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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Way To Mexiflor by Mia Rodriguez

The Way To Mexiflor by Mia Rodriguez
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Length: Full (253 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Esmeralda is beautiful, psychic, and suicidal. She travels to Mexico to end her turbulent life but instead a mysterious cat saves her. In a state of amnesia, she begins a new magical life as Marisol when she meets Alexander, an actor filming in Mexico. She dislikes him at first contact and he battles with his own inner struggles. But this is only the beginning of a poignant bittersweet love affair that overflows with explosive sensuality, devastating loss, and desperate longing as destiny forces them together and just as often pulls them apart.

The Way to Mexiflor travels an eventful spiritual journey in places not always on this earth but always packed with human frailties and triumphs as love heals all that is broken.

Esmeralda’s quest to escape her life takes a unique turn, when she escapes by becoming someone else… As Marisol, she is a more free being, and most importantly, free to love. Although, early on, we aren’t thinking of a romantic event in her life – we’re still quite focused on Marisol/Esmeralda recovering her life.

Alexander is not without his demons, though, either. He’s something of a low-level celebrity, but he is essentially a very private person. He does notice Marisol, long before they ever meet.

The aunties (somewhat weirdly, since they aren’t really) are involved in a bit of matchmaking, and this brings and odd touch of humor. Rodriguez identifies the not-quite-making-it male (Ramón) as ‘not making my hair stand up on my arms.’ She has a with turning a funny phrase – and also, presenting an off-beat character. (And The Way to Mexiflor is full of them, let me assure you.)

In this ever-more-evocative tale, a lot of challenges and questions face Marisol, in fact, this becomes something of a personal-journal tale. The odd magical aura manages to convey a sense of the otherworldly stepping in here though, and we come to see emotions, and love especially, as having almost a physical force in the world. Marisol’s and Alexander’s struggles through various tribulations make both of them better people, and we so clearly feel the power of love.

The format and style take a little getting use to, but in the end, the author’s directness contributes to the emotional impact of specific scenes quite extraordinarily. Of special note: I loved the daring ideas of Rodriguez- like the opening featuring the comments of the dead Mom (talk about an eerie beginning!) and the intrigue kicks off at once.

Then we are faced with questions, like just who is Dona Flor, and why is she claiming Esmerelda?

Marisol’s confusion about identity is a long frustrating time – for her, as well as the reader. I was unable to pull my eyes away – this part is an absolute page turner. Will Marisol remember? And does everyone here have some different agenda? Questions only increase as your read. Then we (so appropriately) discover the family is preparing to celebrate The Day of The Dead.

Throughout this story symbols, as well as activities, reinforce the rather macabre sense of this story. It’s eerie and haunting and funny and fast-paced. The plot is fresh, the characters individual.

Occasionally a transition seem confusing, or dialogue cluttered, but these are small details in a work that steps so daringly out of the simple usual format.

Mia Rodriguez is a very original new voice in the romance word, and I’ll be looking for her next work.