Reason and Romance by Terrance Layhew is an intelligently plotted and expertly executed novel that explores the friction between feeling and reason, following an unusual protagonist who sets out to write his first romance novel and in the process, explores the emotional climates of his heart. George Austen is an author who takes his craft very seriously and doesn’t think that romance is a genre for the likes of him. When challenged to write a romance novel of his own, he creates a plan that involves dating as a means to garner inspiration and research material for his novel. Follow him through his dates and encounters as he struggles to understand love. But will this calculating, highly rational author discover love through this path?
Terrance Layhew is a great writer and I enjoyed his reflections about life, which are sprinkled throughout the narrative, making the story more resonant for readers and creating a context where characters evolve. George is a sophisticated protagonist, a man who has been seriously bruised in the past and whose sense of rationality is built around the walls he has created to prevent himself from being vulnerable to love. The author offers unexpected twists in this original, thought-provoking, and deeply moving tale. The humor is exacting and in each encounter that George has with women, the outcome turns out to be something quite different from what readers long for. Reason and Romance is cleverly plotted and it opens with a compelling premise; the stellar writing, the focused scenes, and the author’s ability to infuse the writing with realism make this novel a page-turner. There are laugh-out-loud moments and those that are so resonant that they allow readers to think about their own love blunders and the inscrutable nature of human longing. This novel features fully drawn characters, gorgeous writing, and a plot that is twisty. The juxtaposition of the strong themes of reason and emotion is one of the biggest achievements of this novel.