Release Blitz (Book Review & Excerpt): This Time is Different by Mae Wood

Title: This Time is Different
Author: Mae Wood
Reviewer: Michelle @Michelle6803
Release Date: October 12th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 stars



Life can change in a flash.
Marriage and a baby wasn’t Amy Forsythe’s college plan. After a shotgun marriage glued together by her son, she’s convinced that love isn’t meant for her.  Now nearing forty and single for the first time since her senior prom, her friends are pushing her to date.  Her teenager isn’t thrilled by the idea and neither is Amy.
Silver fox Thomas Popov isn’t looking for The One. He found her decades ago.  And fell apart when she died.  At fifty-three with a new job, a new city, and an empty nest, he’s focused on climbing the corporate ladder.

When a rec league softball accident lands Thomas in Amy’s dental chair, sparks fly.
Lightning doesn’t strike twice. But love might.
This time is different.
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Free in Kindle Unlimited

I love discovery new authors, whether from word of mouth, or from one of my favorite authors.  I discovered Mae Wood, early this year with Plus One.  I enjoyed her writing so much, that I purchased Risking Ruin and Borrowing Time and well, now she is basically stuck with me stalking her, I mean following her now.

This Time is Different is a standalone, but to get the full effect, you should definitely read Plus One.  I briefly met Amy in Plus One, she was married to Bert, the hero in Plus One.  Amy and Bert got married young, they had very passionate affair that produced their son Grady.  Bert, being the stand-up guy, did the right thing, married Amy and tried to make a life together.  But trying to stay in a marriage and raising a son and although Bert was a great dad and husband, that passion Amy thought she had with Bert, really wasn’t there.  

After being divorced and co-parenting, Amy is at a happy place in her life, running her practice with her BFF and getting ready to become an empty nester now that Grady is at his last year of high school.   That is when Thomas Popov lands on her dentist chair after taking a nice bat to his mouth.  She fixes Thomas up as best as she could, since really, Amy is an orthodontist.  After Thomas is hopped up on some good drugs, the things he says to his Angel Doctor Dentist is priceless.  Yeah, Thomas has taken a lot razzing from his friends.

Before I continue, Thomas is a widower, in his early 50s, with three grown children, all in college.  He’s not a Memphis transplant, per say.  He’s been in Memphis for several years as a hospital administrator big wig.  He had a beautiful and loving relationship with his wife Laura until her untimely death.  It’s been eight years since he felt passionate about any woman.  The connection he felt with Amy was something he really wanted to pursue.  Of course, that’s if her son or his kids stop cockblocking him at every turn.

I adored Amy and Thomas together.  They took whatever it was they were feeling slow.  Their passionate sexy times will leave you panting.  Thomas has it going on for a man in his 50s ladies, don’t let his age fool you.  Yet they are both trying to balance their relationship without ruffling their kids feathers, sort of speak.  

I have had many discussions with fellow readers, even authors seeking a book with a much older couple.  Yes, we still like reading books where the h/h are in their 20s, but us readers, over the 40 age range, we like some semblance of a real relationship with couples that have grown children and how they make it work.  Ms. Wood delivers in all fronts.  Although not a lot of drama or angst per say for that matter, but she writes about real situations where couples that have adult or almost adult children and how they make their relationship work.   I loved the communication between Amy and Thomas, which made reading This Time is Different so enjoyable.  There are no head games to be played, if there is a serious situation, they both talk it out.  If the situation got heavy with their children, they had serious conversations with them.  Hell, Thomas even had a nice man-to-man with Bert at one point.  That’s how it should be.

Again, for those of you who have been asking me or have been wanting a much more mature take on romance, This Time is Different should be your next one-click.  Mae Woods delivers a hot #SilverFox with a touch of #DILF.  For us ladies that may have been divorced and think a second chance at love isn’t in the cards, well read this book, you might think differently.

– Michelle

*An ARC was provided for an honest review.

“Mr. Popov! I thought the appointment was for five,” I said, closing the door to my SUV after spotting him in the parking lot. He was leaning against his car and tapping on a phone, and his face was still a wreck.

“Yeah, it is. I wanted to beat traffic, so I’ve been taking some calls from your parking lot,” he replied, sliding the phone into his suit pants pocket. Silver hair, light blue dress shirt, rolled up at the sleeves, showcasing his muscular forearms. Someone plays a lot of softball.

“Okay, well, Jana should be here soon and then I can take a quick peek and you’l be on your way.”

“No rush. And please, call me Thomas,” he said.

“Only if you’ll call me Amy.”

“Nice to meet you, Amy.”

He extended his hand, a friendly smile lighting up his face. The bruise was healing nicely, but the impact point was still purple with a large halo of yellow. It was mainly obscured by his salt and pepper scruff. I didn’t blame him for not shaving. Except for his lip, the skin hadn’t broken. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t any less tender from the trauma. In fact, I was impressed that he was able to smile through the ache.

