Summary: Marshall yearns for Audrey but she sees a future with James. When her personal and professional plans veer off course, their relationships are shuffled. Can it work out with Marshall after he provides support at a critical juncture? Or is it doomed to fail when paths cross with James, secrets are revealed, and commitments are put to the test? Matters of Convenience examines the repercussions of unpredictable timing and rash solutions, asking if happiness results from choice, fate or serendipity.
Review: Can men write romance novels? That was my initial thought when the author of Patches of Grey reached out to me asking for a review of his latest work. I racked my brain trying to come up with any other romances that I've read that have been written by men and couldn't. Do men not write romance? Are they not capable of writing romance? Pickering answers all of those questions in Matters of Convenience.
Audrey has everything going for her. She has a great job, good friends and impeccable taste. She’s been unlucky in love, but that’s okay because she’s focused on her career and a possible promotion. Her best friend, Marshall, provides the male shoulder she needs to lean on occasionally, so she has male company, it’s just platonic.
It’s undeniable that Marshall is in love with Audrey. They tried dating years ago, but where he felt flames, she barely felt a flicker. Marshall has comfortably settled into the friend zone while he watches Audrey date other men, believing that one day she’ll realize that he’s the only constant in her life and should be the man in her life.
James has played the fields for years. As his friends move into steady relationships, marriage and kids, he’s content to date several women. A BMW (black man working) in New York certainly has his pick of women and he takes full advantage of it.
When James meets Audrey, he’s immediately taken with her and theirs is almost a story book romance, but almost doesn’t count. Pickering could have taken the easy route and given readers their happily ever after and wrapped the story up with a nice bow, but nope. He explores what happens if there’s no happily ever after and it’s a bumpy but enjoyable ride.
Pickering’s characters are interesting and he uses them well. I found myself rooting for James and Audrey, of course, but I also wanted Marshall, Sarah and others to find their happy endings. A true sign of a good book and characters is that they stay with you after you’ve finished the book and these characters did. If Pickering decides to stay in the romance lane, I have a feeling he’ll do well.
Published: November 2016
Disclaimer: Copy of book received from author, opinions are mine.