Author: Sharon Struth
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 19, 2013
"Can forgiveness survive lies and unspoken truths?"
Until Brenda McAllister's husband committed suicide, she appeared to have the ideal life: a thriving psychology practice, success as a self-help author, and a model family. But her guilt over her affair with Jack's best friend prevents her from moving on. Did Jack learn of her infidelity? Was she the cause of his death?
The release of Brenda's second book forces her into an unexpected assignment with arrogant celebrity author CJ Morrison, whose irritating and edgy exterior hides the torment of his own mistakes. But as she grows closer to CJ, Brenda learns she wasn't the only one with secrets--Jack had secrets of his own, unsavory ones that may have led to his death. While CJ helps Brenda uncover the truth about her husband, she finds the path to forgiveness isn't always on the map.
thoughts on the hourglass
What I LikedThe Hourglass is is a wonderful debut by Sharon Struth. Brenda and CJ are two characters that have suffered the loss of their spouse and are having a hard time getting over their grief and guilt. They aren't young 20 somethings but grown adults who reiterate the fact that no one way is the right way. CJ deals, or rather not deals, with losing his wife by dating women that are about as opposite of her as you can get. He hires Brenda to help him analyze the character in his next book that gee, sounds a lot like him
What I LovedI loved the overall tone of the novel. The characters were older than I'm used to reading and while I wouldn't exactly call the romance part of the story "fluffy" it had more a sweet, romantic side feeling that struck me as old-fashioned. And that's definitely not a bad thing. A lot of the more intimate moments kind of fade to black but that makes it more believable to me. The mysteries and issues that CJ and Brenda were dealing with were solved in a believable way too and left me feeling happy for them.
What I Didn't LikeSometimes I felt a little frustrated by CJ at first but really, Sharon Struth was just setting the stage for the characters and I could absolutely see into his behavior as time wore on.
excerpt from The Hourglass
An unexpected gravitational pull swelled Brenda’s anger. Her cute quip ran into hiding. She no longer cared about winning this man’s favor. His rudeness left her feeling as if she’d been doused with hot coffee this time. Brenda clenched her fists. A year of internal browbeating over Jack’s suicide had left her easily irritated.
Brenda gripped the frail edges of her self-control. “I once again offer my apologies for the accident, by definition an unplanned event with lack of intent.” He looked down his sturdy, Grecian nose at her, so she stood and put her hands on her hips. “Shouldn’t you, as a writer, know that?”
Every line on his face tensed. “I could do without your sarcasm.” He leaned closer. “Thanks to you, I missed my meeting. Maybe tomorrow morning you could get room service.”
The brunette unleashed a tight smirk. CJ motioned for them to move on.
Brenda fumbled for a good retort. As he stepped away, the last word went with him. The same way Jack had the last word in their life together. A silent explosion went off inside Brenda’s head and propelled her anger forward.
“Mr. Morrison?” She raised her voice to be heard above the crowd.
He looked over his shoulder and arched a questioning eyebrow.
Brenda crossed her arms and fixed a phony smile as she nodded toward his companion. “It’s so nice of you to bring your daughter to the conference.”
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about the authorSharon Struth writes from her home in Bethel, Connecticut where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She’s a graduate of Marist College.
The Hourglass is Sharon’s debut novel. Her other writing credits include essays in several Chicken Soup for the Soul Books, the anthology A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers, Sasee Magazine and WritersWeekly.com. Her current work-in-progress Share the Moon received second place in the Unpublished Beacon Contest.
Prior to writing full-time, Sharon worked for thirteen years at the headquarters of Waldenbooks/Borders Books. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and Treasurer of The Romance Writers of Southern Connecticut and Lower New York (CoLoNY).