The Good Life
Detective Kyle Anderson is a man of simple tastes and reasonably low expectations. Give him a juicy steak and no homicides, and he’d call it good. When his sister Katelyn got engaged to his best friend Dominic, he’d figured the worst of the unnecessary drama in his life was over. But that was before Dom’s free-spirited, twig-eating, exasperating sister Demetria came back to Nebraska and completely hijacked the planning of the wedding, starting with inviting Dom’s ex-wife Isabel. Now Kate’s so determined to prove Isabel is up to no good that she insists Kyle date her to keep her away from Dom. Soon Kyle is so knee deep in Anderson-Valentini dramatics, he’s thinking of changing his name and moving to Tibet. If he could just get Demi the impossibly sexy granola-flake off his mind long enough to do it…
“The Good Life” by Genevieve Dewey is a beautiful novel that sits somewhere between romance and character study. Two introductory short stories give us a quick insight into the relationship between Detective Kyle Anderson and his best friend Dominic and also between Dominic and Kyle’s sister Kate.
The latter two finally come together as lovers but things get complicated once again when the wedding is being planned, an ex-wife shows up and Eros throws some more arrows into the members of the two families.
This is a very enjoyable read with some wonderful human observations about our goals and desires in life, about chances, about being true to yourself and about finding out what a good life is to you.
Dewey has chosen a great set of characters to highlight all of these issues and to drive the often amusing and sometimes more dramatic plot onwards. Charming and philosophical in places this is a very pleasant book that should find a wide audience.
Author’s Note: Also included in this book are two shorts:
The Bird Day Battalion
Meet Katelyn Anderson, a play by the rules, temporarily out of work archaeologist desperate to pull off the perfect Thanksgiving dinner for her family. Enter Dominic Valentini, her oldest friend and former neighbor, a take chances, take control, think outside the box kind of man. Kate needs his help. Dom just needs her.
The V-Day Aversion
It’s two days from Valentine’s Day, and Dominic is a man with a plan. Katelyn is a woman with her own plan: avoid whatever Dominic’s got planned. When Katelyn’s sister Kandace asks Kate to help catch her estranged husband cheating, Kate jumps at the opportunity because she hates Valentine’s Day. Poor Dom just wants Kate to stand still long enough to give her a Valentine’s Day to remember. Can he offer her something to change her mind?
Genevieve lives in Nebraska with her husband and three children. She has a Master’s Degree in Anthropology and a passion for reading, writing, and research. Her favorite subjects are organized crime, anthropology, and Chicago where her family is from (she still hasn’t quite forgiven them for leaving). Her books include:
The Downey Trilogy
First, I Love You
Second of All
Third Time’s The Charm
Dom & Kate
The Bird Day Battalion
The V-Day Aversion
The Good Life
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The Good Life excerpt :
“I can’t stay with you!”
“Why not? It’s not like we didn’t start the evening in bed together. All joking aside, I’m not in the habit of molesting my girlfriends while they sleep.”
“Kyle! That’s not—Err…” Demi growled, flailing her hands as she paced. “How—I mean why—I just…” she stopped and drew in a large breath. “How did you go from thinking I’m an idiot to deciding to hound me for a relationship?”
“Correction, I have never thought you’re an idiot. I think you are the farthest thing from an idiot. You are an intelligent, successful woman with an incomprehensible hatred of bacon who occasionally pretends to be a flake. Hence the nickname granola-flake. Which is way worse than actually being an idiot.”
“That’s my point though. Underneath all this,” she waved her hands again. “…is still that undercurrent of disapproval from you.”
“So change my mind. You’ve already proved me wrong on one major thing. I’m more open minded than you give me credit for. You seem determined to still see me as a narrow-minded bigot. This is a two-way street, woman,” Kyle growled.
“What was that one thing?” she asked, blinking in consternation.
“Let’s put it this way… I can tell when a woman hasn’t had a lot of sexual experience. Either that or you have shitty ass taste in men who are selfish in bed. But you deliberately cultivate this flower child, free love, come-and-get-it, sex goddess persona.”
Her mouth worked for several seconds. “I have too had a lot of sex!” She cringed and looked side to side, then spoke in a lower tone, “I mean, not a lot…but plenty.” Of course, most of it had been in the same calendar year, but he didn’t need to know that.
“So shitty taste, then,” he shrugged. “Alright, fine. Mystery solved.”
“Uh,” she huffed. “What’s that say about you?”
“Nothing, since I picked you.”
“No, you didn’t.”
“Yes, I did. I am currently the only person in this relationship who’s done any conscious picking.”
“We are not in a relationship!”
“You are a maddening man…” she replied, utterly flabbergasted. “It takes two people to be in a relationship. You can’t just wake up one morning and decide you’re going to be with someone.”
“Sure you can. Technically speaking, it was you who made the first move.”
“No, I didn’t!”
“I guess that’s just how us Andersons roll. When we decide to do something, or change our minds about something and go in a different direction we just…” Kyle skipped his hands together, making a clapping sound, “…do it. Some, like Kate, take forever to get to that decision, but there’s no hesitancy on the course of action once the decision’s been made.”
Demi narrowed her eyes, mouth slightly parted. “You wouldn’t be saying that if you’d participated in any of the wedding planning with her.”
“That has never been about doubting her decision to marry Dominic and everything about Kate’s bad habit of trying to please everyone even knowing it is simply not possible to please everyone at the same time,” he said, then stood up and grabbed her again, scooping her off her feet.
She gasped and reflexively grabbed his shoulders. He sat back down on the chair and tucked her head with his again.
She sighed with a sudden realization, “You’re just trying to distract me, aren’t you?”
He smiled at her, “Maybe. A little bit.”
She reached up and gently traced his swollen lip again then laid her head back against his shoulder.
“That’s what boyfriends do,” he continued.
She laughed and smacked his chest, “Are not.”
“She says while sitting on my lap… hours after having exchanged bodily fluids—”
“Stop!” she laughed and smacked him again.
He chuckled and squeezed her.
“Thank you,” she whispered after a moment.
He answered with another kiss to her head. She was willing to admit the ‘solid, dependable type’ did have its benefits.
She sighed and squeezed him back. “You’re a good man, Kyle Anderson.”
“Eh, I’m alright,” Kyle kissed her again. “I just wanted to let you know… I mean, I try to ease my girlfriends into this, but… my family’s sort of insane. Just so you know.”
She laughed so hard she started crying, and that seemed so silly that it made her laugh some more. He rocked her a bit and it wasn’t long before she dozed off again, held tight in his arms.
–The Good Life © 2014 by Genevieve Dewey,All Rights Reserved.