by Elizabeth Jewell

March 2004
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Joley and Rey Birch are a happily divorced couple, living a half continent apart. Each is going about their new daily routine and assuming they are happy. Joley in Colorado where she has set up a gift shop specializing in handmade items-especially those she has made herself. She is quite a talented artist, specializing in ceramics. Rey has stayed in New York, where they had lived as a couple. He has, however, moved from their apartment to one located closer to his job. He has thrown himself into his law career and it is his latest case that brings him to Colorado and Joley’s doorstep.

Rey unexpectedly showing up at her flourishing business is not the only surprise awaiting Joley. Rey also brings the news that Joley is not the single woman she thought she was, but in fact still married to him. The biggest shock is still to come when Rey announces he wants a month to be her husband in every sense of the word, and to see if their marriage can in fact be salvaged.

At first Joley is unsure if she can forget the mistakes that broke up the marriage. Rey has big broad shoulders and she expects him to use them to carry the weight of their marital issues. That, however, is not fair and while Rey seems willing to do whatever it takes to save the marriage, Joley still has issues. Something is nagging her about their past and until she can bring that into focus and work through it, a second chance at happiness with Rey is doomed to fail.

As If You Never Left Me, is billed by the publisher as erotic romance. To me, it was more a novel of women’s fiction. Joley traveled quite a path from overcoming a failed marriage to starting a prosperous business. Finally realizing that the failure of her marriage wasn’t solely Rey’s fault. Rey also comes full circle in realizing that a career is important, but so is fighting for love.

I’m a big fan of women’s fiction, which as I’ve stated, I believe As If You Never Left Me is. If Ms. Jewell’s other work is as well written as As If You Never Left Me, she will have made a fan for life.

Reviewed in June 2004 by Sandi.

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