A Street Cafe Named Desire by R J Gould

'I think people are like onions. We have a multitude of layers, in our case layers of personality. You think you know someone inside out, then they strip off a layer or two and you don't know the new person at all.'

Title - A Street Cafe Named Desire
Author - R J Gould
Publication Date - 17th December 2014 
Publisher - Accent Press
Format - Paperback (Provided via publisher)
Pages - 294 

The blurb

When David meets Bridget at a school reunion, he unexpectedly finds himself falling for her. With problems at work and a failing marriage, David feels he's going nowhere, and mysterious, enigmatic Bridget draws him out of his shell. He's overjoyed when, against all odds, she returns his interest - but what is it in her past that makes her reluctant to reveal her true feelings? 

As their relationship progresses, David starts to think he may realise his dreams - but will he get everything he's ever wanted, or is it all too good to be true? 

Becca's thoughts 

Firstly, I'd like to thank the author R J Gould for getting in touch with me regarding a review, and I'd also like to thank the publishers Accent Press for kindly providing me with a paperback review copy. I was very intrigued after reading the blurb of this title, so I couldn't wait to get started. 

In A Street Cafe Named Desire, the reader is introduced to David Willoughby, newly-single parent and now preparing for a divorce, and whose wife has recently left him for David's best-friend Jim. When the story begins, David is at a school reunion, and until Bridget comes along, he has no desire whatsoever to even be there. Bridget, mysterious, alluring and positively beautiful, catches David's attention right away, and from there, a strange, gentle-paced relationship begins to evolve. Both characters have entirely different reasons for being at the reunion, but I felt that it was fate that their paths crossed. Beginning with a school reunion was the perfect way to draw the reader in, peppering the text and dialogue with witty, funny comments and a hint of sarcasm here and there, too. I took to David's character remarkably well, feeling a little angry on his behalf in regards to his wife's hasty departure. I really enjoyed seeing David step up and take control of the new situation. Despite being confused about the circumstances that he finds himself in, David manages to remain clear-headed and swiftly sorts himself out. He makes a list, including things such as partaking in a cookery course and sorting out the divorce proceedings. It was incredibly refreshing to read from a man's perspective and to try to put myself in his shoes (even though I'm a female). 

As the book progressed, it provided a gently, easy read that I looked forward to going back to at each given opportunity. I did find a few lulls when reading, but this wasn't very often, and it didn't affect my reading of the book so much that I didn't enjoy it. When focusing on the family aspects of the book, David and his two children were a humorous, engaging group of people, with the comings and goings of his ex-wife which kept me entertained whenever she appeared. The musings of David had me giggling to myself, but despite the light-heartedness of it all, there was still the underlying seriousness of a family no longer what it once was. 

Bridget was a bit unreadable to me, even during later parts of the book when her past had finally be revealed. Right from the very beginning, there was something a little mysterious about her, something that didn't seem to quite fit right. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was, but still, it was definitely there... With children of her own, and widowed, Bridget did seem to come along at the perfect time, exactly when David was in need of some excitement and someone new to confide in. 

R J Gould did a fantastic job of exploring the dynamics of family life, the different roles within the family structure, and of how people cope when certain situations arise. From work to home-life, I think the author pretty much covered it all, including a drunk teenage daughter and a lingering ex-wife who didn't seem to want to give up her family and home completely. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a very interesting peek into fatherhood, and how a newly-separated man would move forward with his life, after being with the same woman for such a long amount of time. Becca's Books is rating A Street Cafe Named Desire by R J Gould with FOUR YUMMY CUPCAKES!      

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