Review: Carved in Stone by Donna McDonald

Posted March 20, 2021 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 2 Comments

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Review: Carved in Stone by Donna McDonald
Carved in Stone

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Series: Art of Love #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on 5/28/11
Pages: 270
Format: eBook
Source: Free Book
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The Delight:

A recently divorced retired school principal and successful sculptor is in no rush about love and believes he’ll know it when he sees it.  And, then he meets a gorgeous woman with the moxy to be honest about her sexual interest and needs that don’t include a desire for a relationship.  Fireworks sizzle between the pair of mature would-be lovers and it will take way-to0-interested adult children, friends, art, and their own strong pull of attraction and connection to see their way through the pasts that threaten to sabotage future happiness.


Carved in Stone is the first of a contemporary romance series full of humor tempered with deeper issues and highlights a pair of lovers who show that fifty isn’t old, but it is experienced.  I’ve read another book by the same author featuring a mature pair and I’m glad she highlights that sexy, spicy romance isn’t only for the young.  I can’t believe I left this story setting on my shelf so long, but I’m glad Linda @Unconventional Bookworm picked it for a Buddy Read.

Will Larson is retired as a school principal and now devotes his time to his sculpting art that is recognized and sells well.  His divorce of a year ago is settling after his wife of many years who never appreciated his art or his lusty, earthy sexual appetites had an affair with a younger man and is now married to Luke the lawyer.  Will is content with life and in no rush to sleep with any woman.  He’s waiting for The woman.  But, his two adult sons, Michael and Shane, urge him to get off the bench and get back in the game because they know their dad is one special guy who deserves love even if the pair of them have their own issues with women and relationships and focus on their art when not chasing skirt.

Will no sooner restates what he wants and it isn’t temporary bedfellows when a trip to his favorite cafe on the back of his Harley has him flirting with one of the most alive and sizzling women he has ever met.  He brazenly matches her open interest in him and ends up with her on the back of his Harley and taking her to see his art.  After a first date fail, Will isn’t ready to give up, but then he learns the truth of Jessica Daniel’s past and it cuts him to the core.

Jessica endured the death of her husband when they were young and that was closely followed by a rape.  She rose from the ashes of these experiences with a beautiful daughter and a gutsy, powerful nature and a lusty sexuality that carries into her art and her teaching.  She enjoys men and doesn’t hesitate to approach them brazenly for what she wants or shut them down when they start to cop feelings and want a relationship.  Things are going well until Will enters her life.  He scares her from the start with his intensity and his strength that matches her own.  He makes her feel and he is open about wanting something special together that doesn’t involve a one and done.  She is so intune to him that she peels him open emotionally on the first date to disastrous results.  That’s fine, she was not planning to tap that anyway because she can’t let herself get involved or feel ever again.

But, she didn’t reckon on his persuasive boys or her own traitorous need for Will.  She fights to stay aloof even while he fights for her to acknowledge the connection while she hides behind other men and his ex does her best to scotch his chances.  Who will win this battle for the heart?

Carved in Stone is raw and honest, emotional and sensual.  There are hilarious moments and both main characters are unapologetically open with each other and their adult children in ways that my more reserved nature found a bit shocking though I enjoyed them none the less.  I liked that the author wrote a rape survivor who was all the nuances and not an uncomplicated woman as a result.  Jessica is stunning, but still affected by her past so she was incredibly believable.  There was definitely dysfunctionality going on even though all the participants in the story are adult even the children and this led to some funny over the top moments that worked for me in this type of story.

The romance is utterly tempestuous and Will has to work hard to keep Jessica from running.  They have some hot and spicy sex proving mature doesn’t mean sexually dead.  They are both looking and feeling fabulous though I had to chuckle when Will’s sons got their dad to update a bit.  There was the cliche big misunderstanding at the end, but it didn’t take up much space so I didn’t get annoyed.

The emphasis on art was great.  I had to laugh at the pair of them both choosing a similar subject.  I find their mediums interesting and liked that it was a strong background element in the story.

This story does have the start to the next book, Michael’s story, already underway so the narrative does go to this younger couple who have a doozy of a situation to get past.

All in all, I enjoyed this story that could have descended into too much angst for me, but didn’t while touching on deeper subject matter.  For those who want their romance figures a little older, but want good family elements and a spicy hot romance, this is for you.


Challenges Met:

COYER Community #23 Buddy Read

COYER Seasons #15

Mt. TBR #43

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anne - Books of My Heart
10 months ago

I haven’t heard of this author. I’m glad it worked for you.

Sophia Rose
10 months ago

She’s been around a bit and written several books. I have tried two of her first in series now as freebies and both were about mature-aged lovers which was great.