Lindsey Blackwell is at the top of the wealth management game, which doesn’t leave much time for relationships. That’s fine by her, since her alcoholism ended the only longterm relationship she ever had. Now that she’s in recovery, she just focuses on work, whether that’s at home in New York, across the globe in Hong Kong, or anywhere in between.
When Lindsey takes over a bunch of case files, she meets Rebekiah Kearns, a local erotic photographer. Rebekiah’s best friend died and left her with millions of dollars, and Rebekiah wants to get rid of the money as quickly as possible so she can move on with her life. But Lindsey has another idea. What if Rebekiah were to put that money to work, so she could do some real good with it?
Rebekiah doesn’t know Lindsey, so why should she trust her? Rebekiah needs an act of trust in return—she’ll hear Lindsey’s ideas out if Lindsey will pose for Rebekiah.
Neither woman is ready for a relationship, but the more time they spend together, the more a relationship seems to form on its own. Can they get out of their own way long enough to grab on to love?
Neither Lindsey nor Rebekiah were the easiest for me to connect with at first because they’re both carrying some massive baggage. They try to keep each other at arms’ length for a long time, and understandably so, given the way Lindsey’s previous relationship crashed and burned and how Rebekiah was crushed by losing her best friend. They each have a lot to figure out and I appreciated seeing their journeys and how their priorities shift throughout the book.
The Writing Style
I liked how this was written. The settings were vivid, the chemistry well done, and their emotional journeys were a highlight.
I loved seeing Rebekiah and Lindsey grappling with their feelings and coming to terms with them. It’s not easy for either woman, which is why I’ve tagged this as a dramatic romance, even though there’s no big breakup.
Also, I was THRILLED to see Rebekiah and Lindsey have a conversation about when they were each last tested for STIs. There’s not nearly enough safer sex practice representation in lesfic, so it was fantastic to see it come up here.
I have one issue with the book, which is that there was too much going on. This is most noticeable at the end because, at the 90% mark, I felt like I was picked up from the story I’d been reading and was dropped into a different one. A side conflict that had been hinted at earlier in the story burst into the foreground like the Kool-Aid man and it was utterly bewildering. I spent the rest of the book muttering “WTF” to myself, because there was not nearly enough time to properly explore and resolve that conflict and wrap up the romance. Rebekiah and Lindsey are definitely together at the end, but I wish an epilogue had been added for more closure or something.
Even that issue with the ending aside, I’m glad I read Providence. It’s a solid debut book and it left me thinking for days after I finished it. I’d recommend it if you like books with tortured characters and I’ll be looking out for more from Leigh Hays in the future.
Excerpt from Providence by Leigh Hays
“I think I can help you.” The words left her mouth before she realized it.
Rebekiah turned toward her with a look that said she doubted it.
Lindsey held up her hand. She had no idea what to expect when she’d showed up. She’d been hoping to buy a little more time to diversify Rebekiah’s investments and get a longer commitment from her, but now that she was here and knowing what she did, she knew which way to go. “Hear me out. I get it. I know you’d still like to give it away, but I think we can carve out a sizable portion of this money and turn it into a foundation.” She pulled back, but her eyes stayed connected to Rebekiah. Keeping her as a client was no longer the goal. She was hurting, and Lindsey knew how to fix that.
Rebekiah frowned. “I don’t want to manage that kind of business.”
“It would be self-sustaining.” She paused and chose her next words carefully. “You loved her enough to watch her die. Now you have a chance to create a lasting legacy for her. Let me show you how.”
Rebekiah folded her arms. “You’re asking me to trust you with something very personal.”
Lindsey knew what she was going to say before she even said it. “You can take pictures of me.” She didn’t need to meet her halfway. She’d already signed the contracts. But she wanted her trust. The brief vulnerability opened the door. No harm in it as long as she controlled the terms. Her stomach fluttered. She could do this.
Rebekiah moved closer. “Are you sure?”
Lindsey knew what she was asking. She’d never done anything like this in her professional life, even when she was drinking. It was risky and exciting. But she wanted it. More than the contract itself, she wanted to feel like those women on Rebekiah’s walls. “I’m sure. How about you?”
“I’m in your hands.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781635556209
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
- Leigh Hays Online
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