sister dumped the child, Carrie, on Lynn and disappeared so Lynn became Carrie’s de facto mom, though there is just twelve years between them. A teenaged Carrie’s bestie, Maggie Randall is smitten by Lynn on first sight. Lynn feels the attraction but is married (albeit to a largely absent and rather narcissistic wife) plus she is intensely aware of the age gap so she keeps Maggie at an arm’s length. Carrie and Maggie leave Baltimore and go to Boston to pursue their education in medicine. After graduating, Maggie is back in Baltimore with an internship in John’s Hopkins, where Lynn works as a nurse and her ex-wife is the head of surgery. Inevitably, Lynn and Maggie run into each other and the pull between them still exists. Maggie believes they are meant to be but Lynn struggles with a variety of doubts.

The chemistry between Lynn and Maggie is fantastic. Both are individually likeable but there are just so many circumstantial roadblocks that it is quite frustrating. First, Maggie thinks Lynn is already involved with someone else, then Lynn thinks there is someone younger interested in Maggie, then there is the age gap, Lynn’s ex trying to put a spanner in the works, Carrie and her issues with a possible relationship between her mom and bestie…and maybe more stuff that we’re missing. Through it all Lynn kind of blows-interested-and-blows-tentative. Maggie remains steadfast in her feelings for Lynn even when she feels that Lynn doesn’t quite care as much about her. (Okay, this one also has our pet peeve – Maggie breaks someone’s heart quite badly. We hate that.) In the end, Maggie is the one who makes their relationship happen.

Through it all, we were firmly rooting for the pair but towards the end we so desperately wished that Lynn had offered more to Maggie in context of Carrie’s hang ups. It would’ve been a perfect romance if Lynn had stood up for her relationship with Maggie instead of choosing to wait out Carrie’s issues.  

Despite all that, the writing is totally engrossing. Do we want the couple to be together? Yes. Do we believe that Lynn and Maggie have their HEA? Yes. (It really helps that both the ladies are very likeable.) And that is the most important thing in a romance. So we’d say, go for it. 

⭐⭐⭐
 


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