Extra Baggage by Anastasia Rabiyah

Extra Baggage by Anastasia Rabiyah
Publisher: Purple Sword Publications, LLC
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (82 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Jake, a twice divorced father, has given up on finding love until his good friend, Amory, finds herself suddenly single. The complicated romance between them is hot and lusty while they remain discreet when their combined group of four children are around. Amory has never been on her own and wants to prove to herself that she doesn’t need a man to survive. Jake needs her and a good mother for his girls, but trying to convince her to give in and stay with him isn’t going to be easy, especially with his jaded past.

“There was something dangerous and desperate in his eyes, the eyes of a man who looked like he was at the end of his rope with nowhere left to go but down. She knew that feeling; she lived with it every day.”

Jake and Amory met through innocent circumstance, but this did not stop the desire and attraction that the two secretly held for the other. Jake has his rugged good looks, wears soiled work clothes and is a twice divorced, broke single father with two girls, renting a home and has credit card debt a mile long. Amory is a mother of two boys and is in a marriage where she has all the material things, but her husband is a pompous self-absorbed jerk. For the past year she has been sitting with Jake’s two girls until he gets home from work. Amory admires Jake, a simple man who loves his children and works his butt off trying to give them a decent life. This admiration is from a distance until Amory’s husband decides to walk out on their marriage.

I really enjoyed this book. The author has two people that are going though the motions of everyday living, and each knowing they are missing out on something greater. Day in and day out they deny themselves, and resist what’s right there in their face. Even after Amory knew her marriage was over she had an internal battle to take time to care for herself, to do the things she has wanted to do or follow her heart. This to me was so realistic, because this was a real life occurrence. If everything wrapped up so perfect it would have been a fantasy. For this reason I found myself rooting for Amory and Jake because they knew their faults and were willing to face them. Jake knew he had a crappy track record with women. He knew he wasn’t financially stable to keep Amory in the status she was accustom to. And he also realized his maturity in not only selecting a woman for her physical attributes but her qualities. I admired Jake and his journey into being a man and trying to handle things as a man. I think this was a very positive input by the author.

Another plus about the book was that Amory’s boss, Claire gave her a Dr. Phil moment. This really seemed like something that would happen in real life, where as we have friends and/or family to give us uplifting and encouraging words during emotional torn times in our life. Jake’s oldest daughter was wise and unselfish for a teenager. She saw that Amory and her dad needed each other and she was for them being together.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style. She wasn’t too wordy or overly descriptive. She has a believable story that made me want to continue reading to see the out come for the characters. I connected with the characters, felt their hurts and also found myself wanting a positive ending because they deserved to be happy. I would like to have known how long Amory was married and also Amory’s and Jake’s age. This in no way took away from the storyline, but would have been a nice character accompaniment.

One line I remember from the story is “…things weren’t ideal, they already cared for each other. And that was what mattered most.” This statement made the title Extra Baggage really fitting. They each had past relationships, hurt, disappointments, etc. but they each had courage and were willing to try again.

This remarkable novella by Anastasia Rabiyah is a powerful testament that not all books have to be fantasy to give a fulfilling read. I definitely will add her previous books to my list to read.


  1. Ginger,

    Thank you for this thorough and pleasant review. I have had some mixed reactions from readers of this story. I was challenged to write a love story about two everyday people with real life issues and problems, and hoped to show how they could fall in love and be the support each other needed, enabling each other to grow to his and her potential–and even to just reach for the growth they needed but did not have the courage to reach for in the past.

    I am pleased you saw the depth of the characters that some readers have missed and that you appreciated a true to life contemporary romance. Thank you so much.

    -Anastasia Rabiyah

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