Taming of a Rebel by Eada FriesianTaming of a Rebel by Eada Friesian pits a two year old untamed child against a loving but overwhelmed aunt suddenly tasked with her care just as she begins an unexpected romance.

A soulmate is what Tori expects to find before she turns thirty. With only a few months left to go the prospects are slim, but she refuses to settle for anything less despite everyone telling her she’s aiming too high. One day in the grocery store she hears a screaming child who then crashes into her. Before she can do more than say hello to the toddler, the child is gathered up by the iciest woman she’s ever met.

She may have raised her little sister Tierney on her own, but Tierney’s daughter is a mystery. Rebel runs away every time she’s put down, screams constantly, and is nice to everyone but her aunt Miranda. She loves the child but is at her wit’s end trying to balance work and a toddler and trying to figure out how to get Tierney to come home.

At Rebel’s daycare she’s shocked to discover the cute woman who helped her with Rebel in the grocery store is there with her own daughter. Despite misgivings, Miranda begins to fall for the woman and her extended family of ex lovers.

Writing

The main characters in this book should not even like each other, much less fall in love. The author makes their romance believable by explaining in detail what’s going on and why through a considerable amount of internal dialogue. The reader gets a deep understanding of why Miranda and Tori feel the way they do and why they do the things they do. Beyond the romance each has a lot of other stressors to deal with, and the author makes interesting choices to make their puzzle pieces fit together into a solid story.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Rebel may be an untamed toddler who keeps everyone running but she’s a really good kid at heart and it was a lot of fun to see her grow in the loving and stable environment Miranda provides. Tori’s daughter Harley is the other adorable child in the story, and her instant adoption of Rebel as a beloved little sister was easily the biggest highlight of the book. It’s fun to see the children unwittingly gift the adults with the life lesson, “You can always improve.”

An extended discussion on the topic of soulmates, whether such a thing exists and if it does what does it really look like, takes up quite a bit of the story. The debate gives the book a lot of depth and I found myself considering both sides of the argument between Tori and Miranda, who does not believe in soulmates.

Normally I cringe and feel sorry for the hapless character who is pulled into a date with a character who is destined to fall for someone else. This time, though, she ended up being a quick but powerful entry into the story and I was happy for her in the end.

There is a large surprise decision from one of the characters near the end that turns everything around in a way I would have never guessed was coming. That’s a lot of fun, especially since the decision quickly and efficiently works for everyone’s benefit while still being completely believable. It’s not a choice I would have made in that situation, but I loved how it demonstrated being a better person making a tough decision in a way that considers everyone’s needs even if some of them are not sympathetic.

Heads Up

Parental child abandonment.

The Conclusion

Tori and Miranda shouldn’t fall in love but that’s what happens after Miranda’s wild niece plows into Tori one day at the grocery store. Juggling children and found family and jobs and anxiety over Miranda’s missing in action sister is set against an unexpected steamy romance between Miranda and the much younger Tori. Then there is the question of soulmates, and Tori’s insistence she will find one before her thirtieth birthday in a few months.

The story has a lot of weighty issues, like taking responsibility for a child who isn’t your own, and is there even such a thing as a soulmate and how does one go about finding her. Through a great cast of characters, especially the children, Tori’s ex lovers, Miranda’s wayward sister, and a lot of dialogue internal and otherwise, a lot of issues are addressed, leading to surprising but reasonable solutions.

Excerpt from Taming of a Rebel by Eada Friesian

“Have you talked to Tierney about dating with a kid?”

“What?”

Miranda froze. Tori regretted instantly turning the conversation that way. “I…I’ve talked to Siena some about it, and it’s not easy. That’s why Harley is here this weekend, so she can have a weekend away with her newest girlfriend.” She flicked her gaze to Harley to make sure she wasn’t paying attention. They hadn’t really talked to Harley about girlfriends yet. “I wanted to give them the space they needed to explore their relationship without kids around.”

“I supposed that’s what Tierney does when she abandons Rebel with me.”

Tori frowned.

“It’s been about a year since I properly dated someone, but I suppose it would be complicated having a child added in the mix.”

“It is,” Tori agreed. “Forgive me, but I’m curious.”

“About what?” Miranda sipped the wine Tori had given her.

“You said you were engaged to a man. So…there’s no tactful way to ask this.”

Miranda had a sly smirk on her lips, but she said nothing. No doubt she wanted Tori to spin her wheels trying to figure out how to get her question across.

“You…Do you…damn it.”

“Just come out and ask, Tori.” Humor lit in Miranda’s eyes.

“Are you going to make me ask when you already know what I’m trying to ask?”

“Of course.” Miranda took another sip, her tongue peeking out on her lips as she dashed the last droplet away.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-1960221230

Publisher: Indie Author

Eada Friesian Online

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