Thursday 25 July 2013

Book ~ "Too Close" (2013) Elizabeth Krall

From Goodreads ~ What rules would you break for the one you love? What lies would you tell?

Three weeks before their wedding day, Nicola and Greg discover that they may have the same mother.

They met when Greg joined the San Francisco newspaper where Nicola is the travel editor. After six months, eager to start a life together and raise a family, they decide to marry.

When Nicola finally meets his family in Seattle and mentions the circumstances of her adoption, Greg’s horrified mother is forced to reveal the shameful secret she has kept for 36 years.

As they struggle to deal with her revelation, their relationship is challenged and strained. If his mother’s suspicions are true, they will be forced into a devastating choice: break all of society’s rules and fight for their love, or break their hearts and give each other up. It will be the greatest test their newfound love has faced – and their love may not survive.

Nicola and Greg have both had their hearts broken.  Nicola breaks her "no dating anyone at the office" rule when Greg joins the newspaper as an accountant.  Very quickly they fall in love and make plans to get married.  Those plans all come crashing down when Nicola meets Greg's mother, Mona, for the first time a couple weeks before the wedding.  Mona reveals that when she was a teenager, she was messed up on drugs, ran away with a band, got pregnant by one of the band members (she doesn't know which one) and gave the baby away to a stranger in a park ... and Nicola might be that baby (she was adopted).

Very quickly Mona and Nicola do DNA tests and mail them away.  As they wait for the results, things understandably get tense between Nicola and Greg and their families.

Scene: Nicola and Greg have returned to San Francisco after the weekend in Seattle with Greg’s family. Their fight is unresolved, and he dropped Nicola at her apartment and then drove off. Nicola has been to Sausalito to tell her parents what Greg’s mother said, and now she has arrived at the marina where Greg’s boat is moored.

The marina’s parking lot was still and quiet when she arrived shortly after 11pm. A faint mist hung over the dark, calm waters, and she shivered in the cold. It crossed her mind that he might not be here. He could have gone to see Sam and Debbie, needing reassurance and comfort as strongly as she had. He’d certainly had none of that from her today. Would he even want to see her?

Please be here! Nicola thought, as she ran towards the pontoon. Please be happy I’m here. I’m sorry I was such an idiot!

The security gate across the pontoon brought her to an abrupt halt. Locked, and at this hour there was no one conveniently coming or going. She fumbled out her phone.

“Oh, my darling!” he said. The tears welled again as she heard the joy and relief in his voice. “I should never have let you go off like that. Where are you? At your parents’ house, or your place?”

“Actually, I’m in front of your security gate.” There was no reply. “Greg?”

Then she heard the sound of feet slapping against the wooden walkway and saw his dark form running towards her along the pontoon, from bright to shadow to bright as he ran under the overhead lights. He wrenched open the gate and they were in each other’s arms, laughing and apologizing and not quite crying, and kissing as if it was their only hope of salvation.

Nicola and Greg try to carry on as if things were normal ... Greg believes the results will be negative so it's a non-issue.  Nicola, though, is thinking about the various options:
  1. If the results are negative, they carry on and get married as planned.
  2. If the results are positive, they break up and never see each other again, which would break their hearts.
  3. If the results are positive, they stay together (but don't get married) and don't have kids.  This is incest, thus illegal, and both could be sent to prison for a couple years.  This also goes against Greg's religious beliefs as it would be a sin.

Interesting premise, right?

I liked this story and was curious to see how the author would end it (I'm not going to spoil it so you'll have to read it for yourself!).  I liked the writing style and kept wanting to read more so I could see if Nicola and Greg were indeed half-siblings and how they'd deal with it.

For the most part, I liked Nicola and Greg.  I got turned off from Greg at times and thought he was an A-hole, though, when he went into his "holier than thou" rants and stormed off.  I would have liked to learned more about Mona and why she had run away as a teenager and did the things she did.  Plus once her big reveal happened and they did the DNA tests, she pretty much disappeared.  Nicola and Greg went Fifty Shades a couple times which I thought wasn't necessary because it took away from the main story ... it didn't fit in the story for me.

I'd recommend this story if you are looking for a different kind of love story.  As a head's up, the language and activity are for a mature reader.


Anonymous said...

Hi Teena,
Thanks for hosting a stop on the virtual book tour for 'Too Close'. I appreciate the review, too.
And 'hi' to everyone else who stops by today!

Masshole Mommy said...

I love books like this.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Teena in Toronto said...

Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth!