I’m not real sure if you have the pleasure of reading a book by Whitney G, so let me be the one to say that if you haven’t, you are missing out on a really fabulous writer. I first read this book back in July 2013 and it was the first by this author that I read. I have since read several more by her and each time it is better than the last. Her ability to capture your imagination and not let go until the end is incredible. Now let’s talk about this sensational book.
In Mid-Life Love we are introduced to Claire Gracen and Jonathan Statham and this book will be told through both POV’s. Let’s kick this off with Claire.
Claire lives in San Francisco with her 16 year old twin daughters, Caroline and Ashley. She moved to the Bay area from Pittsburgh, 4 years previous, after discovering her husband (Ryan) and BFF (Amanda) were having an affair and Amanda was pregnant with Ryan’s child. Claire works as a marketing director at Statham Industries, which happens to be the number one software company in the country. She hates her job, is knocking on 40’s door, and after being divorced for 4 years, has had no luck in the dating department.
Jonathan is the CEO of Statham Industries and his start in life is anything but memorable. He grew up in the foster care system after his biological parents became not only meth abusers, but meth dealers as well. Because of this, and another life altering event, Jonathan and his sister, Hayley, were placed in separate foster homes. This situation wasn’t much better for Jonathan. The one positive that came from his foster family, was Corey. His foster brother and best friend. After dropping out of Harvard and with the mentorship of one of his professors, Jonathan started Statham Industries, which is now a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Claire catches the eye of Jonathan one night while attending separate events, just in the same location. He never gets the chance to meet her, however, his luck changes when he sees her the next day in a grocery store. She blows him off, but to her shock, he wonders in on a meeting while she is at work the next week.
Claire is going to try every possible maneuver to shake Jonathan off her scent. Her biggest worry is of course, their age difference. She is eleven years older than him. Now, this is only an issue for her.
This book is more than just two people getting to know one another. It is a journey of a woman, who even after 4 years, is having to learn to let go. I can’t imagine the difficulty of discovering your husband not only cheating on you, but with your best friend. The hit to your self esteem must be almost fatal, which for Claire, it was. Being desired by a much younger, extremely attractive man helped, but the progress was almost erased by the made up scenarios she kept telling herself.
Their relationship is not a ray of light to everyone. Claire’s best friends, Helen and Sandra, are 100% on board with the older woman/younger man action. However, there are others who are not only against this relationship, but go to extremes to keep it from progressing, and almost succeed.
I never, throughout this entire book, thought that the relationship between Claire and Jonathan was to make Claire “feel younger”. For me, I really wanted Claire to see her worth. I do think a part of her, just like I think it would be with any woman whose husband cheated on her, blamed herself. Not for the entirety of it, but I think that she put some of the blame on her shoulders, undeservingly. When she discovers Jonathan, she carries a lot of those insecurities with her, which is what leads her to doubt any longevity in their relationship.
The beauty of this book is, it isn’t just Claire who grows. The childhood that Jonathan comes from is no less than tragic. His mother has been in and out of rehab, all on his dime. I admired his desire to do right by his mother, despite the bitch she truly was. He attends therapy with her, encourages her to stay clean, he’s not very loving towards her, but one really wouldn’t expect him to be. Him being with Claire, allows him to experience some sense of normalcy, in different ways. For one, things that he didn’t experience as a child; family dinners, game nights, witnessing a normal parent/child relationship, birthdays, he is able to experience through Claire. And of course, as a billionaire, his normal is way different than the normal that Claire experiences, so he gets that version as well.
Would it really be a good review if we didn’t talk about the sex? I didn’t think so. I’ve read several books that involve an older divorcee woman hooking up with a younger man. In EVERY one of them, the sex is crazy hot. And, in every one of them, the woman NEVER had that kind of sexual chemistry with her husband. Now, it’s too easy to say the reason behind this, is because the guy is younger. I don’t buy that. Claire was a 40 year old woman who never had the joy of having a man go down on her. That’s not an age thing, that’s a “her husband is a jack ass” thing. Sexual chemistry knows no age, just what it wants. So, here is no different. The sex in this book, yeah, it’s juicy (all puns intended). It is written exceptionally well. Whitney G was able to write what every woman wants. Jonathan was dominating when it was warranted, talked dirty when Claire needed it and not to sound too terribly mushy, but was tender when the time was right. Super hot.
There isn’t many things about this book I didn’t enjoy, but there were a few. I would’ve liked to see more from Helen and Sandra. They were hilarious and the times that they made appearances in the book just made the read that much more extraordinary. Towards the end of the book, some events are going to take place that aren’t very pleasant. It is all going to come to a head at a conference. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but I did not like Claire here. While I get the authors need to write the scenes the way she did, personally, I didn’t enjoy seeing that side of Claire. I thought it went against her personality, which is most likely the point. Just preference wise, I didn’t enjoy it.
This is not the end of Claire and Jonathan’s story. It continues in Mid-Life Love: At Last. This is a great read and a wonderful start if you haven’t read Whitney G. yet.