by Jennifer Colgan, paranormal (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $2.50, ISBN 1-59998-578-0
La Mirage is... I suppose one can say that this would make a lovely script, with a few cosmetic modifications here and there, for that very special episode where FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully get to do the wild thing. There's a paranormal element here plus a well-handled romance that come together to make this a most charming romantic episode from The Twilight Zone.
Reporter Savanna Blaine and her photographer Ben Lantano are on their way to conduct an interview with a business mogul in Nevada when Ben's vehicle, which he calls Delilah, croaks its last on the long stretch of emptiness that is the I-95. Their cell phones and watches die as well. After a trek into the wilderness, they come across this beautiful inn, La Mirage, which is not marked on the map and is certainly empty of any clients. The concierge however tells them that La Mirage is not yet opened and the management would of course love to take in Savanna and Ben - for free! - as guinea pigs of sort while they get their mechanic to take a look at Delilah. For free as well. If you have the theme song of The Twilight Zone playing in your head, you're on the right track.
However, the scrumptious view and magnificent hospitality can easily cause one's inhibitions to lose. Therefore, as much as Ben and Savanna do not want to get involved in a messy office romance that could make life very difficult for the two of them, sometimes the flesh is weak.
Because Ben and Savanna are not perfect strangers, there is a pretty strong element of believability in their romance since the desire and romantic feelings don't spring out of the blue. Both characters are likable and pretty level-headed with none of them trying too hard to come up with reasons why they shouldn't go with the flow and fall in love.
While I wish there is a little bit more resolution to the mystery of La Mirage - the resolution here makes a typical episode of The X-Files seems conclusive - I also like how complete this story comes off as despite its short length. All in all, it's a pretty entertaining tale with a detour into some mild paranormal elements.
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