Publisher: Bella Books
How do you differentiate one romance from another? The plot is basically known, so it must be character development or the story. Blind Bet by Tracey Richardson is an example of how characters can make a book.
Ellen Turcotte is trying to recover from a divorce from her wife that caught her totally by surprise. She thought they had been happy for thirteen years until she found her wife in bed with another woman. Ellen decides to visit a friend in Vancouver for a change of scenery and meets Courtney Langford. Courtney's life was turned inside out when she missed a flight and the airplane she was supposed to be on crashed, killing one of her staff members. After dumping everything in her life, she took off on a motorcycle in an attempt to discover why she survived. Both women are trying to figure out what to do with their lives when they meet in a situation that casts Courtney in a less than positive light. After more accidental meetings, Courtney realizes that Ellen might be the person she's been looking for, but Ellen isn't so sure herself. Lady Luck has been Courtney's best friend in everything she's ever done, but that may have changed as Courtney tries to convince Ellen to risk her heart one more time.
The romance in this book is fairly routine; but it's the emotions that Ellen and Courtney go through that make it interesting. Richardson uses these two characters to illustrate the effects that someone else's actions can have on a person's life. Ellen has to face the issues of betrayal by a spouse and her own guilt in the situation. Courtney suffers from classic "survivor regret" and a healthy dose of post traumatic distress. Neither one of them is able to interact with other people in a personal manner. These two are the least likely candidates to start a relationship, yet their shared emotional struggles allow them to reach out and help each other. The dance they do, denying their feelings and each trying to isolate herself within her own form of grief, makes the book as much an exploration of personality as it is of romance.
Tracey Richardson's other books have shown romance against a variety of backgrounds, including war, politics and adventure. Blind Bet takes a different approach and illustrates how negative emotions, left unaddressed, can ruin the positive that comes into a person's life. It's an interesting book to read.