In Cook’s (When Love Evolves, 2011) romance, two frustrated singles form a deep connection online.
Divorcée Tiffany Miles isn’t having any luck in the dating department. The guys she meets in San Francisco all seem to be self-centered jerks, and she’s almost given up hope of finding true love. On the other side of the country, Manny, a former sailor, faces similar challenges as he navigates the Palm Beach, Florida, singles scene. His marriage ended years earlier after his wife left him for another man while he was deployed, and he’s since struggled to find a woman he trusts. But when he and Tiffany connect on an online dating site, they both feel a spark. Casual chats turn to video calls and, eventually, an in-person meeting. Tiffany has a strict rule against long-distance dating, but Manny’s charm may be enough for her to change her thinking. Cook delivers an efficient romance that captures the realities of dating in the modern world. Anyone who’s been on a bad date will nod in recognition as Tiffany suffers through one man’s long-winded tales of travels abroad. That said, the main characters are sometimes grating; Tiffany often seems too quick to assume the worst of members of the opposite sex and is prone to delivering childish statements, such as, “I had no idea men grieved over a failed marriage, too.” Meanwhile, Manny harbors resentment toward his ex-wife and seems unwilling to accept his role in their relationship’s demise. Together, however, the pair manages to bring out the best in each other. Their tentative online conversations are sweet, and when they finally get together, readers are rewarded with some steamy action. A few subplots are tedious, though; Tiffany’s awkward friendship with a widower makes her appear self-centered, and Manny’s fling with a deceitful married woman goes on for too long.
Fans of mature, contemporary romances will likely be pleased by this effort.