A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at SeductiveMusings.blogspot.com.
I know I’m a huge Ruthie Knox fan and that my objectivity might be in question when it comes to her books. But I have to say right up front that “Making it Last” is my favorite Ruthie Knox story ever, due in no small part to how it so perfectly encapsulates for me what it’s like for two people in a long term marriage. When you’ve been married as long as Amber and Tony, you can still be completely in love and still wonder if you’ve got what it takes to keep your love alive and growing as the years go by and life doesn’t always go the way that you had planned.
The Amber and Tony we saw fall in love back in “How to Misbehave” are now fourteen years into a marriage they had both believed was solid, but was actually starting to disintegrate somewhere deep down inside. The economy was not kind to Tony’s home construction business and the resulting money problems have only exacerbated Amber’s feelings of stagnation and worthlessness while continuing as a stay-at-home mother now that her kids are all in school. With Amber not working and construction jobs almost non-existent locally, Tony spends nearly all his waking hours on work which keeps him out of town and away from Amber and their three boys more than any of them would prefer. The result is a marriage on a slow death march, with Amber and Tony seemingly unable to confront the problems they face. When the destination wedding of Caleb and Ellen in Jamaica provides an opportunity for Amber’s family to arrange for her to stay over alone for a few days, Amber realizes that she and Tony can’t go on as they have and that something has to change. But does that change have to be the end of their marriage? Amber isn’t sure. But Tony isn’t going to let her make that decision alone, not without him there to show her things can be different...and better.
When I finished reading “Making it Last” all I could think was how Ruthie Knox had really hit me where I live. I’m also in a long-term marriage and still madly in love with my husband, and what Ruthie wrote about the stress of child raising and money issues and wondering if you’ve still got what it takes to make things last is absolutely spot on. Life goes on after the Happily Ever After and a wedding doesn’t ensure that even a couple that’s madly in love will stay that way. We all know that to some extent, but it’s so rare to see in a romance novel, and even rarer to see it so well portrayed without taking away from the magic that is the romantic love between the hero and heroine. Amber and Tony had their Happy For Now in “How to Misbehave” but it’s only in “Making it Last” that we see their true Happily Ever After, one that includes adjusting their attitudes about themselves, each other and their responsibilities to their family in a way that will help their love continue to grow and flourish long after they return from Jamaica. It’s one of the best and most realistic portrayals of marriage that I’ve read in a very long time and a welcome alternative for those of us who would like to read more about mature adults in love.
Sensuality level: 3.5