Meant to be, a second chance Lesbian Romance by Jea Hawkins (Review)

The Rock Star and the Single Mom

Misty and Alice were high school best friends, madly in love, who went to prom together, made plans to run away from their small town together, and shared a kiss. Then Misty announced that she was making her escape—alone. She went off to the big cities and became a famous rock star, Alice stayed home and became an archivist and single mother.

Twenty years later, Misty is coming back for a school reunion. She comes with an unsigned contract renewal in her pocket, clearly hoping to warm up cold soup with Alice. Neither of them, it seems, ever loved again.

But can they forgive each other?

I’m pretty sure the title, Meant to Be, gives you a bit of a clue as to the answer.

Lesbian moms, lesbian rock stars,

The writing was clean and cute, and I really enjoyed some of the banter.

I also  liked the positive, close relationship between Alice and her teenage daughter. They were lovely together, and I liked that Alice’s motherhood was never seen as a mistake, even coming from a sole heterosexual experiment. The scenes where Misty makes a real attempt to become part of the family were heartwarming.

One of the things that surprised me, and that I enjoyed, is that quiet archivist Alice is clearly the strong one of the pair. Misty is exhausted and pressured by her stardom, and clearly all too fond of taking the easy, passive route wherever available, while Alice has made a success of being an out lesbian and single mother in a small town.

In the end, that was a source of my real frustration with Misty. When she feels pushed to far, there’s what I think is supposed to be a celebratory worm turning moment of her discovering her power, but it came across as her leading people on because she was too weak to do otherwise, then borrowing Alice’s spine to be unnecessary vindinctive.

Despite that, I did enjoy Misty’s journey to learning to be true to herself and decide what she actually wants for herself and those she loves.

Second chances and adolescent grudges

That wasn’t my real problem with this book. Misty’s reasons for abandoning Alice were, quite frankly, dumb. Half selfish, half controlling “I can’t let you throw away your life!” rubbish. The big secret away Alice hurt Misty is, quite frankly, ludicrously trivial.

But they were eighteen. Kids do behave in stupid, selfish, immature ways. They’re not really cognitively capable of doing anything else.

What I had problems with is the idea of thirty-eight year old women, who have lived rich loves, still holding massive grudges.

For the sake of “second chances”, a gigantic romance genre, I can accept that high school sweethearts never stopped being hung up on each other. That’s pretty romantic, really. But the more I read, the more frustrated I felt that the characters were seemingly incapable of saying “Okay, kids do dumb stuff, let’s forgive each other and ourselves.” The misunderstanding seemed drawn out far too long, and I wanted to snap at them to just get over it already.

And remind them that they are supposed to be nearly forty, for heaven’s sake.

There’s not enough romance books with older lesbians

It’s nice to see romance heroines in their late thirties, even if said romance heroines are perfectly lithe and beautiful with stunning legs, round breasts and flat stomachs. Even nicer to have them be mothers—and the one “flaw” that was mentioned was pregnancy stretch marks, a nice touch.

The romance, by the way, is pretty hot. Hot enough that I wondered if the ladies were lying about their near-celibate last two decades.

Or maybe they just read a lot of romance novels.

Recommended?

Despite my caveats, this is a definite recommendation. It’s a quick, romantic read, and in the end, I guess I’m just a sucker for the idea of true love that’s meant to be.

Publication and Availability

Meant to Be is a Kindle exclusive, and is available on Kindle Unlimited. It’s listed as published by Wicked Hearts Publishing, which seems to be the name of the imprint Hawkins uses as an indie publisher.

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