Keeping Pace by Dee Carney

Available: Now Amazon/ B&N/ Borders

Type: Romance

Publisher: Samhain

My Copy: Sent

One spark could burn her world down.

Six years after her husband’s death, Regina Pace is still just going through the motions, her only pleasure a nightly glass (or three) of wine to dull the ache. Tonight is no exception—until a sensual outdoor encounter with her neighbor’s son, freshly home from college. He’s older, wiser, more devastatingly handsome than she remembered. He’s also fifteen years her junior.

Despite her misgivings, it isn’t long before her nightly ritual includes a long, deep drink of Josh Smith. Ogling leads to touching, then the sparks flare into an erotic encounter that feels wickedly right—and deliciously forbidden.

Yet the intense heat can’t burn away the doubt pestering the back of her mind. That the gap between their ages is too large, even for the most determined leap of faith…

Keeping Pace takes the age old cougar scenario and gives it a bit of new life from the inside looking out. As readers we get to see everything in a different, if not entirely new, light. Being only 29 myself its hard for me to envision a cougar in me. I mean, that would be a 18-year-old and let’s be honest for the most part I find that weird. I was 18 once. I have no desire to go back or try to relive my glory days through a guy. I also don’t think at 18 a guy would even be mature enough to turn my head. He may be smoking hot but he’s still 18.Ok..unless you’re that werewolf from Twilight…in which case…call me.

Regina is in her early 40’s and Josh is in his mid 20’s. Not out of the realm of possibilities these days. Sure there are still stigmas attached with an older woman dating a younger guy but I find those are further and further in between these days. For years it was okay for an older man and a younger woman to be together. But no more. The cougars have risen and I for one say YAY! At least that’s what one side of my brain says. The other side, the deeply ingrained southern heritage in my family side, says hmmmmmm. I think had this book had a man in his 30’s with a woman in her late 40’s it might have been a bit different. Josh being still in college pretty much threw me a bit. I felt that even though he had an “old soul” and for the most part he was incredibly mature, that his age was a definite concern. He hadn’t really been in the real world yet, hadn’t started his career. I think his age showed a lot in a few instances. Yes, they do overcome them but it didn’t feel as real as it should.

There was some disconnect for me throughout the book. It started off really strong. I loved the characters even though I didn’t agree with some of them, but as the book went on I felt a bit “off”. I can’t put my finger on why exactly. Perhaps its just my inability to relate because of my own age and experiences. I found myself yelling at Regina because it was obvious she wasn’t interested in Lou (her boss) romantically but was still tempted to take what appeared to be the easy way out and just marry him for the sake of not being alone, being with someone her own age and having a family. I can understand to a degree but as many times as she said she wasn’t interested she was also mulling over the possibilities. When she wasn’t mulling over Lou she was thinking about her dead husband Patrick. It just felt like a ton of baggage and I think all of it combined just made me distance myself a bit.

I will tell you what worked though…the sex. Orgasms all around for everyone. WOW. Those were some sexy scenes. Regina is one virile middle-aged lady.  Though I guess that’s when women hit their peak. So maybe it made sense to be with a man who is also hitting his peak in his 20’s. I think that was God’s idea of a cruel joke right there. Make it so we as a species hit our mating highs twenty years apart! Humpffff!

Near the end I came back into the book all the way. I enjoyed the ending and I liked the one year jump into the future. I liked the way in which closure was given to everything and the sweetness of it all in how Dee gave us a 180 from a earlier point in the book.

Keeping Pace will make you re-evaluate your thinking on “cougars”. Giving you the ability to experience feelings from the inside instead of being an outsider.

I give Keeping Pace by Dee Carney 3.50 stars!

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