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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

For The Love Of Patrick by Shannon Rouchelle

For The Love Of Patrick by Shannon Rouchelle
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short (45 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 3 Books
Reviewed by Edelweiss

Alison Stewart, a successful fashion designer, is determined to find true love on Valentine’s Day.

That night, at a posh nightclub, she meets a man named Patrick. Before she has a chance to find out the details about him, a riot breaks out and she is escorted from the building. Determined not to let the man of her dreams slip through her fingers, she goes to great lengths to find him with embarrassing results.

Can Alison find Patrick and live happily ever after, or will she be destined for a life alone?

Up front I have to say that what makes this story different is Patrick. He’s a beefcake performer at a women’s singles club. Alison goes there, at the behest of a friend, with Valentine’s Day hopes. Both protagonists are vulnerable from having previously lost at love. Both are longing, but gun-shy--uncertain about the future. There’s this priceless moment in the story when the two connect by sight, from a distance; they see something special, they know it could be right, they manage to just touch, then pandemonium sweeps them apart.

What to do? From here, the story is about the two trying to find each other after that first spark of infatuation has ignited, but not had a chance to coalesce into something meaningful. These are incipient lovers stranded in a twilight zone of uncertainty, doubt, and a kind of embarrassed eagerness. So much energy, so much fire over what might be.

The strength of this story is its prose. It’s like skating on smooth, virgin ice—an effortless glide, and the story’s a pleasure to read in one sitting. If the writing has a weakness, it’s the dialogue. The discussions between friends seem a bit formal. The weakness of the story is really its brevity. It does not allow the relationship to get beyond its initial chemistry. The ending is satisfying but compressed, leaving us wanting more. Perhaps Ms. Rouchelle will provide us a sequel.