The Pages in Between

A Story of Love, Life & Cocktails

Fiction - Womens
427 Pages
Reviewed on 03/07/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I was born in Virginia and grew up in a small town outside Richmond. I have four children whose crazy antics inspire most of my stories.

I wrote this book because I think sometimes people take life a little too seriously and I also think that true friendship is misunderstood - because supporting your best friend through EVERYTHING - whether you agree with them or not is paramount to friendship.

Kids make life funny, mistakes make life funny and even embarrasing moments make life funny. Seeing the humor in life has always been one of the ways I get through it - and, of course, a little cocktail every now and then helps, too.

The Pages in Between is a story about true friendship and fun times with a hot guy thrown in for good measure. It is part drama, part romance, and definitely the wild child of women's fiction. Lilah and Isabel will quickly become your new best friends.

Happy Reading!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite

Renay Jordan has explored life beyond the boundaries of right and wrong in The Pages in Between: A Story of Love, Life & Cocktails. Lilah and Isabel are best friends. Lilah is a thirty-seven-year-old woman and has four kids: Ben, Michael, Veronica, and Maria. On the surface, her life seems perfect. Her husband loves her dearly, and she has a loving mother who is just a call away to help her. However, Isabel knows the real story of her life. Lilah is depressed and is going through periods of highs and lows -- mostly lows. Her kids -- three of whom are teenagers now -- have witnessed their mother's lows most of their lives. Isabel is a caring friend who knows how to take care of Lilah. Isabel pampers her with cocktails all the time. She is an expert in coming up with the most extraordinary recipes for cocktails. No wonder they have a happy hour every day. This hum-drum life changes when Lilah finds herself deeply attracted to one of her sons' friends, Tristan. She knows how complex and wrong this infatuation is, but she cannot resist the temptation. While Isabel tries to prevent the inevitable chaos, Tristan and Lilah throw all the caution out the window and surrender themselves to the bait.

The author has been more than creative in defining the rights and wrongs of a relationship. Although her ideas may seem outrageous to some, open-minded readers will find themselves wondering if the author has found some sort of hidden wisdom. Relationships become monotonous after a while and couples find themselves following the same pattern every day. On one hand, this routine provides comfort to some people, while others dread the monotony. This dread forces them to test the elasticity of the rules of relationships. To their dismay, they soon realize not all rules can be bent. Isabel and Lilah fall into the latter category. Their actions may seem bizarre to the majority of readers, but I could understand their motivation behind doing what they did. Their friendship is truly inspiring. Isabel worries about Lilah more than herself.

Renay Jordan knows how to tell a story. She does not write conversations that are only relevant to the plot; rather, she keeps them realistic. Isabel and Lilah talk to each other exactly how you would imagine two long-term friends' conversation. They mock, irritate, comfort, and anger each other. Their bond is stronger than any trouble that life might throw at them. Beyond friendship, the plot is filled with a romance that will get you daydreaming, moral challenges that will make you open your Bible and scratch your head, parenting troubles that will definitely remind of your own troubles as a parent if you are a parent, and sexual scenes that are sure to make you crave the same experiences. While reading The Pages in Between, I found myself involved in the characters' lives. Side characters did not fail to make an impact as well. They are all strong characters and, as a reader, I connected with all of them. I would recommend this book to readers who love romance, sex, intriguing plots, moral dilemmas, and cocktails. To me, this story is flawless.

Jessyca Garcia

I loved The Pages in Between: A Story of Love, Life & Cocktails by Renay Jordan. The story follows the lives of two best friends who are always there for one another. Lilah Trenton is a depressed stay at home mom and Isabel Lund is a single mother with a wild side. Both have a passion for alcoholic drinks and getting into trouble. In this story, Lilah starts to have feelings for a younger man. Isabel tries to talk her out of it, but vows to support her no matter what. In between Lilah and Isabel’s friendship is drama with their children. There is a lot happening in this book, and I loved every bit of it!

In The Pages in Between, I was expecting a typical love story. This book is anything but a typical love story. It is really about the love that two best friends have for each other. Jordan also threw in a serious background story about what was happening with their kids. When I first began reading this story, I was not too sure what to think of Lilah and Isabel. They seemed too wild and careless for me, especially because they had families. Reading on, they both grew on me quickly, especially with how real they seemed. I related to them with some of their parenting skills.

