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Monday, October 24, 2011

Anything by Michael Baron

Anything by Michael Baron
Publisher: The Story Plant
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (283 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Ken and Melissa are at the dawn of a magnificent life together. A passionate romance has led them to the doorstep of marriage. While searching for the perfect wedding present for Melissa, Ken stumbles into a mysterious shop. There, he is given an extraordinary opportunity – to look in on Melissa when she was a girl. Ken has always wished he could have known Melissa from the day she was born and this seems like an incredible blessing. Until he discovers a terrible secret in Melissa's past, one so awful she has found it impossible to mention to him.

Now Ken has another extraordinary opportunity. He can go back in time and change the horrible event that has left an indelible mark on Melissa. He can free her of this burden – but doing so could change things so completely that they might never meet.

Ken has repeatedly told Melissa that he would do anything for her. But would he truly do anything?

A mix of magic and magnificent love makes Anything mesmerizing.

Ken Timian and Melissa Argent meld their lives together in a way only soul mates can manage. Even though their careers are not particularly compatible, they respect the efforts, abilities, and successes of each other. As their wedding day approaches, two fortune cookies prove to have significant messages—“A major change is coming” and “Your heart will show you the way.” This foreshadowing hints at the life-changing conflict that comes.

While Melissa is not materialistic, but she appreciates and enjoys beautiful things, and Ken loves to find unique pieces of jewelry for her. A mysterious little shop, Stephon’s, never fails to yield up just the perfect piece. The shop is like an archeological dig full of jewels, gold, and silver. As Ken searches for a gift to commemorate their cherished courtship and welcome their marriage, Stephon, the owner of the shop, asks Ken what his greatest fantasy is concerning Melissa.

When Ken reveals his fantasy, Stephon says he can make it happen. However, while it will be informative and amusing, it can also be disconcerting. Then Ken’s second request changes the dynamics of both his and Melissa’s lives. It threatens to be his undoing.

Anything becomes mysterious, suspenseful, and the anxiety builds as Ken tries to cope with the fallout of his momentous decision and the subsequent actions. He seems stymied. He cannot tolerate going backward to a lifestyle he once savored nor can he seem to move forward until he exhausts all avenues of getting to his soul mate.

Many of the secondary characters are interesting, but Stephon is unique. One wonders if there is not a story behind the moonstone he and Ken believe is perfect for Melissa. The mystical power of the moonstone is believed to protect women and babies. It is also said to balance yin and yang, bring good fortune, and is highly prized for lovers as it arouses tender passion. What fun it would be to know the mystery of Stephon—maybe he will show up again in a later Baron story.

By using first person POV, Michael Baron creates a close relationship between the reader and Ken Timian. Ken’s intimate hopes, dreams, fears, and resolve along with his desperation create an urgency that keeps one turning pages in an attempt to get Ken to the love he seems to be so deserving of.

Melissa is less closely connected, but her story is enthralling and breathtaking. She has a talent that “burns in her blood,” but because of a past traumatic experience, she denies it. Yet, she functions with compassion and dedication in the life she has chosen in lieu of the life she once dreamed of having. As the reader sees her a different way, after Ken’s life-changing deed, Melissa sparkles with vibrant life but with the same compassion and concern for others as before. She does not dismiss that spark of recognition as she sees Ken among the teeming crowd, but reaches out to him.

With poignant metaphors and magical imagery, the exquisite writing style of Michael Baron brings to life an enchanting love story that surpasses the usual and reveals a love willing to give all to assure a loved one gets to fulfill a deferred dream and innermost desire. Mr. Baron sprinkles Anything with humor, joy, social issues, exciting back story, and family relationships as he captivates with an incredible love story of soul mates finding their way to each other through a maze strewn with obstacles.