Scenes of Passion by Suzanne Brockmann
Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: July 1, 2003
Pages: 192 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
The editing and formatting of this Kindle edition are excellent. I saw no problems at all with either anywhere in this ebook.
Maggie Stanton has never been able to say, "No," to her family. At age 30 she is living at home, on the verge of becoming engaged to a man she doesn't really love, and is working at a job she hates as an attorney rather than the career she really wanted, being an actress. The only moments of her life that have real meaning are playing the lead in local, community theater. Then suddenly, Matthew Stone comes back to town. He's a theater buddy from her high school days whom she hasn't seen in over a decade, and at first she doesn't recognize him. He's lean and muscular, with long, Tarzan hair, and instead of being her best friend's boyfriend, all his attention is on Maggie.
This heroine is a really fascinating departure for Suzanne Brockmann. She's not at all like the forceful, take-charge women Brockmann usually writes. Instead, Maggie is a self-professed wimp with low self-esteem who has arrived at a major crossroads in her life: Will she continue living her life to satisfy the demands of her family and closest friends, or will she at long last throw off the shackles she's allowed to bind her? It was a fun ride watching Maggie take control of her own destiny and stop wasting her life being a passive, people-pleasing Good Girl.
I am a fan of Brockmann's, and I thought I had read all of her early contemporary romances prior to recently checking out this Kindle edition from my local, public library, but somehow I missed this one. I wouldn't call this one of her most outstanding romance novels; it is "merely" very good. The hero and heroine are clearly and sympathetically drawn; there is compelling romantic conflict between them, and there is a great deal of emotional and physical passion between them. As always in a Brockmann novel, the writing itself is extremely well done.
I particularly appreciated the fact that both lead characters in this story have strong growth arcs, that is, both become far more emotionally secure, stable and capable when together than they were able to be apart. I've always found that approach much more entertaining in a romance plot than only having the hero be the one who is "wounded" and "redeemed" by the love of a good woman.