A novel of grief and desire

Fiction - Literary
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 12/15/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jefferson was raised in rural Ohio, the second of four boys. The original free-range children, Jefferson and his brothers spent their time hunting and fishing and exploring the countryside around them and are still surprised they all survived into adulthood. Jefferson currently serves as the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing at Otterbein University, a private university in Westerville, Ohio. Previously, Jefferson taught college composition, worked as a telemarketer, a sales manager, a construction superintendent and a vice president of marketing. He and his wife Denise have three grown children. His other novels are available on Amazon.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite

Ed Gideon does not know what to make of the flurry of emotions running through him. Two years ago, the love of his life and the mother of his beautiful daughters were taken from him in a reckless accident and now he stands before the woman who shattered his world, knowing his next decision may cost him what is left of his family. Andie Love has lived a reckless life, mostly devoid of responsibility or direction. The only bright spark is her daughter, Bobbi. Despite this, she unsuccessfully attempts to end her life. Now she teeters on the brink of the abyss. These two tortured souls must come to terms with their life experiences if they are to move forward, but it will not be that simple, as they discover that the heart wants what the heart wants in Jefferson R. Blackburn-Smith's Love.

Love is an emotional rollercoaster encapsulating a story about loss, dealing with grief, and coming to terms with the fact that there is a life to live, despite everything that has already happened. Ed Gideon is quite the individual, as his actions create a mysterious aura of a man governed by the irrationality of someone else's heart. His battles with himself and his family in the aftermath of his loss are quite touching, I immediately identified with this conflicted man. The family dynamic in the story and the subplot that grows around forbidden love is as realistic as possible, giving the novel a unique feel. Love is a one-of-a-kind novel that would appeal to every reader irrespective of their genre leanings. Jefferson R. Blackburn-Smith delivers a masterpiece with this beautiful classic.

Jessica Barbosa

Love is a novel about grief and desire by Jefferson R. Blackburn-Smith. Ed Gideon and his daughters had been in mourning for two years since his wife, Lisa, died. One day he gets a call; the drunk driver that killed his wife, Andie Love, intentionally overdosed and she was in a coma and near death. She left a message for him with her fifteen-year-old daughter, Bobbi Love. Ed is tired, angry, and devastated but in the back of his mind, he feels relief that the woman who took the love of his life from him would finally die. He meets Bobbi and, somehow, he finds himself taking her in despite his anger toward the teen’s mother. With Bobi, Ed tries to help her mother, but a part of him wishes to let the murderer of his wife die. Life gets even more complicated for Ed when he gets back into the dating scene and the complications of relationships. Will Ed finally let go of the past and find love once more?

Love was a story of devastation, love, and hope. Ed has been grieving for such a long time and my heart went out to him when I learned about what happened to his wife. I admired his determination to do right by his daughters, even when he felt bereft about the loss of his wife. This novel has so much depth; it has taught me about the importance of family, whether blood-related or not, and forgiveness not just of other people but of yourself as well. Ed was constantly torn between his hatred for Andie Love and doing the right thing. He was also torn between two women he desired. This story had me increasingly engaged the deeper I got into it. The indecisiveness of the main character, the emotions he worked so hard to keep in check, the enthralling storyline, and the distinctive characters made this an amazing and fascinating romance! It was hard to put the book down. The author wove a tale of intense emotions and heartache. Love by Jefferson R. Blackburn-Smith tugged at my heartstrings and left a memorable and lasting impression. This was a book I see myself rereading to relive the emotions it brought out in me.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Love: A Novel of Grief and Desire by Jefferson R. Blackburn-Smith is a compelling work about a man coping with the unexpected death of a loved one. Andie Love, a drunk woman, climbed into her pickup truck and drove home without turning on her headlights. She missed a stop sign and killed Lisa, a wife and mother celebrating her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Lisa’s husband Ed Gideon tries to cope by focusing on work while raising their grief-stricken college-age daughters Becca and Sandie. Two years later, Andie Love tries to commit suicide and Ed finds himself torn between helping her vulnerable fifteen-year-old daughter or walking away and condemning Andie to death. Adding to Ed’s emotional turmoil is his desire for two women, knowing that he must eventually choose one of them. Can he process his grief to find closure and the happiness that he deserves?

Jefferson R. Blackburn-Smith’s Love brings his readers into the heart-wrenching emotional turmoil of a husband trying to accept the loss of a loved one and his desire to start another relationship. What makes his grieving process even more difficult is that close to the second anniversary of the accident, he is informed that the woman responsible for his wife’s death tried to kill herself. Despite himself, he feels compelled to help her daughter. By vividly describing the actions, inner thoughts, and reactions of Ed Gideon, the main character, the author effectively encourages readers to empathize with him. One can almost feel the pain and confusion he is going through. For those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, this novel is even more gripping. Highly recommended.