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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Solitary Man by Carly Phillips

Solitary Man by Carly Phillips
Publisher: InkWell Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (210 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

When tough Boston cop Kevin Manning promised to care for his fatally wounded partner's family, a one night stand with the man's grieving sister wasn't part of the plan. No matter how intense the night had been, a woman like Nikki Welles deserves much more than a broken man like Kevin can give, and he leaves the next day. When he returns months later, everything has changed. Nikki can't forgive Kevin for abandoning her nor can she regret the baby she's now carrying. And she can't stop wanting Kevin. But can this solitary man come to believe he's worthy of love?

Independence, so long desired and worked toward, gets deferred for Nikki. She has always felt she was taken care of out of obligation rather than love. She doesn’t want to be anybody else’s responsibility. She wants to take care of herself and is well on her way to being able to so when her brother Tony, a policeman, is killed. She goes to see Kevin Manning, Tony’s partner. In their grief, emotions run high and events of that one night change both their lives forever.

Kevin, the son of an alcoholic father, has all the classic hang-ups. He anticipates problems when life is going smoothly, isolates himself, blames himself when things go wrong, has trouble with intimate relationships, and feels responsible for others—even Max, his father. Guilt is a demon that weights him down. In his efforts to control situations, he creates barriers that seem impregnable. Yet, his need to find a way to reach Nikki demands he take emotional risks that scare him to death.

Common sense dictates that Nikki yield to Kevin’s determination about doing “what’s right” but she wants what he gives to be from love not obligation. She reaches and reaches and he pulls away and pulls away until she realizes she needs to plan for the future that may well be without Kevin. She knows “you can’t base a lifetime on sex—no matter how good it is”. Life with all its ups and downs and in-betweens must be shared to make a marriage work.

Tony’s widow, Janine and Max, Kevin’s alcoholic father, are strong influences that help propel Kevin and Nikki into an emotional storm that threatens to swamp them.

Carly Phillips takes Kevin and Nikki on a modern “hero’s journey” that soars to emotional heights and traverses the depths of doubt and despair. The perils and the joys they experience bring to light some of modern society’s problems that must be dealt with by many.

Ms. Phillips grabs the reader’s attention at once and holds it captive with a story that takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Good reading!