Monday, March 10, 2014

Scenes of Passion - Suzanne Brockmann (SD #1519 - July 2003)


Safe, steady...and unsatisfying -- that pretty much summed up Maggie Stanton's life. Until a stranger stirred her imagination until she blushed, a stranger who made Maggie do the unimaginable: take a risk....

Shockingly, the man who'd compelled her to forsake predictability for passion was the full-grown version of her childhood best friend. Only, this Matthew Stone wanted marriage, not a walk down memory lane.

For a while, Maggie almost believed that their whirlwind wedding was the union of soul mates. Almost. Then she learned the secret Matthew was keeping.

Pretty good book.  Maggie is living the life her parents pushed her into.  Instead of going into acting, which had been her first love, she got pushed into law.  Now she's working at a boring job and being pushed into an engagement with a "suitable" man.  The only bright side to her life right now is the new guy she's been noticing at the gym.  He's tall, has long hair, and muscles to make her drool.  When she gets a call from her old high school friend Matt, asking for her legal help, she's stunned to discover they are one and the same.  

Okay, I had some issues with Maggie.  She has been a total wuss for the last ten years.  Instead of standing up for what she wanted to do (study acting) she rolled over on her parents' demands and became a lawyer.  Then she took the job her father found for her, which she  hates.  And the boyfriend she has was their choice too.  He's pushing for marriage and she's trying to figure out how to get out of it.  The one thing she stands firm on is her involvement in the local community theater.  Matt's reappearance in her life seems to give her enough confidence to finally go after what she wants.  I liked seeing her stand up for her decision to go work for Matt.  She's also really attracted to him, but flip flops a bit here too.  She sees his interest in her but keeps trying to convince herself that he only wants friendship.  Their mutual work in the community theater adds a bit to the heat as their roles as the leads have them spending a lot of time kissing.  It was great to see the relationship really take off as she and Matt got closer.  It looked like all was going to be great once they got married.  But here comes her waffling again, as both the play director and her former best friend (and Matt's former girlfriend) both tell her she's been played for a fool.  Add in some pesky legal issues and suddenly she's convinced that Matt has been using her all this time.  She had her good moments.  I loved her reaction when she found out about his illness and what she said to him.  She's also really good with her brother Steve who is a fun secondary character.  I just got really mad at her when she was being so mean to Matt.

I liked Matt a lot.  He has come home to take care of his inheritance from his father.  He has three months to improve the factory he now owns or lose it all.  He knows he's going to need help and Maggie is his first choice.  He had been in love with her during high school but had never told her, especially since at the time he was her best friend's boyfriend.  He still wants her but has no idea how she feels about him.  He senses that she wants him too, but is frustrated by her determination to just be friends.  He seems to have a few insecurities relating back to his illness, so he doesn't push when maybe he should.  I love that he was so determined in his pursuit of her.  I felt so bad for him when she went off on him at the end.  He was stunned by what she said and did and the hurt was intense.  I'm glad he fought back from it, but I have to say the method was kind of strange.  I loved what he decided to do with the business.

Read in the Passion and Peril anthology.  

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