Strength In Numbers

Author: Jeanine Hoffman
Publisher: L-Book
ISBN: 978-1934889510
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Romance

This is the story of four women learning just how much strength can be given from the number of loved ones around you. Strength in Numbers takes these independent professional women, Jay, Bailey, Riley, and Sharon, through the crisis of a having their lives turned upside down when Jay encounters a health issue. As Jay’s childhood best friend and one time lover, Bailey has just reentered Jay’s life to recapture and rebuild the trust and love they once shared so deeply. Brand new in town, Riley finds her growing friendship with Jay an anchor in the changes taking place in her own life as she changes her career and moves to Philadelphia.

Sharon, supervisor to Jay at the bank where they work, is tired of building her career and striving to maintain a closeted public business life while ignoring her personal needs. The four women have a delicate balance of growing friendships between them and when the crisis occurs their bonds deepen.

Hoffman takes her characters into the emotional depth of bravery, anger, desire, fear, and more as they deal with their strengthening relationships and the disaster of an illness that steps into destroy those relationships. Each woman deals with inner demons in a different manner. Jay and Bailey, having just found reestablished a loving commitment between each other, start building the foundation of an unknown lifetime regardless of the outcome of the illness. The emotional struggles of being ill, caring for someone ill, responsibilities toward the needs of someone who has become ill, and the fight to survive are examined through all of the characters. The two lovers struggle with the idea of loss when they are just finding their home in each other. Hoffman does an excellent job of building the romance and delivering the emotional trauma and stress of the illness and its stresses. I feel the characters are strong and independent but the angst seems over powering for Jay to just forgive and forget as the relationship slides too easily into place.

Perhaps this is just my own angst rising to challenge the ease in which Jay and Bailey find their love. The entire situation is possible but perhaps should have been longer. Once the illness is established I can follow the ups and downs of their commitment easily and Hoffman shows her skill in the smaller crisis of recovery as Jay and Bailey iron out situation after situation.

Riley finds a slight caretaking role in Jay’s illness and she steps up to the plate for her friend. She sticks by her friend through the hard times and finds her own life enriched with the relationship and deepened friendship. She also meets Sharon, finding her romantic interests peaked.

Sharon is forced to recognize the loving relationship of her two management subordinates, Jay and Bailey. She watches as their lives are rearranged to battle the illness. They organize their work commitments risking their jobs, regardless of the corporate structure they work under, which does not support same sex relations. Sharon holding Jay in highest regard as a coworker and a friend, finds stepping out of the closet and bringing her company forward to support the two women during their crisis, could be one way to help her friend beat the job limitations restricting her and her struggling partner.

The book was well detailed and progressed eloquently through the different changes the characters wind up taking. A romance, a beautiful love story, and friendship are all shared within the powerful narrative. The story line is quite diverse and touches on many different situations. The complications that arise seem slightly overwhelming within the plot line but there are four characters, which add to that chaotic possibility of multiple situations. The author has done a beautiful job personalizing the characters quite differently, showing unique individuality. The four women take on many different battles knowing they have each other to rely on, knowing they have the strength in numbers they need to make it through. An appealing read as well as an excellent storyline.

Congratulations Hoffman.


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One Response to “Strength In Numbers”

  1. bobbi d. Says:
    June 21st, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Nice review! YAY Jeanine.

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