A Saving Solace by DS Bauden

I keep stumbling across stories referring to women being rejected by parents and other members of their close family when they decide to come out about their sexuality “A Saving Solace” is just one of them. I keep wondering why close family – who is supposed to be lovingly devoted to each other – really cares who you choose to live you life and share your bed with as long as you’re happy – aghraaaaa!

Ok I’m ready for the review now so let’s go on out on the winter streets of Chicago and meet Susan McGovern seeking donations for “ForOthers”, an organization caring for the homeless. And what could possibly keep anyone out on the streets in the bitter cold, hours on end with a bucket and a bell? For Susan, it’s a job and it’s just one of the steps she has taken over the last two years to lift herself out of the homelessness and despair she landed in when she was kicked out by her parents as she came out to them.

While on the streets, Susan meets Kelly Cavanaugh a successful professional woman but a battered soul all the same. Kelly has suffered the loss of her mother to ALS as a teen, and lived through the hurt of being betrayed by the woman she loved. This has left her lonely and with little trust in love but, on the other hand, Kelly still has the energy to look for someone to help her turn her life around, and that someone seems be Susan. After watching Susan on the streets by the department store every day for a week, Kelly courageously asks her out for a coffee, which turns into a meal and an open hearted talk.

Moving from being complete strangers to friends and from there to a mutual attraction and falling in love takes just a couple of weeks for Susan and Kelly, which I think is a bit like putting love on the “fast track”, but who cares – it’s a romance, who would want real life to interfere?! And don’t worry, not everything is served on a platter for the girls. The story involves just the right amount of angst as the girls betray each other’s trust which threatens to destroy the relationship that they both need.

This is one of the on line romances which could have benefited by a wider span in the storyline perhaps by adding a couple of more characters or some sort of sub-plot. As it is, the story focuses almost entirely on the interactions between the protagonists which leave it a bit lacking. Furthermore, the writer is a bit undecided as to whose perspective should be the basis of the story and, as a reader, that leaves you to jump back and forth between Susan’s and Kelly’s heads and inner thoughts which gets a bit restless at times, but if you want to visit with a couple of battered souls on the road to healing and a better life, you could look up this story.

Just one last thing – You might know this story by the title “Home” as “A Saving Solace” seems to be a later rewrite of the former, but it’s basically the same storyline.

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