Saturday, 7 January 2012

Before it Stains by R.E Bradshaw

Stephanie Austin, (Steph), is living the perfect life. She is totally and utterly madly in love with her wife, Mo. They have been together for seventeen years. They have a lovely teenage son, Colt, a loving family, nice house, good jobs, lots of friends. Life could not be any better for them. That is until Mo cheats on Steph. Steph’s world comes crashing down around her. She always thought her and Mo would be together forever. She trusted Mo implicitly. Will Steph ever be able to forgive Mo?

Dr Maureen Hunt, (Mo), is an aspiring film maker as well as teacher at a university. She has finally realized her dream and will be heading to Los Angeles to make a film. Unfortunately, Mo has a one night drunken indiscretion with her agent, Michaela. An indiscretion that Michaela in going to ensure Steph finds out about.

Mo has no idea of Michaela’s scheme. In fact, Mo is doing all she can to avoid Michaela. What will happen next between Mo and Michalea? It’s obvious Michaela isn’t done with Mo yet.

All hell breaks loose when Steph discovers Mo’s infidelity. Steph has to keep a tight rein on her emotions for the sake of their son, Colt. She has to protect him. But can she? She is totally devastated and not thinking rationally.

When Mo returns home that evening and discovers Steph knows about her and Michaela, she begs for forgiveness. Steph can’t find it in herself to forgive Mo though and throws her out. Will Steph ever be able to trust Mo again? The answer is no, not right now.

Mo reluctantly leaves for L.A to fulfil her contract. Steph decides she will get on with her life. Heartbroken, she rethinks the direction her life has come from and where she wants it to go. But will Mo be with her? Steph is now on a mission. Changes have to be made. But what will the consequences of those changes bring about?

This is a book about commitment and forgiveness. The questions are, can a marriage survive the betrayal of one of the partners? Will the other person be able to forgive the indiscretion? Was there something wrong in the relationship?

This book is full of love, joy, laughter, tears, loving family life, loyal friends, anxiety, hurt, betrayal, hope, forgiveness and humor throughout.

The two main characters, Steph and Mo are so well suited to one another, that even though Mo cheated on Steph, I couldn’t help hoping they would get back together. In my opinion, R.E Bradshaw has written their parts so that we are meant to hope for this. This goes against all my previous thoughts on the subject of infidelity. So, she has certainly penned a powerful piece of writing here.

We also have the pleasure of seeing characters from some of R.E Bradshaw’s previous books. Each and every character is essential to moving the story forward and to enhance the story. I won’t put any spoilers in here. But Steph’s ex girlfriend makes an appearance and we discover more about her life. Having said that, this book is a standalone. No need to have read any of the others first. But you will be missing out on some excellent books if you don’t read them.

Steph has to make decisions that will affect not only herself, but her teenage son too. She has to do what is right for all. But can she go on with her life the way it was? Of course the answer is no, changes have to be made. But it’s how the changes are made that makes this book what it is.

First and foremost this is an excellent story, one that could happen to any of us in a relationship. Second is the effect on others around. Third is whether the mess can be mopped up before it stains forever and the situation can never be resolved. The fourth and most important message for me in this book is to never be too complacent, never take your partner or your life for granted. Keep the romance alive. Although this book is a work of fiction, many things can be learned from it.

Another winning book, that would in my opinion make an excellent film. The final question to be asked is, when is your next book due out Ms Bradshaw? Sooner rather than later, I hope.

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