Publisher: Bella Books
There is always much talk about how romance novels are written to a formula—woman meets woman, an obstacle comes between the women, the women work things out. There is nothing inherently wrong with writing to a formula as long as the story is well told. KG MacGregor always tells a story well.
Just This Once is the story of Paula McKenzie and Wynne Connelly. Paula is the assistant manager of an upscale business hotel in Orlando, Florida, and Wynne is one of the guests. Wynne is traveling from Boston on a regular basis to help with the merger of the company she works for with a much larger travel organization. The women are drawn to each other and begin spending time together at various activities. Neither of them believes the relationship has much future because of the distance between them, but they can't seem to resist each other. That is, until a secret that Wynne has been keeping comes to light. What seemed to have been a promising romance is destroyed by a lack of good faith…or is it? Finding the answer to that question becomes an interesting study in whether trust, once violated, can ever be restored.
This is not a new story, but it is one told with style. Too often writers seem to be in a hurry to settle their stories and they rush events at a pace that doesn't seem natural. One of the nice points is that MacGregor gives her characters time to develop their relationship and then more time to deal with the problems that arise between them. They don't disagree one day and suddenly realize the next that they are soul mates meant to be together no matter what has happened between them. The book covers a span of years to deal with the betrayal that Paula feels Wynne perpetrated. Wynne has to prove that she can be trusted again, and that doesn't happen overnight. MacGregor also manages to make both characters human and people that a reader can relate to. Wynne has made some bad mistakes, but the reader will recognize how these occur in real life when people lose control of events in their lives. Paula's reactions are also perfectly understandable and ring true to experience. What this book demonstrates is a maturity of style and life.
This isn't MacGregor's first novel and it shows that she is growing into her storytelling art. It's a pleasant read and a well-told story.