Contemporary Romance – A Lifetime or a Season


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Athena finds herself in the wet and windy South Coast of England as she tries to forget the enigmatic man who ignited her dreams.
Roberto seems determined to hold her at arm’s length but can’t seem to set her free once and for all.
Having lived in the shadows of her self-centred mother, Athena struggles to find her true identity.
A Lifetime or a Season is a journey of personal discovery for Athena as she takes an independent step into the unknown in order to achieve a life-long dream.
Will she find the love that she is searching for with Roberto or will the sacrifice be too much?


My mother had been one of those alluring women, a flaming redhead, who had men baying at her feet like enslaved dogs. Not for her the indifference of men, she had played the game to the hilt and every man that walked out of her life was a man she had sent packing. As a gawky, awkward teen, I had watched in awe but with no small amount of repulsion as she turned these strong men into slavering beasts desperate for the crumbs that she threw them. I too was thrown scraps, so I knew how they felt. An artist, I hesitate to call her successful. By the standards of society, she was deemed a success, not for her the struggle. Not for her the small garret and barely enough food to feed the body never mind the soul.

I spent my formative years in Paris society, when Mother’s money had run out, and the inspiration had been muted by the Gin bottle then we lived with ‘uncles’. This particular commodity never ran dry. When she left one, the others would actually queue up eager to become her new benefactor. Those that were lucky became her lovers, not all of them achieved that status. It was a testament to her female wiles that she could inspire that devotion without giving anything of herself.

When she emerged from her ‘low periods’ as, she liked to call them she would lock herself in the studio and produce a vast canvas with splashes of oil paints. I was by no means an expert, but I think a toddler could have replicated her work with the greatest of ease and indeed more skill.

‘Being an artist is hard,’ she would say, ‘hours alone creating masterpieces. And of course you know I only ever show the best. You are better off dead than being second rate. That my dear Athena is why I suffer for my art, anyone in my position would.’

It was an ironic name choice for me from a woman who didn’t really have a sense of humour. Athena who had no mother, who had sprung from her father, Zeus’ forehead.  I had once supposed it was because she had loved my father so much, but she shattered that ideal when I found out that she didn’t know who my father was. ‘It could have been any one of two or three men of my acquaintance.’ She had answered when I had finally plucked up the courage to ask. I called her Mother, but she hated it, for as long as I could remember she had asked me to call her by her given name so that she could pretend I was her younger sister. I refused. I had no father so I wouldn’t allow her to take away the role of apathetic mother from me, replacing it with indifferent sister. I did not rise to my name either; I was not fierce and brave in battle.


Star Traveler

October 1, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read…, 5 Aug. 2016
This review is from: A Lifetime or a Season (Paperback)

I love Maria Gibbs writing style – she has a great way with words, and the emotions the main character, Athena, goes through are very real and I think every reader will be able to identify with them.
Athena is a person who always wants to do whats right, but this usually means sacrificing her own happiness to please others.
It is a story about discovering who you really are, and not allowing people to hold you back from your dreams and ambitions.
I found this a really enjoyable short story, and was sad to finish it. I will certainly be purchasing more from Maria Gibbs.

5.0 out of 5 stars A great short read., 30 Jan. 2017

This review is from: A Lifetime or a Season (A woman’s Journey to Self-Awareness) (Kindle Edition)

I read this in one go, on a recent ferry trip. It has the right mix of life characters, it is quick paced to give us the base we need, and more detailed in places where dialogue and situations are key. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and a hint at the ending I wanted left me satisfied that I’d had a good read.

 5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 10 April 2016

This review is from: A Lifetime or a Season (A woman’s Journey to Self-Awareness) (Kindle Edition)

Fantastic short read, did not want book to end. amazing author.

