Faith Fitzgerald is a good girl. She lives with her parents because she doesn’t have a husband. She attends church every Sunday because it is expected. And she denies her attraction to women and she is likely to marry Eric, the charming man she is dating.
On the surface Faith is a happy woman with a great career as a Professor and award-winning author, a wealthy boyfriend who dotes on her and is the perfect gentleman. Under the flies layer of perfection, though, lies memories of a woman from college who claimed her and made her do things that she regrets. A woman who to this day holds a strange power over her and makes her want to run away from her feelings for women.
Sydney Van Allen is running for office. She is a lawyer, out lesbian and former alcoholic and yet she is a strong contender as long as she stays on the right path. Sobriety and the absence of scandalous affairs is what’s needed to win. And let’s face it, basically any lesbian dating is a scandalous affair.
When Eric introduces Faith to his sister, Sydney, it opens the floodgates and both women are swept up in their undeniable attraction for one another.
Faith doesn’t want to lose her carefully constructed life or her domineering family. Sydney wants to make a difference in politics. Is there a way to get what they want and still fall in love? The stakes are high.
It would have been good to see a little more of Sydney’s plight, the story was very focused on Faith. Having said that, I liked both characters enough to want them to get together.
I liked that this book had a lovely male character in Eric, something we don’t see a lot in lesbian fiction.
The Writing Style
As always, Kallmaker is a glorious writer. She is one of the best in the sector and when you read any of her books, including this one, you will see why I say that.
This book was first published in 1996 and then saw a small overhaul in 2012 when it was republished with a much better cover.
When it was first published it was common to have stories like this where lesbians were struggling to come out of the closet. These days it’s a lot less common and yet I think there is still merit to them. All over the world there are still women struggling to come to terms with their sexuality and for them, books like this can make it easier to accept who they are. It did that for me.
Apart from no mention of cellphones, and a slightly antiquated political view, the book hasn’t aged much and it is still relevant.
This is a sweet romance. It takes a while for the main characters to get together because a lot of time is spent on Faith coming to terms with who she is.
It is beautifully written and starkly shows the difference between settling for what is considered ‘normal’ and what your heart really wants.
I am a believer that Kallmaker is one of the greats in the genre. Go read this book. Heck, just go read all of her books.
Excerpt from Wild Things by Karin Kallmaker
“Sydney, this is Faith.”
“It’s a pleasure and an honor,” I said. I hoped that my expression and slightly clammy hands didn’t reveal my churning stomach and pounding heart.
“Likewise, certainly,” Sydney said. Our handshake lasted long enough to surpass mere politeness. I knew that Sydney must meet hundreds of people a week, but her warm grasp was welcoming. “I very rarely meet any of Eric’s special friends.”
It was a diplomatic choice of words. Eric and I were close friends. Perhaps she spoke to him enough to know we weren’t lovers. I had ceased to wonder at Eric’s lack of sexual demands by learning that, despite some emancipated thinking about women’s roles, he was old-fashioned about sex. I appreciated that and remained quite relieved. I wasn’t ready for intimacy with him.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781931513647
- Publisher: Bella Books
Karin Kallmaker Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Wild Things by Karin Kallmaker. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.
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Too Late I Love You is also a sweet romance with a coming out theme.