Review: Is This Love?

is this loveReviewed by Shelly

Can you say that you love someone unconditionally? Regardless of their faults and their quirks that just drive you completely crazy – can you say without reservation that you love that person? That’s a question that I asked myself after reading Moorcroft’s Is this Love? This is the first time I’ve heard of, much less read anything by this author. Once I started reading, I had a hard time putting this down and I’m a little sad that I’m no longer in Middledip.

When Lyddie Rix was a teenager she suffered a terrible accident that left her with the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. Even though she’s all grown up, that injury left her forever a teenager. Tamara is Lyddie’s younger sister whose dreams and future will always include her little sister. Even with the break up of her long term relationship with boyfriend Max, Tamara’s feelings of love and responsibility towards Lyddie never waver.

Jed Cassius has moved back to Middledip. He’s been away for a long time and he’s back for more than one reason. When he sees Lyddie after his time away, he’s shocked to see her but even more disconcerting is that Lyddie neither recognizes nor remembers him from their childhood romance. It’s Tamara who’s left to explain to Jed the changes after the accident.

This is now one of my favorite stories and it’s told well. The premise isn’t all that far-fetched, but the telling of it really gripped my attention. Tamara isn’t perfect by any means, but the love for her family is absolute. She knows that the dynamics of her family aren’t what her parents dreamed for themselves when they reached the age where their children should have moved out and on with their own families. She knows that some of the people of Middledip look at Lyddie and sneer behind her back. She knows that if push comes to shove, she’ll do what it takes to make sure that Lyddie is taken care of – regardless of her own happiness. She’s not motivated by glory or martyrdom – she just loves her family, warts and all.

When her attraction for her childhood crush, Jed, resurfaces, her inner turmoil increases. Jed’s not the same teenager who left Middledip. His life after leaving wasn’t ideal or expected; his home and family life was such a contrast to Tamara’s family, I wasn’t sure how Jed would react to the bonds of the Rix family. He quickly showed that he’s smarter and wiser than I would have ever given him credit for. Maybe that’s because he grew up quickly and is still looking over his shoulder, waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. He grew on me mainly because of the way that he treated not only Tamara, but Lyddie also.

The mutual attraction between Tamara and Jed was a very slow build, nothing that screams out at you but always in their words and small touches. I thought that was credible because I just didn’t see either of them disregarding their surroundings to further their relationship.

There’s a significant amount of conflict that made this not just a boy meets girl story. Cheryl’s mom was one of my favorite characters, not because I liked her. I thought she was wrong in a lot of what she did, but I can’t fault her motivation for wanting to make sure Lyddie was protected – a mother’s love is a very powerful thing especially when bringing guilt into the equation. That Emilia, Tamara’s boss, shocked the crap out of me. Didn’t see that coming at all. And finally Lyddie, I can see her with her wet kisses and her happy smiles – never to have her own family and always forever with that sweet innocence.

In the end, I thought all of the characters were well-rounded and I will happily read more of this author’s work. I did get a little curious about that name and did a little bit of Googling – turns out that Middledip is the same fictional village that a few of other stories (Dream a Little Dream, Starting Over and All That Mullarkey) have taken place in. I’ll be checking some of those out in the near future.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: A

*ARC provided by Choc Lit Publishing for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Is This Love
by Sue Moorcroft
Release Date: November 15, 2013
Publisher: ChocLit

Comments

  1. I read Starting Over by Sue Moorcroft a few years ago and really liked it. It was a romance, but had very different pacing than the usual insta-love that you find in American romances. I’ve been meaning to try another of her books.

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