Genres: Contemporary Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Life can change in a flash.
Marriage and a baby wasn’t Amy Forsythe’s college plan. After a shotgun marriage glued together by her son, she’s convinced that love isn’t meant for her. Now nearing forty and single for the first time since her senior prom, her friends are pushing her to date. Her teenager isn’t thrilled by the idea and neither is Amy.
Silver fox Thomas Popov isn’t looking for The One. He found her decades ago. And fell apart when she died. At fifty-three with a new job, a new city, and an empty nest, he’s focused on climbing the corporate ladder.
When a softball accident lands Thomas in Amy’s dental chair, sparks fly.
Lightning doesn’t strike twice. But love might.
This time is different.
I loved This Time Is Different! This gem is a Standalone romance with an older couple and I loved how I got lost in the story from the get-go. This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Woods, I’m looking forward to reading her other books now, I’m officially a fangirl!
Dr. Amy Forsythe meets Thomas Popov after he was hit in the bat at a softball game. The practice, co-owned with her friend and business partner Dr. Diane Mordasini, is located across from the city’s baseball fields and they see a fair share of baseball-related injuries. Amy divorced her husband two years ago, and her seventeen-year old son, Grady, lives with her. She and Bert, her ex-husband, maintain a friendly relationship and joint custody agreement. Amy’s just recently decided to start dating and at thirty-nine she’s sure that she’ll never marry again.
“Waste not fresh tears over old griefs.”
Thomas Popov is a fifty-three year old widower with an empty nest. His three kids are scattered all over the country, in college, and he moved to Memphis two years ago to take the position of COO of a major hospital. Thomas’ wife, Laurie, passed away seven years ago and while he’s dated in the past he too has decided he’ll never re-marry. Amy made quite an impression on Thomas and, with Diane’s help, he convinces her to go on a date with him. And this is where the love story begins!
“You’re not Laurie. Wait, that was wrong. That was all wrong. What I meant to say is that I’ not your ex and you’re not me wife. You’re funny. And you’re headstrong and confident and braver than anyone could guess. You’re soft and kind and easy and sexy and smart and a million things that add up to you being you. This isn’t that. That’s done. That’s over. And there isn’t any getting that back. But this, Amy? This time is different, we can have this.”
I loved everything about this couple! As the story progressed, so did the attraction to each other, and how the relationship grows as they start to know each other. While there’s some drama, especially with a teen involved in the storyline, there are a few painful moments for those of us that love a little angst with our romance. And for all of us regular Romance lovers, the book discussions and reading scenes will make you jump for joy; because who doesn’t love a man who reads? So, just to go on the record: I’m claiming this Silver fox, Thomas Popov, officially mine!
“Mr. Popov! I thought the appointment was for five,” I said, closing the door to my SUV after spotting him in the parking lot. He was leaning against his car and tapping on a phone, and his face was still a wreck.
“Yeah, it is. I wanted to beat traffic, so I’ve been taking some calls from your parking lot,” he replied, sliding the phone into his suit pants pocket. Silver hair, light blue dress shirt, rolled up at the sleeves, showcasing his muscular forearms. Someone plays a lot of softball.
“Okay, well, Jana should be here soon and then I can take a quick peek and you’ll be on your way.”
“No rush. And please, call me Thomas,” he said.
“Only if you’ll call me Amy.”
“Nice to meet you, Amy.”
He extended his hand, a friendly smile lighting up his face. The bruise was healing nicely, but the impact point was still purple with a large halo of yellow. It was mainly obscured by his salt and pepper scruff. I didn’t blame him for not shaving. Except for his lip, the skin hadn’t broken. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t any less tender from the trauma. In fact, I was impressed that he was able to smile through the ache.
“And you, Thomas,” I replied, hoisting my purse up my shoulder and clasping his hand. I expected a couple of quick businesslike pumps. What I got was different. His hand was big and warm and soft, making me feel delicate, but before I could process what was different, before I could categorize it into neat little bullet points—
“I’m here already. Just noticed you. Y’all are early,” called Jana from the office’s bright red front door.
