Love in the RV Park: Jeffrey Ross
“Love in the RV Park shows love and romance as it really is, not sugar-coated and mawkish, as it’s often depicted in formulaic romance novels.”
Love in the RV Park is a romance for men.
REVIEW: Love in the RV Park
Love in the RV Park
Author: Jeffrey Ross
Reviewed by Catherine DePino
Love in the RV Park shows love and romance as it really is, not sugar-coated and mawkish, as it’s often depicted in formulaic romance novels. The idea of a romance for men greatly piqued my interest, so I couldn’t wait to dig into this exciting book. I discovered that there’s something for everyone in this illuminating satire: exotic love scenes, a wild exterminator, knock-down drag-out fights, and zealots preaching that old-time religion.
The book’s playful, satiric tone adds to the ambiance of the story and underscores the crucial question: What do women want? Once I started to wend my way through the book, I couldn’t wait to see what happened to the quirky, off-beat characters. The book held my attention from the first page to the last.
The book’s author, Jeffrey Ross, is a master of characterization who endears us to his flawed but fanciful characters. The author weaves a story that keeps readers entranced and begging for more. You may find a character in this book that acts or reacts like someone you know, and it will prompt you to think about people and what motivates them to act as they do. At one point in the novel, Adam, a guitar-strumming musician, breaks into song asking, “Can’t we be just what we are?” That theme reverberates throughout the book and prompts us to ponder this crucial question in relation to our own lives.
Ross is a gifted storyteller. He previously taught full-time in a community college and has written other articles and some highly-acclaimed books. I highly recommend Love in the RV Park.
EXCERPT: Love in the RV Park
Retired English Teacher
Now, Johnny’s one claim to fame was that he had graded over 430,000 essays during his twenty-five year teaching career at Copperfield Community College. Johnny was an old bachelor. He lived in a nice two-tone pink and silver travel trailer owned by Luther and Leah Free. Johnny had lived there for nineteen years and had never considered home ownership. His days were spent worrying about faucet leaks, laundry, paying bills, and doctors’ appointments. Johnny’s cousin was Dr. Jeffrey Roz, a somewhat formerly-famous poet, romance novelist, and scholar who taught at nearby Hamilton State University.
Johnny’s story was pretty calm. He couldn’t tell you where the years went. He was young once, went to a few meetings, then he was fifty-three and eligible for the state retirement system. He had owned three or four dogs in his lifetime, a few used cars, and might have been to Saskatoon once. That’s it. Except for the time he nearly killed himself drinking tequila shots at a CCC staff Christmas party in Casita Grande. The next morning, he woke up covered in sleet on somebody’s patio, pants gone, nearly hypothermic.
Johnny was a capable and careful man who kept a clean apartment. He wasn’t hooked up to cable, or dish TV, but he occasionally watched network events on the seven inch screen antenna-driven handheld model he bought at Sticky Mart for forty bucks.
Johnny had never been married. He often wondered about the life he lived, and realized financial security provided little in the way of emotional comfort.
Johnny had always been fascinated by women, but had realized few “connections” with them. He had maintained female friends at work, but not many. Women, to Johnny, seemed to represent some kind of problem—a beautiful yet complicated problem.
A bit of a rhetorician, he often spent his days contemplating, analyzing, and critically reviewing the following question relating to human behavior: What do women want? Ah, Johnny knew Chaucer had an answer, Jerry Springer was curious, Virginia Woolf had a speculative idea or thirty, and Hollywood had churned out their notions in millions of senses-numbing bad movies, but he himself was at a total loss. Since he didn’t know the answer, Johnny often surmised he would remain lonely and solitary. Snap.
Sometimes he woke up at night sweating, nearly panicked, and thought about his past and the emptiness of his meager experiences.
John was having a series of dreams lately—those kinds you have in the moments before you wake up—which were totally depressing him. In the dreams, the formula, the plot line, was nearly always the same. To wit:
Julia, an attractive and unhappily-married housewife from down the street, knocks on his door. He opens the door to see her, smiling, holding a measuring cup in her left hand. In each of the dreams, she has asked for something different—sometimes sugar, sometimes milk, sometimes cream, sometimes salsa, sometimes peanut oil. Once she even asked for cloves of garlic. He invites her into the front room, takes the cup, and finds the spice or ingredient she needs back in the kitchen. When he returns to the darkening room, she is always sitting on the couch, twirling a strand of auburn hair with one hand, and, with the other, patting the couch, signaling him to sit down next to her, next to her shapely form.
Her lips are pouty and beyond energized. She breathes heavily, with poignant and powerful desire. Her legs cross and uncross rhythmically. Um. Can you feel the heat?
Johnny always places the cup on his beat-up old coffee table and looks into Julia’s clear eyes—crystal pools of composure and need.
She puts her arms around him and nuzzles his chicken-skin wrinkly neck, and then she snuggles into Johnny. Now her lips are moist and panting. The old guy reaches out and hugs her, feels her curves, and is overwhelmed by a gloaming sense of comfort, love, connection. Her breath is sweet, her hands are satin, and the moment is warm and complete. One might say his senses are satiated, short circuited, nurtured, mesmerized, and radicalized. In other words, he is turned on but in a very private, emotionally pure, and enriched manner.
He smells her grace and beauty. Her grey eyes look into his for just a moment, and he can see into eternity—blazing, abrupt, and terrifying. The smart phones are silent; the music is quiet. Only her pulsating and harmonic breathing remains. The aroma of the eternal, the archetypical perfect female drifts into his nostrils. His being becomes an integrated whole—unified and sanctified. She murmurs pleasantries, licks his left ear lobe, then stands up, straightens her straps, and leaves, thanking him for the cupful. He admires her tight jeans, her straight hair, and her long neck as she leaves the room.
But the dream is always pure and potent and always the same. And comet quick! The sequence takes about thirty seconds, probably. This is the most love Johnny has ever felt.
And he wakes up tired, turns on the calcium-corroded coffee pot, and lurches into another lonely day.
Sometimes when Johnny was outside, he would see Julia coming down the street, perhaps walking the dog, or jogging, or visiting a friend. At such times, old Johnny turned away; he could not bear to see her curves, straight hair, and grey eyes. How much eternity could a man take?
Truth was Julia wasn’t married. Oddly enough, she often thought of old Roz and wondered about his life, his style, his weltanschauung. Crazy. She was miserable, too.
REVIEW: Love in the RV Park
Title: Love in the RV Park
Author: Courtney Rene
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Reviewer: Courtney Rene
Rating: 5 out of 5
I’ve decided that I really enjoy Mr. Ross’ work. This book does not disappoint. I was quite entertained. Snipets of life and love with even a smidgen of hate waxed in. It was not what I was expecting at all, and that made it all the better. So many lives and loves in one small community culminating in a hilarious New years Even Party that I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at. Very well done.
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