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Lead Us Not (Love is Always Write) by Kate…

Lead Us Not (Love is Always Write)

by Kate McMurray

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An established couple's tale of love and the challenges of maintaining it. ( )
  Penny01 | Feb 1, 2014 |
Lead Us Not by Kate McMurray centers on two young men who fear that the show business life is wearing them down and causing them to drift apart. They each get a first person perspective clearly organized into short sections labeled with each character’s name. The story could have been wearyingly clichéd. (How many times have we read about actors and models in New York City?) However, the sharp, vivid details make the guys’ jobs realistic. Sam doesn’t just vaguely triumph on Broadway. He gets his first break in “an off-Broadway play that wasn’t very good but still ran 149 performances.”

Jess isn’t just a supermodel. He models because his look is too “pretty” for acting jobs. He thinks, “…all I did today was walk back and forth down a twenty-four-foot catwalk five times…I have to do a trunk show tomorrow. This means I’ll be on my feet all day and I have to be outgoing and friendly…In the years I’ve been modeling, I’ve gained and lost weight, my hair has been dyed six different colors, I’ve gotten my photo taken in various states of dressed and undressed, I’ve had every part of my body painted with makeup.”

The story opens with Jess and Sam, whose work schedules have pulled them apart. They first arrived in New York City as a very young couple from Ohio who believed that they could succeed in acting as long as they had each other. Now they are slightly older, and much more resigned to harsh reality. Both face temptation from other men putting the moves on them. The story is suffused with longing for each other, uncertainty, and the deep fatigue that comes from trying to pursue one’s dreams in the viciously competitive field of acting.

The conflict could have amounted to no more than a tired cliché: two men unwilling to talk through their problems. However, the author times their communication breakdown perfectly. I get the feeling that the heroes are treading carefully during a fragile time in their relationship and are sorting out their thoughts before speaking. Just before my patience runs out, they reach out to each other. When they begin to work things out, their renewed love feels earned and satisfying.

Val for AReCafe ( )
  AReCafe | Apr 24, 2013 |
This was beautifully written and played perfectly to my angst and HEA kinks. I adored the MCs! ( )
  jules0623 | Mar 31, 2013 |
This was beautifully written and played perfectly to my angst and HEA kinks. I adored the MCs! ( )
  jules0623 | Mar 29, 2013 |
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