I’m a big fan of Ruthie Knox’s Camelot series. This novella takes us back to the very first couple, Tony and Amber, from How to Misbehave. Fast forward 14 years and 3 kids later, Amber is struggling. She has lost herself in her duties to her husband and children and is running on empty. While on holiday to Jamaica for her brother’s wedding, Amber’s mother sees that all is not right with her daughter and encourages Tony to extend her vacation so she can catch a break from familial duties. Tony has been working himself to the bone trying to support his family during rough financial times, so this is the first time he’s really looked at his wife to see that something was amiss.
Those of us who are married with children will find this story eminently relatable. It gets into the nitty gritty of the very hard job of raising children while keeping a marriage going. Tony and Amber take on the traditional gender roles and come off a bit stereotypical. Amber is silent in her suffering and doesn’t communicate that she feels her family has sucked her dry. Tony is oblivious to his wife’s pain because he is all focused on working to give her everything she wants. Some late night confessions to each other probably would have gone a long way in avoiding the place where the couple sits at the beginning of the book.
I empathized with both of them. Amber feels this responsibility of having to do everything and bear the burden with pride – that’s the message society has taught us as mothers. Tony is very much a man’s man. He wants to give Amber things, like the house he built, to show her he loves her. He wants to fix what’s broken in her. Both of them acknowledge that it would be easy to just walk away, but also realize how much they couldn’t continue without the other. The couple’s journey back to each other is in fits and starts and I appreciated the authenticity.
The other message that the author relates are the choices that we make on a consistent basis when we are with a partner. When you feel that disconnect, how do you get back there? Anyone in a long time relationship can attest that hearts and flowers only last a short time. It’s the getting back and remembering those times and evolving in love with the person you chose, and continue to choose, that makes it all worthwhile.
This book can be read as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend all of the books in this series. Ruthie Knox writes funny, smart, real contemporary romance.
*ARC provided by Loveswept via NetGalley
Making It Lastby Ruthie KnoxOriginal Release Date: July 15, 2013Publisher: Loveswept