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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.