Book Review: Cougar Tales
Book Reviewed by Idrissa Uqdah
Three best-selling romance authors have joined together to bring readers an anthology based on the theme of older women/younger men. Sandra Kitt, Evelyn Palfrey and Laura Castoro have pioneered in the field of African American romance novels for a long time.The authors did not disappoint.
Kitt's short story, How To Handle A Woman brings forty year old, interior design consultant, Geneva Springer into the radar of computer nerd, Reed Fairway. Despite his nerdy occupation; Reed is a sexy younger man and there is plenty of chemistry between the two from the very first time that they meet. Geneva is uncomfortable with the fact that he is younger, yet she is drawn to him at first sight.
Later, Reed wins Geneva's design services in a charity auction at her nephew's school. As she sets out to meet with Reed to discuss a new design concept for his offices; he is called away on an emergency before he can cancel.
Geneva's reluctance to work with Reed due to her attraction to him is well-founded in her mind when he stands her up for their first meeting. Seething with anger, and disappointment that she won't admit to, Geneva puts aside her feelings for Reed determined that their relationship will be strictly professional. Reed is not so easily swayed and their banter back and forth made for a captivating storyline. Sandra Kitt has been writing romance stories for so long, it seems it comes naturally to this author.
In Palfrey's story, Against Her Better Judgment, the protagonist is one tough cookie who has been forced to accept the services of a private investigator/body guard when her friend, the police chief discovers that a prisoner has put out a contract on her life. The Police Chief fears for her safety and sends a friend to keep her safe from the prisoner who is determined to met out his revenge against Judge Beverly Polk.
A woman who has always taken care of herself and fears no one, she is not at all happy to have Devon covering her 24/7. Not only does the mature Judge Polk resent the invasion of the fine, young Devon Carter in her life; she works hard to hide her soft heart from a man she feels is too young for her. Will she be successful?
This story was my favorite in the anthology. Not only is Palfrey famous for writing "marvelously mature" romance stories, her novels always also include a twist of mystery, mayhem and even murder. This story is no different. The storyline keeps the reader guessing for an ending you would never expect.
Stormy Weather by Laura Castoro was also an interesting story about a mature woman who runs her own business, her married daughter's life and everything else in her world until she is a victim in a really bad auto accident on a deserted highway in a storm. Trapped in her car, she is rescued by an off-duty fireman who is also a decorated Iraq war veteran. Had he not come along, she would have drowned from the rising waters in the ravine that her car landed in, upside down.
Will Solomon is a man who takes his role as savior very seriously. When she is told she owes her life to his rescue efforts, all she can remember is his warm smile and his comforting eyes that talked her through her ordeal. She never expects to see him again but he was instantly attracted to her also. He eventually tracks her down and makes a surprise visit to her office. When he asks her out on a date, she is surprised that this fine, younger man is interested in her, a new grandmother of one. However; she feels that she owes him at least, a thank you and offers to buy him dinner. The date was a fiasco. Although Will has issues of his own; he pursues Beverly Freeman despite her discomfort in the differences in their age.
Cougar Tales is a delightful set of stories about older women who are reluctant to accept the attentions of a younger man. I enjoyed them very much. What I didn't enjoy were the repeated and I mean REPEATED typos in the book. I am not talking about an uncorrected proof, or a review copy. I purchased this book at an on-line bookstore. The first story had so many errors that it was hard to keep the flow of the storyline. This was repeated throughout the book. All of the stories had too many errors. It pissed me off that the publisher did not care enough about the reader to give us a quality product. None of the authors in this anthology have released poorly edited books, so I am sure the errors can not be attributed to the authors, but to the publisher.
I won't be buying anymore books published by Parker Publishing. You only get once chance to fool this avid reader.