What is true love? “Friendship is a necessity. Physical love will only take you so far. True, long-lasting love is not between two people, it’s between two souls.” Jay Burns has endured an eight-year relationship with Katherine Patton, a woman who has become a virtual stranger to her. Whatever love might remain between them is sorely tested on a daily basis. Completely obsessed with making law partner, Katherine craves money and prestige. Her ambition supersedes all else and she’s rarely home. To make matters worse, Katherine belittles Jay’s interior design profession as merely a “hobby.”
Jay doesn’t realize the extent of her loneliness until a fender-bender results in a chance meeting with Drew Montgomery, whom Jay and her best friend, Audrey Knor, dub, “Dreamy, steamy and creamy.” Drew, the proud owner of a landscaping business, is as refreshing as a cool lake on a hot day. Drew’s presence allows a fragrant, comforting, gentle, and welcome breeze, but Jay’s commitment to Katherine stands in the way of her getting to know Drew as more than just a friend.
Drew goes home to an empty house and realizes, “Finally, after all these years, she'[s] met the one woman who captivate[s] her, who [holds] her attention, who [makes] her laugh, who [is] bright and intelligent…and who [is] honest and loyal. But loyal to someone else. And honest enough to admit her feelings.” The attraction between Jay and Drew goes beyond the physical; their budding friendship flourishes, and their souls call out to each other. Nonetheless, Jay remains loyal, and Drew is respectful of the relationship Jay has with Katherine.
The Rainbow Cedar, like the legend of Okalani and her tree, which Hill describes in lush detail, leaves readers with a lasting impression of lazy days despite personal strife in the tropical paradise of Maui. The breathtaking views from the Haleakala National Park pale compared to the look in Drew’s eyes that consistently mirror Jay’s yearnings. Jay struggles to remain faithful even as lust leaks from every pore. Reason says there is no justification for Jay to stay with Katherine; however, Jay is determined to do the right thing. Will she be able to contain her desires? Is there anything worth salvaging between her and Katherine? Jay sacrificed a lot to be with Katherine, but in the process, she lost some important parts of herself. With Drew, Jay feels she can grow and flourish–and even likes herself when she’s with Drew. Doesn’t her soul deserve better than she currently has?
People change; relationships change. Life refuses to unfold as planned. In this romantic journey, Hill does a commendable job in exploring what happens when one love dies and a new one begins. Change is frightening, but it’s exciting, too. Will Jay stay with Katherine out of duty, or will she set herself free to be with Drew?
Read The Rainbow Cedar to find out. Hill seduces her readers with plenty of tension as Jay teeters between relationship hell and lovers’ paradise.
—— THE RAINBOW CEDAR
by Gerri Hill
Paperback, 228, $13.95