Monday 8 July 2013

Book ~ "The Hourglass" (2013) Sharon A. Struth

From Goodreads ~ Can forgiveness survive lies and unspoken truths?

Until Brenda McAllister’s husband committed suicide, she appeared to have the ideal life: a thriving psychology practice, success as a self-help author, and a model family. But her guilt over her affair with Jack’s best friend prevents her from moving on. Did Jack learn of her infidelity? Was she the cause of his death?

The release of Brenda’s second book forces her into an unexpected assignment with arrogant celebrity author CJ Morrison, whose irritating and edgy exterior hides the torment of his own mistakes. But as she grows closer to CJ, Brenda learns she wasn’t the only one with secrets - Jack had secrets of his own, unsavory ones that may have led to his death. While CJ helps Brenda uncover the truth about her husband, she finds the path to forgiveness isn’t always on the map.

Brenda and CJ meet at a writers' conference.  She literally runs into him one morning and spills coffee on him.  He's not pleased and is rude to her for the rest of the conference.

An unexpected gravitational pull swelled Brenda’s anger. Her cute quip ran into hiding. She no longer cared about winning this man’s favor. His rudeness left her feeling as if she’d been doused with hot coffee this time. Brenda clenched her fists. A year of internal browbeating over Jack’s suicide had left her easily irritated.

Brenda gripped the frail edges of her self-control. “I once again offer my apologies for the accident, by definition an unplanned event with lack of intent.” He looked down his sturdy, Grecian nose at her, so she stood and put her hands on her hips. “Shouldn’t you, as a writer, know that?”

Every line on his face tensed. “I could do without your sarcasm.” He leaned closer. “Thanks to you, I missed my meeting. Maybe tomorrow morning you could get room service.”

The brunette unleashed a tight smirk. CJ motioned for them to move on.

Brenda fumbled for a good retort. As he stepped away, the last word went with him. The same way Jack had the last word in their life together. A silent explosion went off inside Brenda’s head and propelled her anger forward.

“Mr. Morrison?” She raised her voice to be heard above the crowd.

He looked over his shoulder and arched a questioning eyebrow.

Brenda crossed her arms and fixed a phony smile as she nodded toward his companion. “It’s so nice of you to bring your daughter to the conference.”

When his agent suggests they work together ... he needs her psychologist expertise to help with one of the characters in his book ... they both begrudgingly do it.  As they get to know each and realize they have something in common (CJ is widower and Brenda is a widow), they become friends.

Brenda's late husband, Jack, worked for a financial services company and is being accused of fraud ... and Brenda will do what she can to defend his honour.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I liked it.  It flowed well and I wanted to know if Jack really was guilty, if he had killed himself because he'd found out about the affair Brenda had had with his best friend and why CJ was so tormented.

I liked Brenda and CJ.  It was a nice change to have characters who were in their late forties/early fifties (my age) rather than their mid-twenties.  Both have suffered a loss and are dealing with the guilt over the deaths of their spouses.  Once they realized they liked each other, things moved along pretty quickly.


Mary Preston said...

I love finding new to me authors too. So many secrets - fantastic.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Unknown said...

Hi Teena, Thanks for taking time to read my book and post a review!

Hi Mary. Thanks for stopping by today!

Mary Beth Bass said...

Lovely review for a great book!

Catherine Lee said...

Teena...Sharon is a new-to-me author, too. The premise sounds interesting but does the suicide make it depressing? I usually like light, "feel good" reads in the summer.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Teena in Toronto said...

Catherine: The suicide had already happened though Brenda does think about it. The budding relationship between Brenda and CJ will make you "feel good" :)

Unknown said...

It sounds like a great story, I love all the twists and turns as secrets are revealed. I will have to follow the tour

fencingromein at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

Hi Mary Beth...Thanks for stopping by!

Catherine, I'm with you! I don't like depressing books. I'm a real positive person and have dealt with tragedy in my own life. But I always am filled with hope. So I tried to write a story about real people, finding that life can move on after tragedy. There are a few reflections to the past that are sad, but it brings you closer to the characters and more time is spent on their new relationships. Thanks so much for the comment and stopping by! :-)

Hi Shannon...Thanks for stopping by the tour!

Rita Wray said...

I love the premise of the book, sounds like a good read.


Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by Ingeborg!

Andra Lyn said...

I agree with you Catherine. I'm not sure about the suicide thing. Books that are too dark bring me down...but this one sounds so good! I'm not sure. Guess I'll have to follow the tour some more to find out!

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Karen H said...

I'm liking what I'm reading here. I tend to agree with Catherine...I don't like depressing stories. But if the dark has a light at the end of the tunnel, I'm ok with that. Thanks for the excerpt and review.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Kate said...

Thanks so much for the giveaway and the blurb! I'm really excited to read!

hense1kk [at] cmich [dot] edu

Unknown said...

Hi Andra and Kate. Thanks to both of you for stopping by and checking out my book.

Masshole Mommy said...

I'd like to give this one a read.

Unknown said...

Hey there Masshole Mommy! Thanks for checking out my book!

MomJane said...

I wasn't certain at first, but as I continued reading, I found myself intrigued with the story. the review convinced me that it was a book worth reading.

Unknown said...

Hi Jane. Thanks for stopping by and checking out the book!

bn100 said...

Nice review

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Chelsea B. said...

Ohhh, intriguing! I love me a romance/mystery mix!


Unknown said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by and checking out my book!

BookLady said...

Fascinating book! I enjoy stories with older characters. Thanks for sharing the excerpt.

Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by Book Lady!