Review: Still by Mary Calmes


Rating 4.75 stars out of  5

Still coverSilvan Cruz and Walter Wainwright fell in love at first kiss and never thought they would part.  Now years later with two grown children, their marriage has stagnated into a series of fights, long hours apart and miscommunication.  So when Silvan suggests that they get a divorce rather than continue on as they were, Walter agreed immediately and before either man knew it, the divorce papers were filled out and they were living separately.

But while pride and circumstances are keeping them apart, the love and passion they feel for each other has never died.  Walter wants Silvan back but Silvan is sure that Walter has stopped loving him.  Is it too late for love to find a way home for  them both?

I always look forward to a new story from Mary Calmes because I know I will feel happy and satisfied by the time it  ends.  It is both a homecoming and a journey with friends, all rolled into one heartwarming tale of love.

In Still, you have a title that can be taken in several ways.  Still in that after 17 years together Silvan and Walter’s marriage has reached a point of stasis.  Their children have grown and moved out yet Walter still puts in long hours as an expensive and highly rated lawyer, leaving Silvan at a home emptied of sounds and action, alone without his lover.  With a marriage gone still and no growth or change in sight, Silvan pushes for change in a disastrous manner, he asks for a divorce.  But on the opposite side, Still also stands for the love and passion Silvan and Walter have  for the other, even after all these years together.

Mary Calmes takes this all too common place occurrence in long established unions and provides us with a sweet, romantic road home to love and a happily ever after she is known for.  When the story opens, it is March 2013, and the separation has already taken place.  Silvan is living in a loft apartment and working as a set designer for a theatre and we hear him musing on his current status, clearly unhappy but unable to see a way forward.   And we hear from various other points of view, from their children to their friends, that Walter’s feels much the same, still living in the house they both loved and unhappy as well.  Then Calmes takes us into the past to see how Silvan and Walter’s romance began and the author’s magical ability to make the reader feel the joy and deep attraction of new lovers for each other let’s us see just how perfect Silvan and Walter are fas a couple. And for each moment in their past happy lives, we flash forward to the present and a very different picture.  Mary Calmes makes Silvan’s yearnings and hurt realistic and touching  and all the while she is building up our frustration that these two men are remaining apart.  It’s a great juggling act and one she accomplishes easily.

There is a slice of danger added to the mixture of romance and love recaptured, an element that Mary Calmes will often introduces into her stories.  It does elevate the readers fear that our couple will be denied their happily ever after, if not by themselves, then by an outside factor we didn’t see coming.  But because it is Mary Calmes that the reader can feel safe in their knowledge that the couple will passionately reunite and the sex will be very hot indeed.

I did wish that we had seen more of their married life together, from their picture as a family to the stress brought on by an empty nest and lack of communication.  Being told that it had degenerated into a series of arguments, fights, and  loneliness is not the same as a flashback to the actual time in their relationship.  If anything, I think that would have made it all the more poignant and their separation more grounded in realistic marital problems.

Still is a wonderful story and one you won’t want to miss.  It brings home all the deep joy, contentment and yes, sometimes, hurt and pain, that couples experience over a lifetime together and makes it real.  It is so very satisfying to know that Silvan and Walter will still be together, still be in love,  still very much a  happily married couple who spends the rest of their lives together.  And that will leave you still smiling long after the book is done.  Highly recommended by Scattered Thoughts.

Cover art by Reese Dante.  Lovely cover but I would have loved to have seen the young couple contrasted with their present day counterparts, otherwise it is just another lovely couple on a cover with no ties to the story inside.

Book Details:

ebook, 190 pages
Published May 15th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 162380695X (ISBN13: 9781623806958)
edition languageEnglish