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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One and the Same by Theresa Stillwagon

One and the Same by Theresa Stillwagon
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (235 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 3 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Ex-actress Kate Williams visits with her friend to discuss a possible acting role. High powered executive, Matthew Hunter, thinks she’s in town for more than just a discussion. He thinks she’s the newest means the show’s producers are using to get him to financially back the show. This time their plan might work. After all, he had been half in love with the former actress for years.

Matt thinks all Kate wants from him is his money.
Kate thinks all Matt wants from her is her body.

Will they ever be able to get past their beliefs?

Ego destroying demands fragment Kat Williams’ personality causing her to deny part of who she truly is. Beautiful, successful, and naturally seductive, Kate searches to find her way back to her true self after her husband dies. Fear of being used again is a stumbling block as she becomes attracted to Matthew Hunter. She sees him as wanting only part of her just like her late husband—just a different part.

“When you don’t have love…. You can feel very alone” is a strong theme of One and the Same and is so true in both Matthew Hunter’s and Kate’s lives. Matthew distrusts all women after Anna’s deceit, making him steadfastly deny his true feelings for Kate—feelings he has had since age fifteen.

Theresa Stillwagon creates a romance with heartbreak and insecurities being overcome in spite of anonymous lies and the well-meaning meddling of Ester and Grace, two feisty old ladies who never give up on the people they love. I longed for more emotional depth in the love scenes between Kate and Matthew because they do so need to have a strong emotional connection as well as a physical connection with someone they love.

Ms. Stillwagon’s venue of the local theater gives the reader a chance to learn more about the antagonist but seems to be left a little unfinished. Yet, it did reinforce some of the needs, desires and hang ups of the characters.

By the time I finished One and the Same , I realized many women fragment their personalities to meet the demands of career, children, extended family, etc. They truly need someone who loves them to help put the parts back together—making them feel loved for who they are as individuals not just for the bits and pieces of them that meet the needs of others. This is a story many modern women can relate to—as they often strive to please others at the expense of their own well-being. Thoughts to ponder!