Saturday, July 27, 2013

Blog Tour: Heat Wave - Peeking Through Wooden Blinds by Jane Reinhart Review

Paige Henderson and Joey Novak are planning their wedding. But a devastating and mysterious phone call leads Paige onto a path of self-destruction and into the arms of the wrong man. Her ensuing marriage to Nick Bruska becomes a nightmare and she struggles to regain self-worth. Joey has never forgotten Paige. Will he ever see her again? Only then could they discover the terrible mistake that changed the course of their lives.
The invitation list included Bob and Maura, a couple who also grew up with Nick. While Paige was mingling with guests in the living room, Nick and Maura were in the basement playroom watching television. Bob walked downstairs to inform his wife it was time to go. All of a sudden, the irate husband came storming upstairs to confront Paige.
 "Do you know what your husband is doing?" Bob screamed.
 Paige was dazed and uncertain.
 "He is lying on the couch with my wife, and he has his arms wrapped around her!"
 While Paige was trying to create a suitable excuse for Nick's behavior, Maura ran upstairs to explain her innocence. After a brief scolding from her husband, she directed her comments to Paige.
 "Don't listen to Bob," Maura said. "He has a bad temper. You know Nick and I have been close for a long time, and he wasn't doing anything wrong."
 Bob and Maura left while the other guests were still trying to close their mouths.
 Paige knew Maura spoke the truth. Nick took all aspects of his personality to the limit, especially his affectionate nature, but she gave him an impending warning.
 "NIck," she started, "one day your over-friendless is going to get you into a lot of trouble."
 Nick agreed, but didn't absorb her warning.
 Insisting that it was "nice to be nice," the sociable husband assured his wife that he knew where to draw the line. For instance, Nick confessed that, once, when a young woman offered him her phone number after an evening of pinball challenge, he declined and told the girl he was married. With a gallant air, he shared the story now to prove his fidelity. Paige reminded him that if he spent hours cavorting with female competitors, he was already straddling the fence. Furthermore, she argued that women on the prowl always checked a man's hand to see if he was sporting a wedding ring. That was something Nick refused to do; explaining that, since he was a tradesman, wearing one presented the dangerous risk of getting the ring caught in machinery. He added that when he retired, he would wear the band of gold with pride.
 Trust regained its stronghold, and another obvious wave of the red flag was ignored.

Paige was a military brat who was always moving around with her family.  Finally settling down so she could attend high school, Paige blossomed overnight and had male attention left and right.  She caught the eye of a senior named Patsy.  Patsy never did anything more than kiss her and it was more of a relationship based on appearance and not actual feelings.  During the summer after her Freshman year, she was introduced to Patsy's friend Joey.  Patsy didn't like the male attention that Paige attracted, so he began to physically abuse her.  She was used to abuse since her dad Curtis was never around and his way of dealing with his children being disobedient was to backhand them.  So when Patsy did the same to Paige, she assumed that was normal and didn't think anything of it.  As time went on, Joey continued to command all of Paige's attention.  While she wasn't allowed time near him very often, she felt an attraction to him that she hoped he returned.

One day, Patsy and Joey showed up and Patsy asked Paige who she wanted to be with.  She ended up with Joey that day.  Joey and Paige quickly fell in love and their first time together was not until she turned eighteen.  Paige wanted to marry Joey and they quickly became engaged, but Paige became depressed after the death of her dog.  She slowly withdrew into herself and while she was still faithful to Joey, she was never around.

Joey was lonely and could only withstand female attention for so long.  Joey was a well built man who was good looking, young, and drove a motorcycle.  The waitress at the restaurant he frequented with his dad, Roxanne, quickly convinced him to start taking her on rides.  Joey never told Paige about this and it ate away at his conscious but still he continued to do it not thinking he was doing anything wrong.  One day Paige receives a mysterious phone call, and the caller tells her that Joey has been seeing another girl.  Paige decides it's time to start going out and enjoying her life.  She meets a man named Nick who tells her he wants to date her and to get rid of her fiance so they can start seeing one another.  When Paige confronts Joey about the girl he's been seeing Joey doesn't deny it or confirm it and to Paige that says it all so she tells him that she's been seeing someone else and Joey walks away.

Paige starts seeing Nick and even though given the opportunity to tell Paige he wasn't seeing anyone and still loved her, he never tells her the truth thinking she's happy when she tells him that she's married and pregnant.  But little does Joey know that Paige is not happy with the man she married and would give anything to be with Joey.  But Joey walks away again without ever looking back.

Paige's life over the years with Nick were fine at first.  They ended up moving in together and having two children, Jeff and Kimberly.  Before she get married to Nick, an older gentleman warned Paige that she would never change Nick's ways.  Nick being a heavy drinker and confirmed bachelor who doesn't like to be told what to do.  Nick never helped with his children, Paige was forced to care for her children alone and still make sure that Nick had his meal at the end of the day.  He calmed down for a while when Paige's parents moved in with them, but when others were not around, Nick's drinking led to his abuse of Paige.  He would often tell her she had no right to tell him what to do and Nick would sometime be gone the entire night not returning until dawn.  Paige grew very unhappy in her marriage, but she never actually had solid proof that Nick was cheating on her.  He claimed he was always playing pool.  Paige turned a blind eye for years of their marriage, choosing to stay married to him.  For more than forty years, Paige put up with him, but when their children got older and her parents passed, Nick's drinking and unhappiness with his marriage grew.

Can Paige finally see the light and leave Nick?  Or will Nick finally see the error of his ways and change his life?  What ever happened to Joey?  Does Paige still think of him?

There were so many questions that kept me reading this story late into the night.  I was expecting a short story but was delighted to find this to be a longer story.  I wasn't so sure if I would like it, but by the time Nick and Paige started dating I was hooked.  This story was a great read that I very much enjoyed.  Paige and her emotions were very well developed and felt throughout this entire story.  At first I didn't like Paige because she was portrayed as being such a weak individual, but by the end she finally woke up and stood up for herself.  I really look forward to reading more of Jane's work in the future, 5 stars.

***ARC was provided as part of the Heat Wave book in exchange for a honest review***
Jane Reinhart, author and poet, resides in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and three dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and cooking.

Jane Reinhart Tour Schedule:

7/23: Promo/Excerpt: Stephenie Philipsen
7/24: Guest Post: Nat Wood
7/25: Guest Post: R. E. Hargrave
7/26: Promo/Excerpt: Tracy Riva
7/27: Review: Rose Caceres
7/28: Promo/Excerpt: Jennifer Garcia
7/29: Promo/Excerpt: S.A. Jones
7/31: guest Post: Mich
8/1: Review: Tbird London
8/1: Promo/Excerpt: Kim

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