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Does She Love You? (Bold Strokes Books) gives new meaning to the eternal triangle. Annabelle Taylor is a devoted wife. However, she’s not without longings. She longs for more meaning in her life, and her interpretation of fulfillment would be to start a family with her wife of thirteen years, Nic McCoy. Belle, as Nic calls her, doesn’t care about the successes, the money, the fancy house or the country club membership Nic works so hard to provide for her. When Nic is away on company business, Belle tries to fill the loneliness with tennis dates with her sister and lunches at the club, but she’d leave it all behind for full time companionship with the woman she loves in her bed every night and a more modest life surrounded by simple pleasures and a family of their own.
Nic McCoy, on the other hand, is driven. She’s driven to provide the best for her wife, including their fancy house in a gated community, anything and everything she thinks Belle has ever desired, and a life of leisure as a wife ensconced in her beautiful home, surrounded by the best that money can buy. What Nic doesn’t seem to understand is that she doesn’t need to prove anything to Belle—or to her long-estranged father. Her drive seems to stem from her father telling her she would never amount to anything. The voice in her head has been there since childhood and her accomplishments do little to drown it out. So when Belle brings up her desire to start a family, Nic suddenly feels hemmed in and finds she wants to run in the opposite direction. The problem is, when she runs, she runs straight into the arms of trouble.
Davis Chandler is a smart mouthed, sarcastic freelancer who’s recuperating from a series of bad relationships and is determined to keep away from any attraction at all for the duration. Her best friend tries to needle her into moving on to no avail. So when Nic McCoy rolls into town on business, Davis has no intention of acknowledging her fascination or her desire. Nic, however, is persistent, and makes Davis feel like she might just be able to love again. Even her concerned friend can’t make her see that this isn’t exactly what she had in mind and that Davis is headed for trouble and heartache. Again.
The story that ensues is maddening in places and revealing in others. All three characters reveal insecurities and weaknesses that put them on a downward spiral and they only seem to be able to pick themselves up when they hit rock bottom—and the depths called “rock bottom” are very different for each person.
Spangler has given us well developed characters that we can love and hate, sometimes at the same time. Even those we start out hating have characteristics that endear us at times. Such complexity makes for a wonderful story. The implausibility of what happens as three lives intersect is only overcome by the fact that I actually know someone to whom this very thing happened. It could well have been my friend’s story.
Does She Love You will take the reader on a bumpy, yet fascinating ride. At times the subject matter is difficult, yet our desire to learn how, or if, the characters will survive troubling times, in some cases of their own making, makes for a page turner. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself shouting at the pages, “No, don’t do it!” at more than one character and for more than one incident. These women just don’t know when to say enough is enough! Does She Love You is a question for each of the main characters in this story, and the answers are not always what the reader might anticipate. The answer to the question can lead to redemption for each character, but that doesn’t happen, necessarily, in predictable ways. Find out who loves whom and so much more in this absorbing story of love on the rocks and back again.
Does She Love You?
By Rachel Spangler
Bold Strokes Books
Paperback, 978160282886, 312 pp.