Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Claudia Riess - Love and Other Hazards - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Glenda Fieldston is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her seven-year-old daughter, Astrid, when Eugene Lerman comes walking by with his eight-year-old daughter, Meredith, a schoolmate of Astrid’s. The families spot each other, Glenda and Eugene engage in long-range cursory assessments, and then they go their separate ways. But not for long. Glenda and Eugene cross paths professionally soon after, and circumstances at work bring them into close association. So begins a friendship fraught with complications. Glenda’s independence is self-imposed and fierce. Eugene’s was foisted on him by a wife who left him. Although Glenda’s and Eugene’s personal demons are incompatible, their longings are, confoundedly, in harmony. Their cautious friendship is further inhibited by past and present relationships, and it remains to be seen if they can break out of their set ways to make a break for uncharted love.


To drink or not to drink, that is the question.

"You don't imbibe, do you," he said thoughtfully.

"I don't," she declared, as if he had challenged her virtue.

Does everyone need to be a social drinker, and if not, why not? Glenda and Eugene are a couple who confront the issue on their very first date. Glenda is close-lipped about why she chooses not to indulge in alcohol, while Eugene seeks to bring her reasoning out into the open.

For a while, Glenda wants no part of him delving into her psyche. She even warns him, "I have to watch myself with you. You make me talk." But Eugene continues to challenge her reticence, to the point of being downright meddlesome. However, due to his persistence, he finally gets the truth out of her.

As it turns out, Glenda's stepfather was an alcoholic, who sadly turned her mother into one. One night, when they were both intoxicated and engaged in a heated argument, Glenda's mother fell down the steps to her death. Not surprisingly, it's something Glenda's never recovered from, or forgiven her stepfather for.

Eugene does the right thing, initially, coaxing the story out of her. But when he spikes the tea he makes in order to get her to keep talking, that's when he crosses the line. When she finds out the next morning, she's livid with him, and rightly so. Their exchange the next day says it all.

"If you knew I had an aversion to alcohol why did you intentionally disregard it?"
"Because I wanted to know you better."
"What do you want?"
"I want you to believe me."
"I'm not sure I want to."

Glenda's the trapped bird Eugene wants to set free, but he goes about it the wrong way. In his eyes, he didn't know what else to do, especially when Glenda's cousin tells him, "On the rare occasions when [Glenda] revealed herself there was always something she kept back, something important."

The two work through their issues, but it takes time, and it isn't always easy. Trust is regained slowly. Control is relinquished reluctantly. But when they come to understand that they're miserable without each other, these two best friends discover that they might just turn into something more.


Love and Other Hazards can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $2.99 ebook, $14.95 paperback
Genre: Family Life, Romance
Pages: 256
Release: May 10, 2017
Publisher: River Grove
ISBN: 9781632991225
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Claudia Riess is a Vassar graduate who has worked in the editorial departments of The New Yorker magazine and Holt, Rinehart and Winston books and has edited several art history monographs. Her first novel, “Reclining Nude,” was published by Stein and Day. Oliver Sacks, author of “Awakenings,” had said her first book was “exquisite—and delicate… a most courageous book, full of daring—a daring only possible to a passionate and pure heart.”

The author divides her time between the Hamptons and Manhattan with her husband, Bob.

Links to connect with Claudia:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway