Anna reviewed Getting There by Lyn Denison

Getting There (2011) is the latest romance by Australian author Lyn Denison. Kat Oldfield moves back to her childhood stomping grounds when she inherits a run-down house from the ex-girlfriend who caused a permanent rift with her rigid family many years before. She’s coming off a much more recent loss, mourning the end of a ten-year relationship. As a non-bio mom, she’s struggling with custody issues and the feeling that she’s always going to be a failure. Although at first she feels that she’d probably be better off selling the house, after she returns home she takes the plunge and commits to fixing it up–trying to “get it right” in at least one aspect of her life. Enter Jess Andrews, a gorgeous renovation expert who runs a remodeling business with her ex-husband. Jess has children of her own, and their daughters hit it off (if not quite in the same way that their mothers do). As Kat and Jess come in to contact more often, their attraction deepens and becomes irresistible…

Jess and Kat have the usual obstacles of lesbian romance: no one knows who is gay or straight, or who is on the market; to add to the confusion, Jess still lives with her ex-husband and their children. No one is going to come right out and ask any pointed questions until the sexual tension has been ratcheted up a few notches. That’s all as expected, but Denison also weaves another plot through her love story. Kat’s father contacts her after many years of silence to inform her that her mother is in the hospital, which leads to some revelations about her family that Kat neither expects nor welcomes. As her entire life is being turned upside down, by uncovered secrets and by her unexpected attraction to Jess, Kat must find some solid ground before she can commit to love.

The secondary plot was an interesting approach that never quite meshed with the romance. Part of it might be that the book was so slight (clocking in at less than 200 pages) that it felt like Denison didn’t take the time to fully explore the implications of both aspects of her narrative. As a result, the relationship felt a little rushed and the “family secrets” portion felt strangely divorced from it. I do, however, appreciate that Denison’s characters are both divorced and have children and baggage and know they are attracted to women and are dealing with issues that real women might be dealing with (aside from the part where Kat inherits a house). Those who read and liked Denison’s The Wild One will be pleased to see Quinn and Rachel appear in this book as well.