This is an intricate story about love—between men and women, between people and God. Seasoned author J. Z. Howard has taken a running leap at an unusual subject: how people whose lives are grounded in Christianity deal with, or don't, problems of marriage and faithfulness. Kate and Dean are trying to regain their wedded bliss in the face of encroaching middle age, while single mom Larissa is looking for some quick solace as she despairs of raising her teenage son. When Larissa and Dean meet, it looks as though things will take a conventional turn: lonely man whose wife's affections have grown cold bedding a charmer who has always had sex first and love later. But in Howard's competent hands, this dilemma is far more complex and solutions aren't that easy. Kate and Larissa decide not to hate each other; there is a man for Larissa, Dean's friend Trevor, but he is tough to capture because he puts love first; and Dean's desperate dreams will always be of his conflicted Kate, who must conquer demons from her childhood.
As Kate and Dean gradually reunite after battling "like two weary boxers," and Larissa learns that real love doesn't happen overnight, the reader sees genuine character development. Because God hovers around this well-written non-genre fiction (not solely Christian, not solely romantic), the philosophical overtones will give the reader a lot to contemplate. Modern society has become mute on some of the ideals the author gives voice to here: Temptation doesn't have to be yielded to, and love can grow with age. All of Me Wants All of You would make an enthralling study guide for sincere intelligent adults committing, or recommitting, to long-term relationships.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review