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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Right Where I Need to Be by Wendi Zwaduk

Right where I Need to Be by Wendi Zwaduk
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (298 pgs)
Heat Rating: Hot
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Logan Malone needs an acting job and fast. With his string of broken hearts, his professional life lies in shambles. To resurrect his career, he must audition for a television role which could be the job of a lifetime.

Cass Jensen needs an actor for her made for TV movie. The previous actor dropped out, leaving her stranded. Her savior shows up looking sinfully sexy and totally right for the part, but what part is she auditioning him for - her movie or her bed?

Wendi Zwaduk has given us the absolutely classic romance novel in Right Where I Need To Be.

The charming, handsome hero, Logan Malone (okay, forget handsome, he’s actually red-hot…) is also a successful star, although he has a rather endearing touch of self-doubt. The heroine, Cass, is also full of splendid emotional strife, and the perfect pair engage in an early self-struggle to develop trust in one another. Both are attracted from the first, yet neither would have believed it of the other.

Neither of the main characters is exactly as the other perceives, as is often the case in this type of romance. The challenge of course is the predictability; Ms. Zwaduk just manages to avoid this trap by focusing readers so completely on the inner turmoil of both Logan and then Cass. We’re caught rooting for them, even though we do see and believe so well in the doubts each of them suffers. There are good reasons for the worries, as shown in moments of memory, and in some interaction with others. Cass has a tough personality; she’s determined, even when events make her sad…while Logan seems the closer to defeat, and we will so long for her to reach out to him.

Past events and character history crop up from time to time, but bring so much emotional angst that they slide into the picture without even momentarily slowing the action; in fact, the past often heightens the tension.

Though the emotions can get intense, there is also subtle humor throughout. Cass‘s comments, especially, often include a quip or wry statement. It’s always just the right seasoning to lighten the feeling and brighten the dialogue from time to time. The Hollywood-esque world of casting, photo shoots, scripts and bling-lifestyles (not to mention love scenes) evokes a wonderful aura. We struggle to sense whether Logan and Cass can find a true connection among many light or meaningless relationships, and whether or not they can even manage to truly communicate with so many distractions around them.

Things only become more complicated as we go forward, as it takes quite a cast of characters to complete all the action in Right Where I Need to Be. Secondary characters, from Nikita at the casting to Dex the ex, are well-developed and interesting. Even relatively minor roles, such as support characters like Darrell, show a measure of human believability.

Fans of the hot and zippy romance won’t be disappointed in this super new novel. Ms. Zwaduk gets to things like ‘innermost desires' with the speed of light: never mind waiting to be hooked by the first chapter, readers will be thoroughly engaged by the end of the first couple pages.