There are not many romances out there where the main couple are both past the age of forty. With the majority of the romances I have read, the hero and heroine are usually anywhere from their mid-twenties to late thirties, with the exception of a few books where the hero is in his early forties. Usually the main female character is much younger than the hero by five to ten years, especially if he is around the big 4-0.
It was quite refreshing to read Sherrill Bodine’s new book, Talk of the Town, with the heroine not in her thirties, but forty-five years old! And the man she falls for is almost fifty. Sherrill shows that age is indeed just a number, and when it comes to passion and love, a man and woman can have great romance and sex as they enter the second half of their lives. So what if one of the characters has grown children and a grandchild on the way? Maybe it helps that the male protagonist, David Sumner, is a Pierce Brosnan look-alike.
Rebecca Covington is the star columnist of Chicago’s newspaper, the Daily Mail. For the past fifteen years, Rebecca has been the paper’s gossip queen, and is respected and looked upon fondly. Her column, “Rebecca Covington’s World”, is loved by all of Chicago. Her life couldn’t be better even though her forty-fifth birthday is right around the corner. Rebecca keeps that bit of information about her age to herself because she looks more like a woman ten years younger. Rebecca makes a small mistake in her column and runs a blind item about a married politician cheating on his wife. Because Rebecca didn’t have her facts straight, she will be demoted, and her gossip column will be taken away from her. David Sumner, the new owner of the paper, wants a new columnist who is younger, sassier and sexier. This is quite a slap in the face to Rebecca, and she is ready to storm off to the competition, when the managing editor offers her a very different type of writing position.
Rebecca’s new job is working for the Home and Food Section where she will write a twice-weekly recipe column for the section. Rebecca is deflated but takes the position. And since Rebecca has worked so hard to get where she is, she will add a bit of flair to her new column, which will catch the eye of David.
Harry, who is Rebecca’s gay best friend, and likes to compare himself to Rupert Everett from My Best Friend’s Wedding, work together as a team to come up with the wonderful recipes. See, Rebecca can’t cook at all and if she didn’t have Harry to help her, she would be up a creek without a paddle. Soon, their dishes, along with her witty comments make the Home and Food section a success. And when David and Rebecca finally meet, they are both in for a surprise because neither is what the other one expects.
David is a widower who deeply loved his wife. He promised himself he would never love like that again. But when he meets Rebecca, he is intrigued. He would love to get to know the woman behind the writing. Rebecca doesn’t mind stringing David along, and if she keeps him happy, perhaps she can get her old column back. Not only do these two find themselves enjoying each other’s company, but their relationship changes from a working one, to that of friendship and finally of lovers. Rebecca is soon falling for David, but she can’t decide how truthful she should be with him. She can’t really cook, and lately she is not sure which way her life is headed. Also, she accepts an offer from another competitor that may ruin any hope of a future with David.
I absolutely loved Talk of the Town. Sherrill Bodine has written an engaging read that made me smile as I turned every page. When you are first introduced to Rebecca, you may think she is a bit of a spoiled Prima Donna, but your opinion quickly changes when you see how loyal she is to her friends and readers. Rebecca may care about having the best clothes money can by, as well as making sure to remain in the spotlight, but she doesn’t let all that go to her head. She is one smart cookie who can sell herself and overcome most problems. She is self assured and proud and that is all the things that attracts David to her. David is simply, “the cat’s pajamas”. He is handsome, and shall I say dreamy? But even though he has these looks, he is also a great person. He is generous and wants the best for his employees and friends, much like Rebecca wants. When Rebecca enters his life, she is a whirlwind of energy and optimism that makes him happy. Plus, these two are so very compatible when it comes to sex. David and Rebecca steam up the sheets. Sherrill Bodine is quite a pro at writing these scenes.
Talk of the Town hits so many high marks for me. I really couldn’t find any fault with this book and it is one contemporary romance that should tickle your fancy. I was tickled all the way till the last page. (Grand Central Publishing)
4 stars out of 5 stars