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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Passion in Paradise by Suzanne Brandyn

Passion in Paradise by Suzanne Brandyn
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (196 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 Books
Review by Camellia

Jacqueline Ryan's love belongs to only one man, Michele Ranieri, who left her with a broken heart. Five years later he's back, and she's determined to lay old feelings to rest. She wants closure on something she thinks is puppy love. But when she confronts him it escalates into full-blown love.

Michele Ranieri has always reserved a special place in his heart for Jacqueline. When stranded on a deserted island with her and having amnesia, he questions why they weren't more than friends.

A kiss in a freshwater stream has her reassessing her situation. Finding temptation at close range impossible to refuse, she forgets about what is waiting for her back home. But when Jacqueline is lost during a storm, when Michele's memory returns, and when rescue forces reality back into their lives, will their love be lost forever?

Looking for love in all the wrong places for more than a decade really messes up both Jacqueline Ryan’s and Michele Ranieri’s lives while doing nothing to ease the unrequited love they have for each other.

When Jacqueline’s widowed mother Shirley and Michele’s father Roberto decide to live together, they admonish fifteen-year-old Jacqueline and nineteen-year-old Michele to treat each other as brother and sister.

The teenagers are immediately attracted to each other and within a year, Michele leaves to live at the university rather than at home. He avoids home as much as he can and finally stops coming altogether. When they meet at a resort after many years of being apart, they think they will stay aloof and not reopen old wounds but end up stranded on a deserted island, which becomes a wrinkle in time for them. Sizzling sex and loving care create poignant moments while guilt and doubt plague them both when they think of the lives they have left behind.

Suzanne Brandyn paints wonderful word portraits of Michele and Jacqueline with beauty and sexuality plus shining through. Her description of the island creates a place that is both enchanting and terrifying depending on the circumstance. Even though a misused word jars the reader out of the story occasionally and a few incidents like “George” on the island do not seem significant to the story, the fantastic romance captivates the reader as Jacqueline and Michele struggle to find their way back to each other through the debris of emotional entanglements after they are rescued. The story has some tense, heart-pounding moments, particularly the events with Stephen who adds a definite twist to the story.

PASSION IN PARADISE makes one forget about the harsh world for a time and brings that feeling of rightness as soul mates find their way back to each after SO long.