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Review: Separate Beds by LaVryle Spencer

by LaVryle Spencer
Genres: Historical, Romance
Publisher: Putnam
Publication Date: October 15th 1986
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★
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They became husband and wife…in name only

The wedding of Clay Forrester and Catherine Anderson was the social event of the season. It seemed like a page out of a fairy tale. But everything about it -- from the formal vows to the magnificent reception -- was a lie, Catherine had reluctantly agreed to Clay's "marriage of convenience"...

And the only thing that could threaten their arrangement was the unexpected arrival of love.

Separate Beds was one of the very first books that made me fall in love with the adult contemporary romance genre. I found a copy of this book at a used bookstore when I was about 14-15 and I don’t know what it was about it that really appealed to me in the first place. I didn’t read books like this, but I ended up getting this book anyway. The story of Catherine and Clay was one that had me absolutely hooked and one that I always remembered through the years. I could perfectly recall not only scenes and dialogue, but I could remember exactly all the emotions and feelings that came along with this book.

It’s important to note that this book is old (as old as I am), it was published in 1986 so some things are fitting with how certain things were done back in the day. The story of Clay and Catherine is the classic story of a rich boy and a girl from the wrong side of town. After a one night stand, they part their own way and don’t cross paths again until a few months later when Catherine’s father shows up at Clay’s parents’ house demanding money from them because Clay knocked up Catherine. Clay barely even remembers Catherine and things go off to a rocky start. With Catherine’s greedy and terrible (he’s the worst) father trying to use this as his chance to finally get rich, tensions are high. Especially considering that Catherine is unsure if she wants to have this baby or what her future plans are. One thing she knows for sure is that she wants to be nowhere near her father…or Clay!

 After some much convincing from Clay, Catherine agrees to marry him on the terms that they divorce once the baby is born. They both go their separate ways, she gets full custody, he can see the baby whenever he wants, he makes sure her school and their child’s future is provided for. What starts off as a sham of a marriage ends up with the possibility of something more…or it would anyway if Catherine would stop being so damn stubborn. I don’t think I’ve ever in all my years of reading encountered a character as stubborn as Catherine. If it weren’t for the fact that I completely understood why she felt like she had to guard her heart at all times and I felt for the poor girl, I would probably hate her. As it was, I wanted to simultaneously shake some sense into her and hug her at the same time.

The chemistry between Clay and Catherine was so good, thrown in with both of their conflicting feelings over their fake marriage, their future child and their impending divorce, things aren’t easy for them. I felt like every time they make some sort of progress, they would take two steps back. But that just made the baby steps forward that much better. This romance takes place over a year and their relationship is a roller coaster of feels. I don’t remember a time when I needed a couple to finally get together this badly. You all probably know by now that I despise books with babies and pregnancies, considering this has both of those and is still one of my all-time favorite books really says something. I had been wanting to reread this book for a while now and was so excited when I saw this book was finally released as an ebook. Definitely one of my favorite romances and one I would recommend to all romance readers.

Have you read any books by the author before? Thoughts on books published so long ago?
Let me know in the comments below!