Recently divorced Tina Durham is trying to be self-sufficient, but her personal-training career is floundering, her closest friends are swept up in new relationships, and her washing machine has just flooded her kitchen. It’s enough to make a girl cry.
Instead, she calls a plumbing service, and Joanne “Joe Mama” Delario comes to the rescue. Joe is sweet, funny, and good at fixing things. She also sees something special in Tina and invites her to try out for the roller derby team she coaches.
Derby offers Tina an outlet for her frustrations, a chance to excel, and the female friendships she’s never had before. And as Tina starts to thrive at derby, the tension between her and Joe cranks up. Despite their player/coach relationship, they give in to their mutual attraction. Sex in secret is hot, but Tina can’t help but want more.
With work still on the rocks and her relationship in the closet, Tina is forced to reevaluate her life. Can she be content with a secret lover? Or with being dependent on someone else again? It’s time for Tina to tackle her fears, both on and off the track.
Tina is a wonderful heroine. North has created layer upon layer and we get to see her fall in love again after being so hurt in her marriage after she transitioned.
My favorite thing about Vanessa North's writing is that her characters have full complex lives and part of the plot is the merging of those lives and the complication that can bring.
Joe is very sexy and we get the joy of roller derby plus a great circle of friends. Oh and Elvis the dog.
I would love a little longer of a happily even after but so many of aspects of this book delight with tenderness, passion, and the glow of both love of another and of self.