The Kansas Connection by Kathleen Gabriel
A Romance Novel published on lulu.com (August 19, 2011); formerly published by Aardvaark Creative Publishing in UK
Traveling through Kansas, Cori is pulled over by a cop. Instead of a warning or a ticket, he treats her to dinner and a friendship between like-minded people who live in different states begins. She is a vulnerable sweet lady who lives in Oregon as a substitute teacher. He is the steadfast cop and uncle to his sister’s kids. As they get to know each other, they begin to fall for each other more and more.
Romance, Kansas, Oregon, Travel, History Teacher, Cop, Love, middle-aged characters
The author handled intimacy like a professional in her book “The Kansas Connection,” showing the passion and emotion of the characters without throwing any grody unnecessary details in my face.
The book felt real, the characters felt real, the situations felt real. I almost forgot I was reading a book, I felt like I was really viewing the world Gabriel had created and the situations her characters were part of. I was pleased that the book’s main character was not some yuppie young’un with no sense of romance or responsibility. Both the male and female main characters had worth and wisdom and grew and developed as the book progressed. The interactions between Cori and Ken was very realistic as well, the author even adds that human touch of uncertainty and assumption. For example, when Cori and Ken are exchanging emails, Cori assumes that this is a friendly gesture, but that they would probably never get around to talking again. You can guess what happens next…
As Cori and Ken get to know each other, so does the reader get to know these characters. They aren’t instantly perfect examples of the human race. The character flaws gave the main characters’ struggles more meaning and the book more depth.They are real and alive in their faults, which lets the reader know this won’t just be another silly romance but a real story. Cori even tells Ken, “You’re more than the sum of your little quirks.” (page 124).
I especially enjoyed the snappy banter, though I would have liked some indication every now and then to show who was speaking. The humor present in the dialogue would make for a wonderful audio book. I wish I could hear Ken recite the Miranda Rights fast in Spanish, much to the chagrin of the Spanish-speaking kids in one of Cori’s substitute classes.
My favorite quote from the author was one of Cori’s thoughts, spoken to one of her classes. “Your heritage is only the beginning of who you are. You make up the rest, you write a part of your life every day.” (page 110). She is such a wise character, who every reader falls for as much as Ken does.
The only parts that made me squirm in my chair were the author’s thinly veiled thoughts on love and sex. Her two main characters want to wait until they are really together before they make love, which is adorable until the author repeats and repeats this concept until I am as annoyed with the author for bringing it up so often as I am with the characters for being so stubborn about waiting.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a soft romance.
This novel was published through Lulu.com 8/19/11 and is available on Lulu here and Amazon here.
TLDR Star Rating: 4.50
Links for more information:
Kathleen Gabriel’s website
Kathleen Gabriel’s Facebook Page