“And you, Thomas,” I replied, hoisting my purse up my shoulder and clasping his hand. I expected a couple of quick businesslike pumps. What I got was different. His hand was big and warm and soft, making me feel delicate, but before I could process what was different, before I could categorize it into neat little bullet points—

“I’m here already. Just noticed you. Y’all are early,” called Jana from the office’s bright red front door.

As I pulled my head out of the clouds, where I’d just begun to wonder how soft the rest of his skin was, I started to withdraw my hand. But not before he gave a little squeeze. Was that a wink?

“Amy, real quick.”


“Will you have dinner with me? I’ve got a table at Brooklyn Bridge at six thirty. And I hear good things about the lobster ravioli and tiramisu.”

The heat that had been building in me quickly cooled. I hated pity dates. I hated when my friends shoved men into my path and hoped for the best. The only one ever truly happy was the friend doing the shoving. And I’d had enough pity from men to last my lifetime. Being alone was better than being pitied.

“Did Diana ask you to do this?” I inquired, narrowing my eyes at him, trying to discern his true intention behind his offer of my favorite meal.

“No. Though she told me what restaurant. So, that’s a yes?”

She didn’t con him into asking me out? It just didn’t make sense. Men didn’t ask me out because they wanted to. Men asked me out because they were obligated to. “That’s a—”

“Yes. Let that be a yes,” he said, another gentle squeeze on my hand that I thought I’d pulled away. Maybe he honestly did want to go on a date with me.

“And tiramisu?” I asked, testing the waters with my toe.

“Of course. And whatever else you want.”

A smile tickled at the corners of my mouth. Was he propositioning me? God, really? Me, mother of a seventeen-year-old being propositioned?

“They have a nice wine selection,” I said, wading further into the waters to see whether his eyes fell—a clear sign that Diana had pushed him into taking me out—or whether they lit up because he wanted to have dinner with me. In the three years since I’d started going on occasional dates, I hadn’t seen much light.

“There you go. We’ll have wine.” And there was light in his gray blue eyes. “Thank you.”

“Thank you?” My head spun. He was asking me on a date because he wanted to. Not because someone had pressured him into it. Or that he felt like he had to take me out. I honestly wasn’t sure if that had ever happened to me before. And I meant ever.

“Thanks for taking pity on an old man.”

“Oh, hush your mouth,” I said, letting go of his hand, resettling my purse on my shoulder and turning toward the office. “Let’s see if you’re ready to eat that lobster ravioli.”

As I checked his teeth and gums and lips for healing, I got caught up in his eyes. Thick dark lashes rimmed the soft gray blue.

“Whaaa?” he asked, around my fingers, and I remembered where I was—paused with my hands in my patient-turned-date’s mouth. Blue gloves, yoga pants, a lightweight hoodie over a blue tank top, and whatever random pile I swept my hair up into for my post-Pilates shower at the gym. Yeah, no fairy godmothers here. But at least I’d taken that shower.

“Looks good, Mr. Popov. I mean, Thomas,” I said, swiveling on the stool, stripping off the blue gloves and tossing them in the bin. “The lip looks good. Your gums are healing nicely and the teeth have firmed up. No discoloration or signs of stress. You got lucky.”

He pushed up from the exam chair, swinging his legs to the floor. “I did,” he said, looking at me square in the face.

Am I blushing? My cheeks felt warm. Is it warm in here? Is this perimenopause? Is this a hot flash?  Because I hadn’t had a period in nearly two decades and was sneaking up on forty, every time I unexpectedly got warm, I wondered if I was entering menopause.

But I quickly realized that it wasn’t a life change. It was the big, handsome, and very forward man in my office. I didn’t know what to do because he clearly wasn’t talking about his softball accident. I spun around and typed a few notes into his record so that Diana could pull them up on Monday. I logged out of the computer, but not before taking a quick peek at the birthdate at the header of his profile. He was fourteen years and two months older than me to the day. May eleventh. He’d just turned fifty-three.

“Okay, you guys, let’s hit it. Thanks for coming in, Jana. I really appreciate it,” I said.

“Happy to, Dr. Forsythe. I’m going to go lock up,” said Jana, leaving the two of us alone.

“Am I cleared to eat?” he asked, standing up and offering his hand to me.

“Absolutely. As long as there’s no pain. Pasta would be a good starting food on the injured side.”

I placed my hand in his and it happened again. The warmth. The electricity. The parking lot wasn’t a fluke.


Mae Wood is a mommy, bookworm, and lawyer (in that order).

A while ago Mae decided that she needed to give up the fear that she couldn’t write “great literature” and write what she wants to read.

And she wants romance. And laughter.

She wants heroines who are brave. Brave enough to be themselves and brave enough to fall in love.

She wants men who are strong and kind.

Mae lives in the Southeastern United States and sets her books in hot and steamy Memphis, Tennessee.


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  1. Thank you so much for taking a chance on this story! XOXO – Me

  2. Dawn Strickland says:

    Great review! Thomas and Amy are so relatable and their love story is sweet, hope filled, and sey!

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