Within this Frame
By Lindy Zart
Publication Date- December 11th, 2015
It comes in the mail—a beautiful invitation that promises humiliation and horror. Unless Maggie Smiley, former child celebrity and now overweight recluse, gets her courage and motivation in check, along with her health.
The phone call offering fitness expert Lance Denton a chance to work with Maggie Smiley promises retribution. He messed up a lot as a punk kid on the too-fast road to stardom, and how he treated his co-star never left him. It is that—and a long list of secrets she doesn’t need to know—that has him show up at Maggie’s doorstep.
Within this Frame by Lindy Zart is an adult contemporary novel. Lindy is a go to author for me, I know I won't be disappointed when I pick up a book she's written. This is no exception, honestly this one is in my top three now. The main character, Maggie, is a former child star turned recluse with body issues. Her former co-star, Lance, is also her ex-boyfriend and saying their past is complicated would be a massive understatement.
The story unfolds in two timelines, in 1996, when their tv show was in it's heyday and 'current' time of 2010. I really enjoyed getting to see how they came together and fell apart while getting the current story. I could read about these characters forever. I think it would have been easy for Lindy to make this into two books, one focusing on them as teens and then the other picking up their story later on in life. The waiting would have killed me, though, I think, so thank you Lindy for not going that route.
The characters, as always, are richly developed and engaging. The writing is absolutely flawless and the plot moves right along keeping your emotions fully engaged from beginning to end. I ran the emotional gamut while reading it; crying, laughing, gasping--it was a very auditory experience. Lindy tackles a subject that we all deal with from time to time. The way we look at ourselves, that voice in our heads telling us we're not good enough for whatever reason, we have all heard it at one time or another. As someone who has struggled with my weight most of my life, it was very easy for me to relate to Maggie's struggle to love herself.
Within this Frame is a beautiful story of forgiveness, second chances and acceptance and I highly recommend it.
His eyes went smoky, his expression and stance set for wooing.
“Stop it. I’m immune.”
“Since when? That kiss we shared a few days ago says otherwise.”
Maggie blinked, warmth flooding her veins at the reminder. “I was acting. I’m an exceptional actress.”
“Mmm. Is that so?” Lance rubbed a thumb over his mouth, and her eyes were drawn to the motion. She wasn’t able to look away until he dropped his hand. “Even you can’t act that well.”
Briefly pausing behind the couch, she pointed the remote control at the television and pressed the ‘on’ button. “Let’s see what form of debauchery Lance Denton gets his pleasure from when he’s alone.”
He caught her around the waist, the force of his movement and his weight toppling them forward and over the back of the couch. It was too late—the sound of young, familiar voices filled the air. Face down on the couch cushion and legs in the air, and with Lance beside her, she lifted her head to look at the television screen.
The air stopped inside her lungs. Maggie watched for a moment, not able to talk. It was them during an episode of ‘Easier Said’, crazily in love with one another. Struck hard with emotion, she swallowed, striving for nonchalance when her insides were screaming with yearning. Maggie placed her chin on her fist and continued to observe the younger versions of Lance and Maggie. Lance was quiet beside her, and that was just as well. She didn’t know what to say to him right then.
“This would make a great yoga pose,” she said after a time, her neck and back stretched to the point that they were sore.
When Lance didn’t respond, she finally turned her head to look at him. He wasn’t watching the television—he was watching her. The look on his face was open and raw, like a wound always kept hidden, until one day, it could no longer remain so.
Swallowing hard, she looked down. “You watch these a lot?”
“They make me happy.”
Maggie looked up in time to catch his sardonic smile as he added, “And nostalgic, and maudlin.”
Unveiled as they were, she couldn’t take the look in his eyes any longer, and needing somewhere else to focus, Maggie chose his lips. It was a bad idea—perfectly chiseled, hard when they should be, soft when necessary, a shade of mauve that couldn’t be replicated—she wanted them on hers.
As though reading her mind, and knowing what she desired, Lance dropped his attention to her mouth. When he looked up, his eyes were midnight blue with lust. “I think, if I’m going to remain uninvolved with my clients, I must forbid you to look at me like that.”
Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her family. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, bloody marys, peanut butter, and pizza.
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