Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie_SamanthaKane_22612639

LOST AND FOUND

4 STARS

John Ford is lost. Oh, he knows where he is physically. He is in Mercury, NC, a small town he moved to from LA several months ago. About a year ago, Ford’s long-term partner, Steve, had been killed while on military assignment to Afghanistan. And when multiple lovers – both past and current – showed up for Steve’s funeral, Ford lost his self. The exclusive relationship that Steve had declared he had with Ford was anything but, and Ford had unknowingly lived a lie for years.

Now, in Mercury, a town where Steve once said he would like to retire, Ford has purchased a ramshackle house. There, he is trying to rehabilitate both the house and his soul with good, old-fashioned, hands on, hard work. And neither project is faring very well.

Conner Meecham is also lost. Yes, like Ford, he knows where he is physically. He’s in Mercury, NC, standing in front of his mother’s old house, the house where he was raised, the house that is now owned by John Ford. Conner lost his college education when a knee injury ended his football scholarship. Conner lost his dignity when he became addicted to the painkillers for his knee and turned to prostitution to pay for his habit. Conner lost his self to a year in jail for possession. He lost his mother to disease while he was in prison, not even able to say goodbye. And Conner lost his mother’s house to auction when he couldn’t pay for it from jail.

Now, out of jail, finished with probation and clean for over a year after voluntarily seeking rehab, Conner has come back to Mercury. He believes he lost himself here, so here is where he has come to get his soul back.

John Ford is at the end of his road, living day to day. Conner Meecham is back to the beginning of his road, living the same way. And the two men, bound to the same house, find themselves on a collision course with each other, with their pasts and with their needs for a future.

Samantha Kane has written a character-driven romance that stresses the importance of communication skills, self-respect, and acknowledgement of need, another’s as well as one’s own. The sexual encounters are appropriately placed, and are graphically but sensitively written. These scenes actually serve, not as gratuitous erotica, but as catalysts for character growth and as precursors to the various conflicts that the two men must resolve.

Even though “Cherry Pie” is a relatively short novel, coming in at less than 150 pages, it is not short on clarity or continuity. There is no murderer for our protagonists to ferret out or extra pages needed to thwart an ex-lover come to make trouble. Kane gives us just the right amount of time and space to see that losing your way as you try to get what you want may be exactly the path that helps you find what you need.

Cover Art From Goodreads

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