5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic quickie read, 21 Dec. 2015

This review is from: A Lifetime or a Season (A woman’s Journey to Self-Awareness) (Kindle Edition)

I thought it was time to read this book from fellow author, Maria. I wasn’t disappointed. I became engrossed within seconds and didn’t put it down until I had finished it, despite all the Xmas films being on currently. I could relate to Athena and her relationship with her mother and I guess at some time or another more than a few of us have come across their fair share of Robertos. I can highly recommend this book and hope that at some point Maria does a follow on as I would love to know where this story goes next.

5.0 out of 5 stars Follow your dreams., 18 Feb. 2015

This review is from: A Lifetime or a Season (A woman’s Journey to Self-Awareness) (Kindle Edition)

OK so being completely honest I didn,’t read the blurb before downloading this little treasure of a story. I therefore had no idea what it would be about. At first I was unsure about this story, a young woman in love with the man of her desires. But the cad simply appears to be using her? Almost with change of heart Roberto begins to encourage her to follow her dreams. This is where the story came alive for me. Athena makes new friends and her dream begins. I found myself smiling with the new adventures. The story warmed my heart. However, don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself 🙂

5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and well-written., 17 May 2015
This review is from: A Lifetime or a Season (A woman’s Journey to Self-Awareness) (Kindle Edition)
Maria has spun an interesting story without any gimmicks or flashy distraction. Her writing is flawless and a pleasure to read. It is easy to relate to the point of view character. We follow her as she experiences a life-altering epiphany and makes the changes. If you are looking for a romantic and uplifting read, pick up this novella.

I look forward to reading more from Maria Gibbs.


5.0 out of 5 stars “A truly inspiring and effective short novel” 10 Sept. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition

This short story was full of life long dreams, romance and genuine, true emotion which was entrancing all the way through.

As a character I found Athena to not only be someone we could all relate to but also as someone who was inspiring; She wishes to follow her passion and life long dreams and longs for that lust, romance and friend that we all hope for. As the story evolves we are almost invited by Gibbs to see her emerge into a new independent woman and wonder if she will eventually get what she wants from Roberto.

I loved the transition that the book went through and feel like it truly has had an impact on me, the reader. I feel inspired. Cannot recommend enough to anyone.

on 23 April 2015                            
Another great short story by this great author. I really like the style that she writes in & look forward to the next one
on 30 March 2015        
A beautifully written story about a girl weighed down by expectations discovering her own path to happiness – a lovely read.
5.0 out of 5 stars A lifetime or a season. 1 Mar. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
The author ‘Maria Gibbs’ packs a mean punch with her novels and after reading ‘As Dreams are Made of’, I just had to give ‘A Lifetime or a Season’ a run for its money. This is a short 40 page novelette set with the back drop of the South Coast of England.
Athena is trying to find her place in the world. Her life has always been centered around other people and she needs to clear her head, focus on herself and gain her independence back. Now breaking away, she finds strength in her own self worth.The storyline flowed smoothly with a few unexpected truths through her journey towards self awareness. An amazing contemporary short read with a feeling of dejavue that I easily connected with. A well structured and appealing sense of environment is thrown into the pages as you continue to read. A little bit of sadness and nostalgia with a unique vulnerability of struggling personal endeavors sway through an emotional roller coaster ride. A gripping attitude comes into play with ‘A Lifetime or a Season’ with a gratifying ending, an entertaining read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on perfect. Oct. 1 2015
By Star Jasmine – Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Perfectly written. Simply put- it was a lovely read and I wished only for it to be longer. Sometimes books of this genre are too sweet and I find them difficult to relate to, not this one. It is well worth your time.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lifetime or Season, December 26, 2016
This review is from: A Lifetime or a Season (A woman’s Journey to Self-Awareness) (Kindle Edition)
The way the author makes you feel Athena is enlightening. Dianna (mother) insecure relationship and Roberto the boyfriend reliance on Athena for emotional security brings to light to Athena the reliance isn’t for her but for them. A genuine relationship point of view. Loved it!
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lifetime or a Season July 30 2015
By KBH – Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Wonderfully written short story about a woman who chases her dreams. Thoroughly recommend.
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