This first book in a planned trilogy taps the erotic escapades of an uptight attorney and her beach-loving boyfriend.
Debut author Ewing, a practicing attorney in Florida, compresses the story of a relationship between two unnamed protagonists into a single shared weekend, during which the woman (from whose point of view the tale is predominantly told) also entertains vivid memories of their other past encounters. While demolishing an expert witness in a deposition, she finds herself both looking forward to the weekend to come and looking back at the earlier days of the romance. Separated by 130 miles, the couple relied on their words to connect, attract and arouse one another until their desires could be physically fulfilled. Some of the sizzle is diminished by a tendency to describe flashbacks of sexual episodes rather than detailing similar episodes as they unfold in the present. Still, there’s plenty of passionate intensity, though some of the erotic associations are a bit contrived, particularly a scene involving a dill pickle. Clues to the ages and experiences of the couple emerge slowly: Her son’s age here, her battle with cancer there, the gray in his ponytail here, his 29-year marriage there. These gradual revelations heighten the impact of the realization that this is a sensual story featuring older adults—an effect that feels fresh and innovative as an understated celebration of sexuality throughout a life span. Ewing also deepens the storyline with a keen understanding of how private thoughts are unconsciously transmitted and how unspoken doubts can change the course of an entire relationship. Her characters are well-developed and appealing, and dialogue is natural and unforced, thouh the distracting convention of avoiding proper names (except for the cat, Elvis) is a bit odd. Over all, the work is strong enough to overcome its minor missteps, and the conclusion promises a similarly enjoyable experience in the sequel.
An entertaining, well-crafted novel of love and lust later in life.