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The Passion Jumps Out of the Pages

M L Gray's forbidden romance novel SINCE ALWAYS is a story which takes a while to get a momentum going, to distance itself from others in the genrè. But then, somewhere after roughly a quarter of the way in, it becomes a story which you can't stop reading until you finish.

The story is about a beautiful, rich young woman, Cassidy Sloane, who's in business school, and her relationship with a US Senator, Owen Blaze, who's Sloanes' family friend and is a most eligible bachelor. The story alternates between Cassidy's and Owen's points of view with each chapter, which I found was a good thing to give clarity and balance to the story: telling stories of both sides.

The two of them have been haunted by a troubling incident in their past which ruined their friendship. But in the present, where most of the story takes place, they have to make a decision whether to give in to their urges of the tabooed relationship or save their careers, their family and their friendship.

When the passion starts flowing, the scenes are steamy and carry the sense of urgency out of the pages into the readers' hearts.

There is a fair amount of predictability in the story's plot: like when a certain secret is revealed, it is immediately cleared that the secret will be used at the end of the story. But that doesn't matter.

The greatest strength of the novel is that it tells a layered story. The main characters have their own circle of other characters with whom they interact and weave the tale that takes us deep into the characters' persona and the dilemmas they face.

And the author has taken great care into establishing the fact that the love affair is established over time and is not just a fling of passion.

I liked the book and will surely recommend it to anyone who's into romance and has no problems with mature themes of age gap relationships.

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