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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Ruth is closing in on forty, still single and basically can’t figure out why. She’s always had a picture of the perfect man in her head but where exactly is he? A few times in her relationships to date, she’d thought she was with “the one” but then something happened and they drifted apart and eventually broke up. All she wants is to find that one special man who wants and needs her as much as she wants and needs him. Her only consolation in her constant introspection is the beautiful saxophone playing that seems to call to her on her back porch, from the mysterious new neighbor who recently moved in across the road. The Eyes of Love by J.E. Smythe sees Ruth, with a push or two from her two best friends, embark on a journey of discovery as she contacts all her previous boyfriends, many of whom she hasn’t seen for years, to try to ascertain from them what exactly went wrong with their relationship and why she wasn’t “the one” for him? It is a journey sure to be ripe with self-discovery but also a fair share of pain and hurt at the revelations she discovers. Ruth is on a journey to find the one who was meant for her but what she discovers is that she’s not everything she thought herself to be.
The Eyes of Love by J.E. Smythe has an interesting premise that will resonate with many readers – what do our ex-partners truly think about us and why did they break up with us? It was always going to be a journey fraught with pain and an element of self-doubt and angst but I felt the author did an excellent job of presenting Ruth, the main character, as anything but the neurotic woman she could have so easily become without a firm author’s hand. I particularly liked her two friends, who couldn’t be more polar opposites; one happily married with two children and the other still a party girl thoroughly enjoying the single life. Their interplay with Ruth and with each other was definitely a highlight of the story for me. Although the ultimate outcome of the journey was probably obvious to an outside reader, that didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the journey and the recognition that many of the feelings and confusion over past relationships that Ruth felt have been felt by all of us at one time or another. If you love romance and if you like your female leads with intelligence but also with a simplistic naivete of life, then this book will be right up your alley. I’m not the author’s target market audience by any stretch of the imagination but I can still say this story is an enjoyable read.