Kennedy Ryan writes books about unstoppable, spectacular women and the men who love them. This book is no different.
Plot: Kimba and Ezra were born on the same day and were inseparable through their childhood. Then the friendship between their parents splintered, and they didn’t see each other for 24 years. Kimba spent that time dealing with the pressure of having an equal parts impressive and oppressive family legacy of community leaders that includes freedom riders and big political players. Ezra spent that time struggling with a feeling of homelessness as a biracial Jew not fully accepted anywhere and translating that into a passion for education, so no child is deprived of opportunity and community. When they reconnect in their late 30s, things move quickly, but the lives they’ve built and the people they’ve become are significant obstacles to overcome.
First off, can we have a quick shout out for older (even though they’re not even 40) protagonists? And people who have properly lived in that time and have the baggage and complexity to show for it. This makes for such interesting, believable storytelling and I wish more authors (well, more likely publishers) recognized that frankly we’re out of interesting stories about able bodied young, cishet white people. There’s nothing left. It’s all boring. That’s why they’re all werewolves now.
Anyway. This story turns the feels up to 11, which I’m learning is a Ryan trademark. However, for the intensity of every single one of Kimba and Ezra’s interactions, the life shattering drama that led to them losing touch, the soap opera that is their life, and the political machinations of unworthy candidates for office, the book is pretty light on angst. The obstacles facing them are so obviously solvable once people pull their heads out of their asses. The plot twists are telegraphed from a mile away. And anyway, we spent comparatively time on them anyway. The focus is on seeing Kimba and Ezra being really good together. Sometimes the complications almost felt like distractions than meaningfully part of the story.