Add 59-year old sexually-repressed know-it-all in pearls.
Throw in a beer can-turkey, a battle for horticultural supremacy, and nudist next-door neighbor.
Serve on paper plates, garnished with garden gnome.
Tastes like happily ever after.
Have you ever wanted to read something different? A romance that doesn’t fit the “average” mold? Something that could be considered quirky? If so, Penny Watson’s Apples Should Be Red is exactly what you need to read. It is a novella that Watson bills as a romantic comedy – and she is absolutely correct on this point. But even better is the fact that the two main characters are much older than most of those in romance novels. Beverly is a 59 year old woman who has been recently widowed and her hero is a 62 year old curmudgeonly hermit named Tom.
Bev and Tom are brought together for a family Thanksgiving. Bev’s daughter Karen is married to Tom’s son John. This is the first Thanksgiving since Bev’s husband has passed away, so all four are starting a new tradition – unfortunately at Tom’s house. Tom is a reclusive man who doesn’t much like anyone. His idea of a great holiday meal is a turkey grilled with beer and canned side dishes - eaten along. Bev on the other hand prefers a more traditional dinner with home-cooked casseroles, fine china and family. The two seem entirely incompatible.
But when Bev arrives at Tom’s house early, something extraordinary happens between these two rather lonely people. Bev’s marriage wasn’t a happy one. Bev was cowed by her husband’s stringent expectations for years. Tom, on the other hand, had lost his wife to illness but wasn’t too terribly upset by her passing. But as a result, he shut himself off from the world. Bev forces him back to the living – and Tom forces her to break out of the mold created by her dead husband.
Tom is a tough character to like. He isn’t nice. He badgers Bev at times and even hurts her feelings. But there might just be more to him than it appears on first glance. Bev meanwhile is rattled by Tom’s accusatory language and plain speaking. Yet, there is something else growing between them - underneath all the friction.
Tom and Bev’s courtship is an absolute delight. Tom is crude, opinionated and hard to take at times. Bev is too controlled, reliant on her pearls and her rules. But they make a fantastic pair, and readers will root for them enthusiastically – possibly with many swear words (this because Tom has a very colorful vocabulary).
Additionally, Apples Should Be Red is a funny, funny read. Tom’s pronouncements are not politically correct, but they fit him. I laughed at many of the things he said despite their offensive nature.
I will say that I felt quite badly for poor Bev who doesn’t get to experience her first orgasm until she meets Tom. This tendency for heroines to live their lives sans orgasm until they find true love needs to die a fiery death. But even this lack could not ruin my love for this book.
Apples Should Be Red rocks. Romance isn’t only for the young, and Penny Watson has proved this masterfully.
Book Disclosure: An ebook was provided by the author.