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When I started reading this book, I was immediately intrigued with how fluid the sentences were composed and how vividly the images came off the page. I had to stop reading and google the author’s name, Francis Ray, to see why this book was so good. No wonder. With twenty novels in print, a dozen awards and various series, Francis Ray is more than a writer â€“ she is a franchise.
Not Even If You Begged is for the “grown and sexy”in the literal sense of that phrase. I’m not talking about the cute, early twenties reader that’s lost in the club scene that says, “Ooooh, that’s my song!” to just about anything on the DJ puts on. No, this book is geared more for the mature reader whose perspective shapes their life and not the other way around.
This book focuses on the love lives of two members of “The Invincibles” women’s club – Traci Reed and Maureen Gilmore. Holding true to the title, both women have the hardest time letting love run its course, but for two very different reasons. The bad thing is that the men actually beg to love and be loved, and that’s what makes this book so good!
Maureen Gilmore is a widowed Southern Belle that owns a thriving antique shop. Although her beauty is ageless, she has a hard time being comfortable with nearing sixty. This is especially true when it comes to Simon Dunlap, a police officer who was come to fall in love with Maureen. She is equally in love. Instead of following her heart, she makes a myriad of excuses such as, her inability to have children or Simon’s ability to pursue a more fruitful relationship.
Traci is a full-figured, hard-nosed lawyer that runs her own PR firm. She married her ex-husband for all the wrong reasons. Everyone one of those reasons came back to do more than bite her in the end â€“ and scarred her for life. Forever burdened with emotional baggage, she had the hardest time allowing Maureen’s son, OB-GYN Ryan Gilmore, into her heart for two reasons. One: she thinks she’s too plump for a man of his physique and status to desire. Two: she doesn’t believe she could ever fall in love again after giving her heart to a man who cheated on her.
The problem that both women face is the fact that love is love â€“ uncontrollable, mysterious and consuming. Francis Ray skillfully depicts all of the nuances of the beginning of a lifelong relationship. There’s the misunderstanding, the anxiousness, the confusion, the lust…everything the reader needs to dig deep and become invested in the characters.
These two love sagas are embedded in a novel that includes a psychiatrist that stalks Ryan, a talented teen that is a budding artist but is unloved by his mother and Traci’s grandfather who is struggling to keep his land from being squandered by Traci’s mother.
Not Even If You Begged is the type of book that you read and lose track of time because of how in depth the story is.