The shock of his younger brother's death leaves the Major shaken. So much so, that the lovely Mrs Ali, the local grocer, offers her help when she comes for the newspaper money. Having broken the ice, the Major and Mrs Ali strike up a friendship which grows into something neither of them expected. But what seems perfectly natural to the both of them is looked upon with suspicion and ridicule by family and friends.
The Major is a man with high expectations. He knows what people should or shouldn't do and mostly they disappoint him. The exception to this rule appears to be with the women he's attracted to, in fact they seem to be the opposite of himself. There's not much they can do that he doesn't approve of. His wife, who died some years ago, was a bit of a firecracker. Mrs Ali is a widow herself, that bonds them, but she's also warm and well read. She's a refined lady, in his eyes, despite being a grocer's widow. The problem is not just of class but one of race because she is of Pakistani heritage. She has a nephew (and family elsewhere) who doesn't approve of her new friend. The Major has his country club laughing behind his back. Their romance has to navigate faux pas and downright racism from all corners.
I loved that this is a romance where the couple involved aren't young, this is a golden years romance. Both of them had previous marriages. At first, the Major rubbed me the wrong way. He doesn't make allowances for anyone. Soon I warmed up to him, mostly because of how sweet on Mrs Ali he is. They are adorable. There is a scene at a cabin that had me grinning. Mrs Ali too made the story delightful. However, I had an issue with some of the secondary characters. They don't have much depth and are nearly stock characters. It's as if the stepped out of a Monty Python skit, "Hello, we're the racists. We'll be over here doing racist things. Carry on." Then there is Roger. While I know Roger is supposed to be shallow, I found him beyond belief. Could anyone be that clueless? Get an emotion, pal.
In addition to romantic entanglements, there are plots involving a pair of guns, land development, and an unwed mother. It gets complicated. There are some silly antics from the locals and the end is a little contrived but it's still one to read.
Recommended for romantics.
About the Audio: The narrator is Peter Altschuler who did an excellent job. I usually have a problem with male narrators trying to do female voices but I enjoyed how his voice went a little softer for the women. Nicely done.