Guest Review: One Good Reason by Sarah Mayberry

Posted August 23, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Judith’s review of One Good Reason by Sarah Mayberry.

It’s time to move on…

Any day now Jon Adamson will pack his bags and hit the road. After all, his intention was never to hang around Melbourne once he’d settled his late father’s affairs. Yet he hasn’t moved on. And it might have something to do with Gabby Wade. The not-so-big office manager with the really big attitude is making Jon’s days…interesting…engaging…fun. It’s impossible for him to resist her.

But he knows himself—long-term commitments and cozy family dinners aren’t his style. If that’s what the future holds, why is he still here? And why is he spending all his days—and nights—with Gabby? Because maybe she’s the one reason strong enough to make him stay. What if you discovered that all you ever wanted were the things you’d left behind?

This book is the second in a series about Tyler & Jon Adamson, native Australians, both of whom have established their own place in the business world, and both having to deal with the long-term effects of parental abuse. Now in this second book, Jon Adamson’s story is told–a story that is clouded in pain and personal hiddenness, a man who is still trying to find a way out of the maze of guilt that has encompassed his life since those childhood days when he and his brother were being beaten senseless by an angry and selfish father. Jon is now again in his homeland where he has spent some time settling the estate of his recently deceased father and staying at the old family home, a house that needs major effort to bring it up to snuff in order that it can be sold. As Jon is a contractor and builder, this appears to be right down his professional alley. But it also would appear that Jon is finding this project difficult because this same home is the site for so many painful memories of happenings he ran all the way to Canada to escape. Now that he is home, his escape is the bottle, a “companion” that can be trusted to never judge, ask unwanted questions, make unwanted demands of an emotional nature. Of course, those who buy into that kind of nonsense find out that “the bottle” has a way of quietly ending up biting the drinker in the backside. It is not as friendly as it first appears and that truth began to come across to Jon after a while.

Enter Gabby Wade, a character who played a major role in Tyler’s story, his girlfriend and lover for three years, and a woman who eventually cut Tyler loose. Yet the old feelings don’t seem to have anywhere to go, and while Tyler and Gabby are still great friends in the truest sense of the word and Tyler’s new bride has become a genuine friend of Gabby’s as well, there are still difficult moments for this lady who is loyal and good-hearted, truly desiring Tyler’s best and genuinely delighted that he has found a woman with whom he can be himself. He didn’t seem to be able to be open like that with her. Now Jon has entered her life as a “contract” worker in Tyler’s furniture design and manufacturing business as it seems Jon is having trouble deciding what to do. His business has been sold and he is at loose ends. His initial meetings with Gabby are anything but friendly or easy. (This is where I think the cover blurb is off.) And while they eventually seem to click in some romantic fashion, there are problems that go deeper than deciding which movie to see, which flavor pizza to order, or whether or not they will be friends “with benefits.”

Tyler and Gabby are both people in deep pain. Admittedly, Jon is struggling with some heavy-duty hurts and guilt over his perception that he failed to protect his younger brother. No matter how close he gets to Gabby or how deeply it appears their attraction for one another is, Jon just cannot share the deep hurts of his life. There comes a point in which Gabby declares and end to the relationship. She was “shut out” of Tyler’s life to a degree that she was hurt and their relationship was hurt beyond repair. She is not prepared to repeat the same circumstance with Jon.

This is a highly emotional read and one that the reader needs to be prepared to encounter. It is not all sweetness and light, but it is about the tough stuff of life, especially when parental loving and caring is overwhelmed with anger and self-concern. Both these men felt that they had left their childhood behind and moved on to adult relationships and taking a proud place in their respective business communities. The old memories and hurts rose up to sabotage their present, and Jon and Gabby may not be able to overcome the difficulties that inevitably arise when these kinds of wounds are left untreated.

I highly recommend this novel as one of the best I have read in recent weeks. Just the fact that the author had the fortitude to write a story that opened up this wide variety of personal issues is an indication that she wants to be a part of the contemporary “conversation” in her own way, even as a fiction writer. This will be a worthy addition to any romance lover’s library. It is simply a splendid read!

I give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Harlequin. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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One response to “Guest Review: One Good Reason by Sarah Mayberry

  1. I read this a few weeks ago now and like you, thought it was an excellent read.

    I thought that Mayberry really nailed the emotions of guilt that plagued Jon and they felt really true to me (and I have had similar reasons for feeling guilt like this).

    The book had me sobbing right at the end. If anything, the conclusion felt a bit rushed, but I was prepared to forgive that really.

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