By­gones

Lisa K. Nielsen

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Fiction - CAMILLE-YVETTE WELSCH

Camel Press Soft­cover $15.95 (290pp) 978-1-60381-329-7

Fans of con­tem­po­rary ro­mance mixed with a mys­tery sub­plot will be hap­pily sated.

By­gones, by Lisa K. Nielsen, en­tices with sym­pa­thetic char­ac­ters and a se­ries of mysterious break-ins. Sus­pense and ro­mance are braided to­gether through the novel, doubling the com­pelling ten­sion. Char­ac­ters must face their own prej­u­dices—class is­sues and the fear of stag­na­tion in their home­town.

Hunky con­trac­tor Joe Man­ning be­comes reac­quainted with his high-school crush, Dr. Alexan­dra “Lexi” Hadley, at her fa­ther’s fu­neral. At the same time, her fa­ther’s home is bro­ken into, robbed of noth­ing save the dead man’s lap­top. So be­gins a novel full of sexy ban­ter and men­ac­ing in­trigue.

Lexi works as a re­searcher at the Univer­sity of Chicago with her older, suc­cess­ful boyfriend. Her life seems set un­til her fa­ther’s death, and his be­quest of half a prac­tice and a child­hood home call her back. Man­ning, too, made his way home to work as a con­trac­tor in his home­town, where he still has din­ner with his par­ents on Sun­days and plays bas­ket­ball with high-school bud­dies. His en­trenched po­si­tion makes Lexi ner­vous, but she can’t deny the at­trac­tion.

Nielsen uses the braided nar­ra­tive to keep the ro­mance mov­ing and the mys­tery com­pelling. Her char­ac­ters are lik­able and be­liev­able, whether they are swap­ping clas­sic nov­els or bond­ing over take-out. The novel is well paced,

mov­ing quickly into the dual con­flict of ro­mance and sus­pense. Though the mys­tery is not as well re­al­ized as the ro­mance, it nev­er­the­less gives the cou­ple a con­flict over which to be­come closer. The third-per­son point of view al­lows in­sight into the thoughts of both char­ac­ters, cre­at­ing a dra­matic ten­sion wherein the au­di­ence feels the at­trac­tion grow­ing be­tween them. With a small en­sem­ble of sup­port­ing char­ac­ters, rang­ing from a re­lent­lessly chip­per real es­tate agent to a sketchy col­league, Nielsen cre­ates a small-town vibe where the ghosts of high school still haunt, gos­sip, and in­ter­fere.

Fans of con­tem­po­rary ro­mance mixed with a mys­tery sub­plot will be hap­pily sated with By­gones.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.