ANY TIME YOU NEED ME - Farrah Rochon
REVIEWER: Janet Caldwell | RATING: A
REVIEW: Farrah Rochon returns to Maplesville for her seventh installment in this charming series focusing on Sam Stewart and his two long-time friends, both of which were featured in previous installments, Dale Chauvin (ANY WAY YOU WANT IT) and Ian Landry (ALL YOU CAN HANDLE). Sam played a minor role in her last novella. His character, to put it mildly, had some issues.
Rochon delivers a poignant tale of recovery, forgiveness and acquiring the courage to pursue your dreams. Sam’s besties, Dale and Ian, have made love connections, but Sam is still floundering in the love department. Ten years ago, his high school sweetheart moved to California to pursue her dream of being a recording artist. Their parting was not amicable because she defied Sam’s plans for their future. To complicate matters, he is coping with a deep depression triggered by the lengthy illness and subsequent passing of his father. To mask his pain, he finds solace in alcohol.
Ten years ago Aubrey Laurent’s world revolved around Sam, but her desire to be a recording artist in California was stronger than her desire to follow Sam’s plans for them to attend the same college and ultimately marry. Her inexperience and unrelenting desire to become a recording artist clouded her judgment and led her in a direction that brought shame on her and angered Sam to the point that he disavowed her. Aubrey’s career never really took off as she planned so she returns to Maplesville wiser and dejected.
When I realized Sam was the main character, I was disappointed. I wasn’t impressed with his character in the last novella. However, Rochon redeems Sam in this story. She provides more of his backstory and the reader can’t help but show him compassion and root for his recovery. Both Sam and Aubrey are flawed. They blame each other for the failure of their relationship. Both were focused on their own future goals and didn’t realize what effect each decision had on the other. As teens they were attempting to make grown-up decisions which resulted in grown-up mistakes. Ten years later, as matured adults, they are better able to understand what it takes to make a relationship work. Other characters impacting this story include Sam’s parents and his two best friends; Aubrey’s sister, Deanna, her brother-in-law, niece and best friend, Chandra.
ANY TIME YOU NEED ME delivers a different spin on the typical Moments in Maplesville storyline, but I enjoyed the originality and invite you to sample the sweet allure of Maplesville.
28th August 2016 | firstname.lastname@example.org