New York Trilogy #1
by Ruthie Knox
Loveswept/Random House August 5, 2014
E-Book and Mass Market Paperback 304 pages
E-Galley provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own, unless otherwise noted.
May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?
Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York. http://www.ruthieknox.com/book/truly/
I first read this in a serialised format last fall. I loved it then, but I also looked forward to reading it as one book, page after page. It’s rare I will read the same book twice but I looked forward to this. I think there were a few changes between that reading and this one; a few scenes added or changed. I am not sure. But what I do know is that it remains a fine book, a keeper!
My reaction to the male love interest, Ben, goes from “aw” to “what an ass hat!” every few pages. I mean ,this is am man with some serious emotional problems and in need of some anger management classes. But he knows that.
May is the quintessential good girl; the one who works to meet expectations, do the right thing. The question is, for whom is it the right thing? The real May or the one created by parental, familial and societal convention? Sometimes one has to go on a journey, a painful, messy journey to discover the new world of our real selves.
I LOVE this story
Partly because it speaks to women everywhere who are told they aren’t pretty/thin/smart/talented enough. And, also for its use of classical themes” in particular that of the hero(ine)’s quest. Often a heroine goes off to save someone or find something. But often they also find themselves. And Ruthie employs subtle symbolism as well such as Ben’s three step brothers names all beginning with “A,” which, of course comes before “B.”
I love that May comes up against this wall of nice, of stable, of bland, and decides to choose something else, and she doesn’t just decide she acts. And, at first she acts before she decides.
I also love the descriptive power of this writer, and in this book. There is always a perfect amount of description; the perfect words are hosen and thus the feeling, thought and emotion portrayed are perfect, genuine and really convey something meaningful. The following sentences really struck me:
There was no hiding from him, and she didn’t even want to. She wanted him to see her — to witness the ugliness of her need.
To me that shows the sheer power of intimacy, of the change May undergoes breaking out of the cocoon of comfort. And, it speaks of the raw, unromantic nature of a relationship between these two characters.
As May feels she is always fighting the fantasies she builds in her mind, this rawness opens her up to a new world of opportunity—a risky, messy world.
There are a couple of writers who use sexually charged books as a way to dissect the human condition. Often they are harsh, sad, unhopeful, or scary; even when the characters emerge from crisis newly hatched or at least less broken. Ruthie gets at a lot of truth about the nature of love and relationship and growth without the despondency.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book. At only
.99 $2.99 for Kindle or Nook it is a steal! pretty good deal! (Either the price changed or I had it wrong — it’s possible! Sorry peeps!)
At Amazon At B&N RuthieKnox.com At Loveswept