Roller Coaster by Karin Kallmaker

From the blurb: “Their first roller coaster ride together may turn out to be only a prelude…”

This book opens with Laura Izmani (chef) and Helen Baynor (actress) joining each other to ride a roller coaster for different reasons. Helen is attempting to overcome her crippling fear of heights and Laura is celebrating a year of sobriety. The coaster gets stuck near the top of a tall hill long enough for the two to share a nicely supportive bonding experience. Laura inspires Helen to go for her dreams and Helen gives Laura the judgment-free support she so desperately needs at this point in her life.

Now fast forward 23 years and you find a successful chef interviewing to become the personal chef to Helen Baynor (now famous Broadway actress) and her two grown children. However, only Laura appears to remember that fateful day that gave her the strength to go on, as Helen doesn’t recognize her.

Similarly to Finder’s Keepers, a large majority of this book has the two main characters separated by great distance (Helen in New York, Laura at her home in California). I actually like that Kallmaker has begun doing this with her stories. It allows the reader to really learn a lot about each character independently, and for the protagonists to become friends before lovers.

Laura has her demons, and a lot of her problems are tied up with her drug addiction. Helen has gone 50 years of her life before realizing that she may have been looking for love in the wrong place. They have their own issues to overcome but do so with a minimum of angst and misunderstandings.

I can usually count on Kallmaker to write solid story and interesting characters. It’s not a terribly complex story, but then if I wanted that I wouldn’t pick up a romance. Still, I enjoyed the dialogue as well as the minor characters in the story. If you’re a fan of Karin Kallmaker, you’d do well to pick this one up.

Roller Coaster

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