Thursday, April 23, 2009

Review- A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime by Rayne 2. Marzett

A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime
by Rayne 2. Marzett
August, 2007
Contemporary/ Lesbian/ African American
Category- 44K - $3.00

Buy it Phaze

A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime is a first hand look at the fears and desperate misconceptions about love. This is by no means your average love story, and that is very clear as you follow Chrysten Rainer in her quest to figure out how to navigate through the rough waters of love and her budding career as a fashion designer. After losing the one thing in life she longed for, Chrysten must come to terms with not only the loss but also overcome the mourning and move on.

A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime is not your average romance, it’s more about the journey of one woman as she comes to terms with what she wants out of life and how the women she loves fits into that. It’s a story of growth in which sex and love play a huge part. So this is no traditional love story although it ends up with that. This story is told through Chrys’s lens and it’s her story.

Chrys is a strong, confidant woman who is a fledgling, but savvy, designer and is trying to get a clothing line going. This is her career. She’s likes to keep her independence with the ladies and is a bit of a player. As the story starts, Chrys is in semi committed relationship with Angel, although she does have some favorite girls that she goes to here and there. She reflects about her life and why she doesn’t settle down, but not too much… in the beginning.

Angel dies in a car accident while Chrys is getting it on with another woman and this throws Chrys into a tailspin of self reflection and to some degree, guilt. She loved Angel and after this happens, Chrys spends the next year basically trying to deal with her grief and she doesn’t really get involved with anyone, even for fun.

As her clothing line is getting a lot of buzz and she’s having a major showing, she gets a model off, but hates that she did that. She’s still grappling with her feelings about relationships and what that is to her when her first love from high school, Stephanie, suddenly shows up at her door and they reconnect. It turns out that Steph is pregnant and Chrys decides it’s time to settle down, so she and Stephanie move in together and prepare for the baby.

Chrys then goes through a period of freaking out, feeling claustrophobic and she takes off for a bit planning to find another woman to have sex with. Instead she goes to Angel’s mom and pours her heart out, everything she’s feeling and she goes back home to Steph to ask Steph to marry her.

As I said in the first paragraph this isn’t a traditional romance story, nor is it erotica. It’s more like an account of someone’s life, which I found interesting for what it is.

Chrys at first was a character that I didn’t like. She’s kind of selfish and does as she pleases, often hurting those women that love her by not really thinking about them and what they are feeling. And she makes all kinds of excuses for her behavior. But after Angel dies, she becomes very self reflective and in the end I felt some respect for her.

The story does get a bit emo heavy at times with Chrys kind of going off on tangents about life and love and relationships and it does get a bit bogged down in parts with philosophical musings. At one point I thought this was going the way of too much melodrama with these kinds of musings being expressed:

I tried desperately to shake this feeling off me but found that it wasn't going to budge. Out the clear blue sky I submitted this soliloquy:

"I don't know. I've tried and tried. I pushed her aside for what I think is the last time and right back she comes. I wanted to move on. I wanted to find a love that I could start over with. Someone that I could offer the chances that I denied her so many times. Ohh, but this grave in my chest shows no sign of ever allowing that to happen. It came to pass too soon and over before the wind could blow. Must I forever wallow in the drudgery of the mistaken past? Must I spend eternal nights and days longing for what I can never have? I'm only human. I can't make promises. I can't understand what has no questions and only answers. The time has passed and come again and I have no idea how I'm going to get through it all. I thought that I was over and done with. Now here it is again. Haunting me, looming around my heart only to find no place to rest. I know now that I can not start anew without clearing up the past. That is my hold. Angel is my unfortunate end and I don't really want to let her go."

However, fortunately Chrys moves on and gets over herself towards the end and there’s a really satisfying HEA ending for both Chrys and Stephanie. This one does end with an actual marriage and having a baby. Ending on a high point like that actually saved this book for me.

A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime is not your average fictional story so I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who’s looking for hot sex and a light love story. However, it is a good book about a personal journey through relationships and sex and is worth to read on that level if you’re into something deeper. Also, there are poems written between chapters that express the feeling behind what’s coming in the next part of the story. They are nicely written, if you’re into poetry.

Sex rating: Orgasmic- there are a few graphically written sex scenes that were pretty hot, although I wouldn’t call this erotica or even erotic romance.

Grade: B+


kirsten saell said...

I like unlikable characters, so long as they change and grow over the space of the story. Gives me hope for all those unlikable people I know...

Nice review, Leah. :)

MB (Leah) said...

Gives me hope for all those unlikable people I know...

Do tell... :)

kirsten saell said...

Well, first, there's my son Blammo. They're home for the morning because the power was out. I'm ready to rip his little face right off. Grrr...

Then, my boss. Then, my ex. Then, the idiot who kept me late at work sitting out in his car on the phone for fifteen minutes instead of picking up his take-out (which was ready the whole time), while I turned off lights and the open sign. And when I went out for a smoke, I asked him if he was here to pick up food. He's like "Yeah." Um, then PICK UP YOUR FUCKING FOOD, DUMBASS!!!11!

Sorry. Sorry. I'll stop.

MB (Leah) said...

Kirsten... I feel for you. Do you need a nap? LOL