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Lovers' Reunion
by Anne Marie Winston
(Sil. Desire # 1226, $3.75, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-76226-7
**
Marco Esposito returns home to Chicago with a bum leg and a huge chip on his shoulder. Injured in a plane crash that killed several of his colleagues, the research geologist is out of field work for good now. A teaching assignment at a Chicago university awaits, as does his parents' anniversary party.

Marco is surprised to run into neighbor Sophie Morrell. Years ago, they'd dated, and after one night of passion, he'd left her for a life of adventure. But he never forgot her, and now here she is, in the flesh. Marco quickly decides that he made a mistake all those years ago, and Sophie should have been his. It's not too late. He'll just rekindle the flame, Sophie will fall for him again, and they'll get married. Easy.

Sophie initially resists this bit of masculine arrogance with a tart rejoinder or two, but soon she's mesmerized by Marco's kisses, and before you can say "get a backbone, girl" they're lovers again. She's sure he'll love her and leave her again, so she wants nothing to do with his protestations of commitment and marriage. Marco can't bring himself to admit that he loves Sophie, so he goes on telling her what's best for the both of them. He tells her what they're going to do. She protests. They fall into bed. She protests some more. He tells her what they're going to do….

This is a redemption story, and Marco does grow up in the end. The problem for me was that it was an awfully long journey. Sophie could have hurried it up by slamming the door in his face a few times, but in typical romance heroine fashion, she's undone by lust and incapable of coherent thought when Marco is around. Consequently, I was more annoyed by them both than anything else. What started out as a pretty good read turned into a standard romance with a couple of stock characters and not a lot of growth on either part.

The author has a crisp, clean writing style, and the dialogue in particular was realistic and rang true. The story moved along at a good clip; unfortunately it moved in circles more than anything. But I'd pick up another book by this author on the basis of the writing quality alone.

Readers who like the overly-arrogant hero type may find Lovers' Reunion to their liking, but I'd have to label it a disappointment.

--Cathy Sova


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