Our Kind Of Love (Boys of Summer #3)
Harlequin MIRA AUS
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley
Anna Morelli was always the good Italian girl who did exactly what was expected of her. She’s a doctor with her own practice in Adelaide and she married a lawyer and had the huge Italian wedding. But now Anna has done something that wasn’t expected of her. Her marriage has ended, her husband preferring someone who better fits the bill of a lawyer’s wife. Anna hasn’t told her family yet – she’ll be the first person ever in their family to get divorced. And then she does something even more reckless, indulging in a one night stand when she was at a wedding down the coast in Middle Point.
Former journalist hotshot Joe Blake is back in Middle Point where he grew up. He lost his job and his wife and since then he’s been living with his sister Lizzie trying to figure out exactly what he wants to do next. When he meets Anna, there’s plenty of chemistry and he thinks he might be able to turn their very enjoyable night into a regular thing. But Anna drops a bombshell on him and then runs away.
Joe is determined to make Anna see that this can work – they can work. But Anna is carrying a lot of baggage, mostly relating to her family and she wants to avoid any complications. Just when it seems like she’s ready to jump in with both feet, she and Joe discover that they’re on opposite ends of a very important spectrum.
Our Kind Of Love is the third and final book in the Boys of Summer trilogy which kicked off with Nobody Like Him and followed up with Someone Like You. We met Joe and Anna in previous books – Joe is Lizzie’s (from Someone Like You) sister and Anna is friends with the two previous heroes and had a long-ago relationship with one of them. They’ve stayed friends and Anna attended Ry’s wedding to Julia which is where she met Joe. They had a great night and Joe took her home but in the light of day Anna couldn’t get away quick enough. Even though she’s been separated from Alex, her husband for a little while now, Anna still hasn’t told her old-school Italian family that the marriage is over. It’s something she’s been dreading and so she lies to them at regular family dinners and events, pretending that Alex is busy working. There’s only so long you can put off the inevitable though!
I married a man whose parents were both born in Sicily. They came here separately and other members of their family and community came here too, all settling in the one town and making a big, Italian bubble. My mother-in-law is a staunch Catholic who goes to church about a hundred times per week and every event is filled with people, noise and food. I get the whole Italian thing. My husband was also married before me, so he was the first person in his extended family to get a divorce (although he wasn’t married either time in a Catholic church so it’s quite possible no one really considered him married anyway). A lot is made of Anna’s reluctance and inability to tell her parents but in the end, when she does, pretty much nothing happens except of course, them being supportive and feeling for her. A bit later her mother is scandalised when Anna brings Joe to an engagement party, even though most of their extended circle isn’t aware of the fact that she’s split up with her husband and she also attempts to begin setting Anna up with new, eligible and of course, Italian men. It’s interesting, because my husband is one of three boys and none of them married or were pressured to marry, Italian women. But – he has quite a lot of female cousins and most, if not all of them, married Italian men, if they married at all. His male cousins also married non-Italian women as well…perhaps they were attempting to avoid marrying versions of their mother! A lot of the scenes involving Anna’s family were things I’ve experienced before, with the possible exception of the one where people begin asking Joe’s intentions. Do people still ask intentions in this day and age?
I liked Joe in Lizzie’s book but I found that I actually liked him less in this one. I found that he was quite bossy and pushy, trying to get to the bottom of why Anna is reluctant to see him again and I sort of just felt like saying no means no, ok Joe? His persistence made him like a dog with a bone – or like he was on the lead of a good story. He plays reporter a bit too much in his personal life quizzing people and trying to find a way in, get them to confess things and it didn’t seem fair. The story takes place over the course of about nine or ten months, so in some ways, it does seem like things evolve between Joe and Anna. Even though she resolves to stay away, she finds herself returning again and again to Middle Point, and of course, running into Joe. They do start to spend time together but just when you think they might be on the way to happy ever after, Anna discovers something about Joe that is utterly the opposite of how she feels. It’s a big issue, one that is probably a dealbreaker for many people and Anna decides that she has to end it, for the sake of herself and the thing she wants probably the most out of life. What I found a bit unrealistic was that how someone who was as adamant as Joe on the topic somehow totally turns around – obviously someone had to in order for them to get back together. But it felt very abrupt and like there could’ve been more done between them, working this issue out rather than it kind of magically resolving itself whilst they were apart.
Book #258 of 2014
Book #94 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014