Disengaged by Lauren Gallagher
Publisher: Champagne Books
Length: Short Story (58 Pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Fennel
The last thing Amber wants to think about is engagement rings or anything related to engagement rings, but they’re kind of hard to avoid when she makes her living in a jewelry store. Between her job and her last relationship, she’s getting more than a little bit jaded about love and commitment. In fact, she’s ready to change everything in her life, and right now, a man is the last thing she wants.
When gorgeous bartender Jeremy wanders into her store, she’s willing to reconsider what she wants right now, but he’s off the menu: he’s here for an engagement ring.
But as Jeremy comes back again and again to look at the ring, Amber suspects it’s not just the price that keeps him from taking it home. She’d never dream of sabotaging someone’s relationship, but is Jeremy about to make a huge mistake?
You might be forgiven for thinking this is going to be a Valentine story, but not so. It is much more. Yes it begins with the run-up to Valentine’s Day in an upscale jewelry store. The ideal job, meeting all the rich and influential clients, every day? All that flash and bling. And the staff, demure well dressed and eager to please?
Instead Ms Gallagher’s Amber, a genuine and eager-to-help member of staff disenchanted by her clients, her job and her ex boyfriend, tells her story.
Disengaged opens with Amber on the cusp of a new life and not knowing what to do about it, or how to attain her dreams, put on hold so long ago. Through her heroine’s eyes the author paints a vivid picture of Amber’s co-workers that may blow your preconceived ideas to smithereens. They may all have small walk-on parts to play but each one takes the story forward fluently and humorously.
And then in walks Jeremy. Immediately Amber discovers what is missing in her life. Unfortunately Jeremy is shopping for an engagement ring. The author’s fluent writing style will have you turning the pages almost too fast to keep up, her characters are so real and three dimensional. Both hero and heroine have issues to deal with and there’s no apparent certainty of a happily ever after. The time shifts in the story are fluently done in a ‘less is more’ manner that is very effective.
This is a story about courage. It is about unconditional love and pushing away the boundaries and going after your dreams when they seem impossible.
The sex scene while graphic is celebratory and totally in keeping with the story and the characters.
One advantage of short stories is that when one grips you as hard as this one did me, you have time to read it right through without interruption.
This story earned its rating because of the author’s fluent writing style the fully rounded and likable characters, the conflicts and how the characters make logical assessments at critical stages in the tale and finally the ‘feel-good’ factor I came away with when I finished the book.