I also really liked all the names of the different drinks that Isabel made. I was pleasantly surprised that Jordan included the recipes to all the drinks in the back of the book! As much as I liked all the recipes, my biggest take away from this book was the Bible verse of Hebrews 12:12 that Jordan included: “You have become weak, so make yourself strong again.” I really needed to read those words at this time in my life. This book is awesome and a must-read. I am so happy that Jordan is writing Amityville Magic, which is another book about Lilah and Isabel. I cannot wait to read it.

Kathryn Bennett

The Pages in Between: A Story of Love, Life & Cocktails by Renay Jordan asks the question if you are curious about your relationship with God and then introduces you to some ladies who could help. Lilah and Isabel are real women with flaws and who also work on living as well as they can. Life isn't easy and being a parent is even harder. When you toss in the fact that you have to find your way in a relationship with God, sometimes we all fall down on the job. Sometimes life is about learning that it is okay to fall down as long as we get back up.

Lilah and Isabel are characters that you could see come off the page and sit right in the kitchen and talk with you. They are real women with very real lives and they are as flawed as any of us. It is fantastic to be able to read a story that, while you know it is fiction, it really does feel like real life. The Pages in Between: A Story of Love, Life & Cocktails by Renay Jordan made me laugh out loud at times and say "Oh no, I have done that," at others. For me, this is the perfect mix of life and humor blended together. The book is paced really well and, overall, feels very well fleshed out. Hats off to Renay Jordan for writing such a great book. I would recommend The Pages in Between to anyone who wants a great read; it is the best chick lit style book that I have read this year.

Amanda Rofe

The Pages in Between by Renay Jordan is a fictional story of the lives of two women and their families. Lilah Trenton and Isabel Lund are very best friends and will do anything for each other. They both have a generous supply of children but their parenting skills are, at times, rather unconventional. It is fair to say that as youngsters they skated on very thin ice and, as they have grown into adulthood, their lives have continued in much the same vein. Cocktails during happy hour, inappropriate sexual relations and a dubious set of moral standards are order of the day. Topics such as drug use, suicide and depression are explored but with insight, and the inclusion of these issues did not make for a dark read.

Teenage angst, troubled marriages and a rather laissez-faire attitude to life are par for the course for Lilah and Isabel. Their characters are very different but they complement each other as friends often do. The dynamics between the two made me want to be part of their inner circle, but also glad I wasn't because of their many problems. Renay Jordan writes an enticing yarn with characters that are not only easy to like but also have great depth to them as well. This book is a satisfying length with a mix of lightheartedness and emotional intensity. Together with a punchy dialogue and an engaging narrative, The Pages in Between entertained me from beginning to end. If you like family drama with a bit of added spice, you will love this book.

Christian Sia

The Pages in Between: A Story of Love, Life & Cocktails by Renay Jordan is a heartwarming story of love, friendship, parenting and the adventure of two woman — Lilah and Isabel — on a journey that will make you question what you think you know about morals, and even your faith. This is a story that explores womanhood in the simple setting of a small town where two women decide to follow their hearts while enjoying the simple pleasures of life. There is a lot of cocktail consumption and pool bathing and merriment that attracts young girls in the neighborhood. A refreshingly entertaining story that will pose serious questions about our values and models, with a cast of compelling characters, and plot points that make the story utterly satisfying.

This is one of the most hilarious books I have read in women's fiction and Renay Jordan has the gift of bringing the humanity of the characters into the story, exploring the deep layers of their hearts. The writing is beautiful, perceptive, and it mirrors the world of the characters. The story is done in a first person narrative that alternates between the points of view of Lilah and Isabel, and while it makes the story intimate, it also allows a stronger connection with the characters. The elements of the setting are well explored, including the social backdrop against which the narrative takes place, the colorful locales, and beautiful descriptions of the surroundings.

The prose is enriched with intelligent and well-crafted dialogues and vivid descriptions. And then there is the drama, spiced by the zest for life! This is a book for readers who enjoy novels with focused scenes, a great voice, and realism. The Pages in Between: A Story of Love, Life & Cocktails focuses on creating an exciting adventure for readers, one of those stories that inspire readers to cast off the burden of social mores and traditions that limit them from pursuing their heart's desires.

