Tandi Crawford has had enough. Her emotional plate is full, and her drama cup runneth over.
Ever since her husband Jared’s affair she has felt unloved, and her fifteen-year marriage has plunged into a downward spiral. Jared is a classic workaholic, working 24/7 to ensure the success of his law firm and to maintain the family’s upscale lifestyle. His efforts, however, leave Tandi to raise their eleven-year-old son virtually alone and to balance a part-time real estate career. Tired of the loneliness and non-existent affection, Tandi finally walks out. She wants a divorce.
Although she’s vowed never to return to her father’s home, his house is exactly where she ends up. Her father, Glynn “Sporty” Belson, is a spiteful old man, and Tandi has always wondered why he seems particularly mean toward her. As a single parent, he raised Tandi and her brother, Glynn, after their mother died, but he treated the siblings differently. While he loved his son, he seemed to hate his daughter, and Tandi is determined to know why.
While trying to figure things out, drama unfolds. She runs into the man who has been the star in many of her fantasies--Brent, her old boyfriend from high school. At last she gets the opportunity to play out the dreams she’s had. But is a relationship with Brent what she really wants? Is Brent her knight in shining armor, or a knight with issues of his own?
Speaking of fantasies, Tandi’s best friend, Evonne, has her own daydreams. Unfortunately, they include Tandi’s husband. With Tandi living at Sporty’s house, Evonne decides to make her dreams a reality. She throws herself at Jared, and after a few cocktails, you know the rest. To make matters worse, Sporty has a stroke, and Tandi is forced to care for him until a health aide is found who can deal with his rude candor. Almost miraculously, a soft-spoken aide is not only able to handle Sporty but also has answers to many of Tandi’s questions.
Gloria Mallette has a knack for portraying dysfunctional relationships and delving into the human psyche. She writes authentic dialogue that exudes raw emotion. That talent is not lost in Distant Lover. What starts out as a woeful tale of infidelity quickly turns to much more. Although too many situations seem to happen by coincidence, it does not detract from the story. Mallette digs into her literary bag of tricks and pulls out a climatic ending that is sure to leave readers stunned. This is a touching story of self-discovery with a dash of betrayal and a splash of romance. I highly recommend it.