Review: Clarence by Sarah M. Anderson

clarenceReviewed by Jen

I jumped into the Men of the White Sandy series with it already in progress. But what I have liked about the installments I have read is that the characters are imperfect. They’re not stunningly beautiful. They’re not billionaires.  They struggle with self-esteem and want the things that we all want: to love and to be love.  They struggle with the kinds of things we can all relate to: making enough money to pay the bills, worrying about our weight… our age… our looks, wondering if we can measure up to those around us.  It’s the vulnerability of the characters, juxtaposed to how we see them through the eyes of their lovers, that makes the stories work.

This is a novella, but it felt like a complete story. It features male nurse Clarence and daycare worker Tammy. They both live on the same Native American reservation, but while Tammy’s life has been insulated on the rez, Clarence has been out to see the world.  Part of that is due to the fact that Clarence is 15 years older. Part is because Tammy got pregnant young and had to live at home with her mom after her baby-daddy dumped her.

Tammy doesn’t even let herself dream of love. Her world is centered on her son. Besides, who would want her? She’s poor and she’s fat and she has a kid. But that’s only the Tammy that she sees herself to be. To Clarence, she is kind, sweet, soothing, and voluptuous. And he worries he wouldn’t be enough for her, that he’s too old. But in Tammy’s eyes, Clarence is strong, steady, and successful.  The best part of the book is in watching the self-worth grow inside each of these characters as they come together. And the actual coming together isn’t too shabby either.

The story wasn’t without issues.  My biggest peeve was in Tammy’s reaction to the reappearance of her ex.  And the idea that Clarence may have done her wrong by how he behaved and what he wanted. Nope. And nope again. It was Clarence who got the stink end of that stick and somehow, they both thought he slighted her. This bugged the heck out of me. — It also bothered me how the nursing profession was characterized when Clarence ruminated, “It was a job — a job he was good at. He didn’t have the head to be a doctor, but he was good with people and he had a strong stomach.” Um. Being a nurse is hard. Learning to be a nurse requires you to be really smart, not just being good with people and not barfing over blood.

Those niggles aside, I did enjoy the novella.  The romance is kind of earthy and sweet, with just a right amount of sexy.

Rating: B/B-

*ARC Provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Clarence
by Sarah M. Anderson
Release Date: December 25, 2014

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