Change of Pace by Jae is the most recent in the Portland Police Bureau Series. While this is a short story, it is also a very important story. Setting us in a weekend filled with family, friends, and moving boxes, Jae shows us that the road to acceptance starts with a change of pace.
Kade Matheson’s week just got a whole lot worse. Her old-fashioned mother, Sophie Matheson, has decided to move up her visit a week early. Normally, Kade would play the dutiful daughter to her mother’s whims just to get through the visit without incident. But this weekend she has already agreed to help Aiden and Dawn move in together. Kade is sure her mother wouldn’t be willing to help U-Haul a lesbian couple, especially after she caught Kade and Del kissing in her house weeks earlier. But Sophie decides to go along with her daughter, even though she still doesn’t understand why Kade doesn’t want a man to take care of her.
It’s a strange new world for Sophie. And it’s hard for Sophie to accept that these are Kade’s friends and this is who her daughter is now. Will Sophie be able to let go of her cynicism and accept Kade for who she is? Or will mother and daughter be out of pace with each other for the rest of their lives?
All the favorites are back for this installment – Aiden, Dawn, Kade, and Del – but we get to see a little more of the characters introduced in Next of Kin. We have Sophie Matheson, who really didn’t leave the best impression when we were first introduced to her. Here, though, we are able to get more of a sense of who she is as a woman and a mother. Sophie is a woman who is a product of her upbringing. She was taught not to question, look beautiful, marry a good man and have children. While I didn’t like the way she interacted with Kade, I couldn’t necessarily fully fault her actions. After all, she is a product of the environment she was brought up in. All she needs is someone to guide her through this foreign land and show the importance of loving her daughter unconditionally. Someone who knows and has experienced the emotions she is currently dealing with. Enter Grace Kinsley.
Grace is the exact opposite of Sophie. She is warm, loving, and supportive of Dawn’s lifestyle and choices. But she will be the first to tell you that she didn’t start out that way. Like Sophie, Grace went through her own bouts of denial and confusion. This makes her the perfect guide for Sophie. She’ll help her navigate this new reality of Kade’s life and lead her to the land of acceptance one step at a time.
The Writing Style
What makes this story so great is we see the comparison between the two relationships of Kade with Sophie and Dawn with Grace. Kade and Sophie are in the infancy stages of their relationship post coming out. Both are dealing with their own struggles with this new reality. On the other end of the spectrum, you have Dawn and Grace who have already gone through most of their struggles and have reached a level of acceptance that allows them to build a strong and loving bond. These two sides are part of the same process. It’s a great illustration of showing us that even though the journey to acceptance may differ from person to person, the beginning and the end results rarely stray from the path when nurtured with the unconditional love and support a parent should have for their child.
In addition to the juxtaposition between Grace and Sophie, Jae does a great job of juxtaposing the romantic relationship of Kade and Del against Dawn and Aiden. With Dawn and Aiden, you have two women who have known and accepted they were lesbians for a while. So, their relationship and affection for each other is more passionate and on display. Whereas with Kade and Del, you have a newly minted relationship where one woman is still discovering herself in this new identity of bi-sexuality and tends to shy away from the public displays. It’s great to get the two ends of the relationship spectrum. And it’s made even better by the fact that they fit the characters perfectly.
I wish it had been a little bit longer. However, I know Jae is writing a fourth installment for this series so I’m willing to let it slide.
Jae shows off her writing prowess by giving us a story that is short yet very powerful with its message. I urge everyone to pick up this series, follow these intriguing characters, and become a part of one of the best ensembles in law enforcement lesfic.
Excerpt from Change of Pace by Jae
Del walked over and bent to kiss her.
Heat shot through Kade, partly a physical reaction to their intimate contact, partly nervousness about this display of affection in her office. After allowing herself to enjoy the kiss for a moment, she pressed her hand against Del’s shoulder, gently pushing her back. “Not here. Not now.” She squeezed Del’s shoulder before settling back down behind her desk.
Del sat across from her without comment. She always respected Kade’s boundaries. “So what’s going on? Your day not going well?”
“It was – until Judge Linehan decided to have a last-minute motion hearing this afternoon,” Kade said.
Del canted her head. “Why’s that a problem? You usually love motion hearings.”
Even after dating her for two months, Kade was still surprised by how well Del had gotten to know her. “I do. But I had a call from my mother this morning. She decided to visit a week earlier than planned. I promised to pick her up at the airport this afternoon, but now I’ll be stuck in a hearing…”
“Hmmm.” Del rubbed her chin. “Do you want me to pick her up?”
Kade stared at her. “You want to pick up my mother from the airport?”
“Sure.” Del smiled bravely. “We met when we stayed in Ashland, so I’m not a stranger.”
A chuckle escaped Kade. “You more than met. You got your butt handed to you in a tennis match. And our visit didn’t end so well when she caught us kissing. Are you really sure you want to volunteer to be alone with my mother for up to forty-five minutes, in a small, closed space, during rush hour, with no way of escaping?”
“It won’t be so bad. I’ll pick her up and take her to dinner.”
“Really?” Kade was caught between relief and guilt.
“Really,” Del said. “Call me on my cell when you get out of the hearing, and I promise to keep your mother entertained until then.”
Kade wrote down the details of her mother’s flight. She picked up the note but hesitate to hand it over. “You’re sure you don’t mind?”
“You know I like doing little favors for my girlfriend.” Del plucked the note out of her fingers.
“Oh, you really enjoy calling me that, don’t you?” Kade wagged her finger at Del, but she actually didn’t mind – and she was sure Del knew it.
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Conflict Of Interest by Jae
Next Of Kin by Jae
Change Of Pace by Jae
Bits and Bobs
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
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