One of my favourite authors I love reading when I’m in the mood for a story that goes deep into the heart is Christine Brae. Her latest, INSIPID, did not disappoint.
Banal. Lifeless and Colorless. These are the words that describe my life. I’ve made the right choices, done all the right things. I’m strong, intelligent and highly successful.
I’ve lived scrupulously, loved greatly, and shared my blessings equitably.
But life hasn’t been fair with me.
Now I’m drowning in the middle of the ocean, desperately searching for the shore, surrendering to the fact that I will never be happy.
Then he came along.
Life is unpredictable. You can play it safe and resist change for fear of the unknown. Or you can close your eyes and take the leap with the knowledge that your life will change forever.
Which one will I choose?
My name is Jade Richmond and this is my story.
The next day, I decide to sneak in a run along the lakefront before going into the office. I have a monthly membership at a gym by the marina for locker and shower space on days that I run outside before work. The morning turns out to be a bit balmy, so I figure a quick four miler will be sufficient to help me let out some steam. I take a different path than most runners, running the back way along the water rather than the scenic route. My thin white tank top with a built in bra is almost still too hot to wear on a day like this. The last mile is grueling. It takes every bit of energy for me to soldier on despite being lost in my thoughts, enjoying my music. Even before I slow down for a walk, I hit the stop button on my Garmin watch, excited to see that I still made good time despite the slower pace. I cool down briskly, reminding myself that the earlier I get to work, the sooner I’ll be able to see him.
Him. He is standing right in front of me, wearing a gray sleeveless tech shirt and black running shorts, with a circle of sweat centered on his chest. We have the same neon-colored brand of shoes. It makes me laugh.
“I saw you out at the mile two marker but thought I would give you time to finish,” he starts. “How was it?”
“Bad. Those late nights at the office are taking a toll on me,” I reply jokingly. “Never mind the cigarettes. Are you heading back?”
“Do we have to? Can we cool down with a short walk? It’s only 7:30.”
“Sure.” We trudge on slowly along the cement path towards the starting point. I look around worriedly, prepared to turn the other way the minute we see someone from the office.
“Relax, we’re just running together.” He reads my thoughts. How does he do that?
“I know,” I respond defensively, stopping in my tracks when a large group of birds blocks me from moving any further.
Lucas keeps going until he realizes that I’m no longer walking alongside him. He turns around with a questioning look, about to open his mouth to speak.
“Birds. I can’t,” I say, standing there helplessly. “Don’t shoo them this way, then they’ll all start flying towards me!” I shriek, backing away, terrified as he begins to approach me.
He circles around them until he’s back at the place where I stand. To my astonishment, he lifts me up and slings me over his shoulders, running through them and flapping his arms.
“Lucas! Put me down! What are you doing?” I giggle, bouncing up and down in his arms.
“I’m protecting you from the birds!” he reminds me as if this is totally normal, running and keeping a firm grip on my legs at the same time.
A flash of light sparks the corner of my upside down eye. “Luke! Did you just see that lightning? It’s going to rain! We’d better head back!” I cry, my words bouncing disjointedly as I’m jostled up and down. The birds are long gone but I’m still enclosed in his arms.
“First the birds and then the rain. Jade! Is there anything you aren’t afraid of?” He runs effortlessly for a few more feet and then stops to put me down. He looks around and turns to me seriously. “Okay, the coast is clear.”
The clouds choose that moment to open up and the raindrops fall like buckets of water. We’re soaked in a matter of seconds. For some reason, we find it extremely funny, bursting into laughter at the same time.
“So much for that!” He snags my hand and we run for what little shelter there is, the drinking fountain shed, which has a little awning that extends a few inches past the structure. I’m not surprised that there’s no one there. People must have sought more dependable refuge once the lightning started to hit.
“Look at my hair!” I exclaim, running my fingers through my thoroughly flat head.
“Jade. That’s not what I’m worried about,” he says as his eyes darken and his look changes. I follow the direction of his gaze to find my shirt soaked through and totally transparent.
“Oh my God, Luke!” I wrap both arms around my chest in embarrassment, but his eyes never move.
His hand gently reaches out to wipe the drops of water from my cheek, slowly trailing downwards towards my crossed arms. He bends his head down and growls provocatively in my ear, “I’m dying to touch you.”
Women who have suffered heartbreak will know what Jade Richmond, the female m/c journey’s through in this story. Women who on the outside have it all but on the inside are trying to fill a void will understand. Insipid isn’t a story of weakness but a story of strength and knowing your self worth. Finding the true love that is within yourself– to fight through the insipid confines of life from letting go of the vibrancy of love to save the heart.
Christine Brae’s writing reminds me of the sea. You can float along with the story, revel in its beauty but when you aren’t expecting it, there can be a harsh undertow. Her words flow like the sea and there are some scenes that crash like a wave into your heart. And you drown in the depths of those emotions. I absolutely that her stories are of true love not fantasy and unattainable. Love that all of us women can experience or have experienced. The insecurities of love, the truths of love, the strength of love and the ever changing seasons of love.
Her metaphors and descriptions in scenes and character interaction are beautiful and thought provoking.
Her characters can be loved and hated. They are insecure. They are arrogant. They are undesirable and the are most certainly captivating.
I love that I can curl up with a mug of tea or a glass of wine and wrap myself in Christine Brae’s stories. The words she puts to pages are ones that resonate with you. They simply aren’t only in passing. For me Insipid was one of those must reads.
Christine is giving away:
- Three Insipid ebooks
- Three Insipid signed paperbacks
$50 Gift Card (winner choice on retailer