K.C. Finn

The Pages in Between: A Story of Love, Life & Cocktails is a dramatic work of women’s fiction by author Renay Jordan. Centering on the lives of two close friends – Lilah Trenton and Isabel Lund – the story takes us through their ups and downs as these heavy-drinking mothers just try to find a way through life. But, as our author puts it, God has a plan to wake them up and give their journey purpose. When Tristan Collins arrives as a newcomer in their small town, he will turn both ladies’ lives upside down and make them question whether, after all this time, a little change is still possible after all.

Part romance, part drama, part chick lit, The Pages in Between is certainly a fun and flirty beach read that most women will enjoy. I thought the reliance on the precious Happy Hour for Lilah and Isabel was amusing but also painfully realistic to a lot of women stuck in their situation. Renay Jordan has created imperfect leading ladies whom we come to enjoy and endear ourselves to anyway – a modern day Thelma and Louise with, mercifully, a lot less tragic an ending! The conversational style of narrative is really suitable for the atmosphere and the characters and, although it was a little rambling in places, I think it’s worth following to get to know the characters’ mind sets really well. Overall, I’d recommend The Pages in Between: A Story of Love, Life & Cocktails to readers who enjoy all three of those things!

Rabia Tanveer

The Pages in Between: A Story of Love, Life & Cocktails by Renay Jordan is the story of two friends as they embark on adventures with a few cocktails and a lot of love for each other. What I loved most about these two crazy yet endearing women is that they had each other’s backs at all times. They were unafraid of taking chances and when the opportunity presented itself, they grabbed it with both hands and held on to it for dear life. These crazy and quirky women grabbed my attention from the get go and literally held me captive until I read their story to the end.

This is the story of Isabel Lund and Lilah Trenton, two women who have been each other’s rock since forever. Now mothers, these women have supported each other through the good and the bad and the devious. Neither of them was thinking of finding a saving grace to come into their lives, but it did come in the form of a man named Tristan. When Tristan moved, he did not expect to come across a woman like Lilah, but now that she is in his life, she has no intention of letting him go either. What will happen? What is the connection between Tristan and Lilah? What answers does he hold for these crazy friends?

I had no idea that this novel would be as hilarious as it was. From the very beginning, the author kept a lighthearted and witty narrative that grabbed my attention. While the story had its emotional upheavals, the overall novel is fun to read and is enjoyable. I liked the characters a lot. Isabel is a riot, Lilah is a charmer, but Tristan holds his own between these brilliant women. I enjoyed the dynamics between the characters and loved how they all gravitated towards each other.

Romuald Dzemo

The Pages in Between: A Story of Love, Life & Cocktails by Renay Jordan is a rollicking ride with a strong appeal to fans of women's fiction. When the story begins, we meet Tristan who thinks everything about Woodlawn hints at the idea of a "small town mentality.” She states: “I’m used to big cities with people who have big city thoughts, aspirations, and attitudes. Woodlawn isn’t that place.” In fact she believes, as do most people, that a place like Woodlawn is made up of people who are closely knit and who don’t want to move away, people not as open-minded as she would want them to be. Follow Lilah and Isabel as they explore the deeper meaning of friendship, set off on an adventure characterized by dates, cocktails, and a lot of laughter. And how do they parent? What about their loose morals and the fact that Isabel’s pool has just become a hangout for the girls in the neighborhood?

The story is hilarious and readers are introduced to characters who are gutsy and who aren’t afraid to make mistakes while following their passions. The alternating POVs is one of the great successes of this story. It allows the depth of character to be felt by readers while creating suspense that makes the story even more enjoyable as readers shift from one voice to the next. Renay Jordan brings a lot of realism into the narrative and creates characters that are genuinely flawed, rich in their humanity, and exhibiting desires that readers can easily identify with. The Pages in Between: A Story of Love, Life & Cocktails features impeccable prose, filled with exciting dialogues and passages that are intelligently written and insightful. You will love the characters and they will remind you of the merits of loosening up a bit in life.