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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Return Engagement by Elaine Cantrell

Return Engagement by Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (374 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Fennel

Elizabeth Lane is one lucky woman. She has it all-money, fame, a satisfying career and a devoted fiancĂ©. Her humble beginnings are all but obscured, but she isn’t the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard. Senator Lovinggood plans to make Richard the President of the United States; he’ll need a woman from a wealthy, powerful family by his side. Ten years ago the senator broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time it won’t be so easy, for Elizabeth wants to know what might have been. This time she’ll fight back, a struggle which ultimately leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.

Ms. Cantrell offers an intriguing plot with twists enough to keep her reader on the edge of their chair. I’d come across several excerpts online reviewing and her writing style drew me in.

And yet, for me this is a book of missed opportunities. I did not manage to completely empathize with her characters. I felt sorry for Elizabeth Lane, for the heroine’s fiancĂ© and the way she dumped him, then later used him. I found it hard to take to Richard Lovinggood and the way he used his influence and position to steamroll Elizabeth to marry him so quickly.

And yet, despite of all these apparent negatives, Ms. Cantrell did have me turning the pages to see what happened next. She did fill the pages with tensions of all kinds. Family conflicts, political conflicts, corruption, betrayals, it’s all in there and fluently written. It is about gun-fights and the repercussions that drive the newly-weds to the brink of destruction because of Elizabeth’s irrational fears and jealousy. This is a book about overcoming more than one set of odds. It’s about flawed characters and the mistakes they make and the impacts they have to live with.

If you enjoy a story full of challenges, then this is the one for you. Ms. Cantrell is an author I will look out for in the future.