Love Lost, Love Found
by Viveca Carlysle, contemporary (2001)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-171-5


Reading Love Lost, Love Found is like looking at the world from a coke-induced haze high. Everything seems to be a blur and floating around in an amorphous and rather pleasant thingy - glug, glug, glug - but nothing makes much sense because I have no idea what is going on in the heads of the main character. The author seems to be writing in a diary-like format, jotting down the day to day little details irrelevant to the Big Picture, without seeming to go anywhere.

In short, this is one story that could use a more sober editor behind the cleaning up.

Years ago, Nia Sebastian and Brett Faulkner (he's a cowboy, and the author will keep repeating this - he's a cowboy, with ponytail, boots, and all - so often that I wonder if there will be a test at the end of the book) had a thing going, but Nia, alas, moves on to better pastures for her career as a financial researcher. Today, her company that she works for is in danger of being taken over by her ex (the ex that she married after she left Brett). She needs someone to help her plan a counterattack. Uh... hello again, Brett?

Nia and Brett have no problems doing the thing second time around. At least, that's the impression I get, because the author never once delves into what these characters are thinking. I'm just told what they do, not how they feel or think. If this story could have ended by Chapter Five, the author pads it up with day by day account of what Nia and Brett are doing.

Like this:

She then checked out Brett's home theater. She browsed the tiny, black, loose-leaf notebook that was a guide to all the movies he had available. Nia was surprised at how many she'd missed in the past year. She bypassed those to watch ab old Morgan Freeman foreign film, The Red Violin. She was happy to see it had subtitles instead of dubbing. She hated movies that had characters' mouths moving at the wrong time. It was a beautifully crafted movie, where the star was actually a violin passed from century to century and how it affected its owners.

After it ended, she thought about another, but realized that she hadn't eaten since breakfast and it was now almost three PM.

You get the idea? Nia goes shopping. Nia goes to parties. Meets Brett. Say hi. Talk about the weather or something trivial. Goes home. Sleeps. Wakes up. Makes breakfast. Yummy. Goes Out. And on and on.

Which is a pity as on one hand, Nia is a heroine who, for once, has a social life and her life doesn't revolve around the hero. It is just too bad that this story has so much words and telling, but it doesn't actually tell me anything in the end. Yeah, Nia has a fine active life as a mobile upward-bound career woman, but... whatever really. I can't care less.

Rating: 51


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