As I pulled my head out of the clouds, where I’d just begun to wonder how soft the rest of his skin was, I started to withdraw my hand. But not before he gave a little squeeze. Was that a wink?
“Amy, real quick.”
“Will you have dinner with me? I’ve got a table at Brooklyn Bridge at six thirty. And I hear good things about the lobster ravioli and tiramisu.”
The heat that had been building in me quickly cooled. I hated pity dates. I hated when my friends shoved men into my path and hoped for the best. The only one ever truly happy was the friend doing the shoving. And I’d had enough pity from men to last my lifetime. Being alone was better than being pitied.
“Did Diana ask you to do this?” I inquired, narrowing my eyes at him, trying to discern his true intention behind his offer of my favorite meal.
“No. Though she told me what restaurant. So, that’s a yes?”
She didn’t con him into asking me out? It just didn’t make sense. Men didn’t ask me out because they wanted to. Men asked me out because they were obligated to. “That’s a—”
“Yes. Let that be a yes,” he said, another gentle squeeze on my hand that I thought I’d pulled away. Maybe he honestly did want to go on a date with me.
“And tiramisu?” I asked, testing the waters with my toe.
“Of course. And whatever else you want.”
A smile tickled at the corners of my mouth. Was he propositioning me? God, really? Me, mother of a seventeen-year-old being propositioned?
“They have a nice wine selection,” I said, wading further into the waters to see whether his eyes fell—a clear sign that Diana had pushed him into taking me out—or whether they lit up because he wanted to have dinner with me. In the three years since I’d started going on occasional dates, I hadn’t seen much light.
“There you go. We’ll have wine.” And there was light in his gray blue eyes. “Thank you.”
“Thank you?” My head spun. He was asking me on a date because he wanted to. Not because someone had pressured him into it. Or that he felt like he had to take me out. I honestly wasn’t sure if that had ever happened to me before. And I meant ever.
“Thanks for taking pity on an old man.”
“Oh, hush your mouth,” I said, letting go of his hand, resettling my purse on my shoulder and turning toward the office. “Let’s see if you’re ready to eat that lobster ravioli.”
As I checked his teeth and gums and lips for healing, I got caught up in his eyes. Thick dark lashes rimmed the soft gray blue.
“Whaaa?” he asked, around my fingers, and I remembered where I was—paused with my hands in my patient-turned-date’s mouth. Blue gloves, yoga pants, a lightweight hoodie over a blue tank top, and whatever random pile I swept my hair up into for my post-Pilates shower at the gym. Yeah, no fairy godmothers here. But at least I’d taken that shower.
“Looks good, Mr. Popov. I mean, Thomas,” I said, swiveling on the stool, stripping off the blue gloves and tossing them in the bin. “The lip looks good. Your gums are healing nicely and the teeth have firmed up. No discoloration or signs of stress. You got lucky.”
He pushed up from the exam chair, swinging his legs to the floor. “I did,” he said, looking at me square in the face.
Am I blushing? My cheeks felt warm. Is it warm in here? Is this perimenopause? Is this a hot flash? Because I hadn’t had a period in nearly two decades and was sneaking up on forty, every time I unexpectedly got warm, I wondered if I was entering menopause.
But I quickly realized that it wasn’t a life change. It was the big, handsome, and very forward man in my office. I didn’t know what to do because he clearly wasn’t talking about his softball accident. I spun around and typed a few notes into his record so that Diana could pull them up on Monday. I logged out of the computer, but not before taking a quick peek at the birthdate at the header of his profile. He was fourteen years and two months older than me to the day. May eleventh. He’d just turned fifty-three.
“Okay, you guys, let’s hit it. Thanks for coming in, Jana. I really appreciate it,” I said.
“Happy to, Dr. Forsythe. I’m going to go lock up,” said Jana, leaving the two of us alone.
“Am I cleared to eat?” he asked, standing up and offering his hand to me.
“Absolutely. As long as there’s no pain. Pasta would be a good starting food on the injured side.”
I placed my hand in his and it happened again. The warmth. The electricity. The parking lot wasn’t a fluke.
Author: Mae Wood
Release Date: October 12, 2017