Candlelight Ecstasy Romance #192
“Well…I suppose we could have…one for the road.” Garret’s breath was quick, his hands hot. How hard he felt against her softness. He thought she was being flippant; couldn’t believe she’d leave him.THE DEDICATED MAN
The Dedicated Man by Lass Small is a delightful romance between a slightly older man and a young woman just starting to grow her wings. It’s a story about compromise to make a relationship work. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Small’s trademark humor is a big part of the book as she’s incorporated into other works, like Four Dollars and Fifty One Cents.
Piper is part of a large, loving family. Her younger siblings are a riot. Her parents are good, salt-of-the-earth folks.
Garret is a casual family friend who is drawn to the vivacious Piper. While Garret is an established man with a career, Piper’s barely eighteen. Despite their age difference, the two are attracted to each other and begin to date. They fall in love, and in due time, get married.
Things are great for Garet and Piper, as far as romance goes. But Piper wants a little more out of life. She’s out of high school and hasn’t experienced much of the world.
So Piper decides to go to school and get a job. But this leads to her having to move far away, while Garret has his own business to tend to at home. As he’s very focused on his own job, he feels he can’t abandon it.
At first, Garret can’t believe his newlywed wife wants to leave him. Finally, after some arguments, Piper explains that it’s not that she’s leaving him, but she needs some time for growth. The growth can’t happen in the sleepy little Mid-Western town they’re from. But while Garret is old-fashioned, he’s not an over-controlling man. He understands his young wife needs some life knowledge.
So the pair have a long-distance relationship and try their best to make it work. Garret visits her, they talk on the phone, and like real human beings, not dumb caricatures, they actually succeed. In the end, Piper realizes it’s Garret she wants to be with. Even so, she’s glad for the time she spent on her own, as it helped her to mature.
Garret is indeed worthy of the title The Dedicated Man because he stands by his woman while Piper does what she needs to do for herself and her marriage.