Return Engagement
Lynn Michaels
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Return Engagement

Lynn Michaels
Ivy Books
416 pages
September 2003
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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What happens to teen celebrities?

Lindsay West returns to a real life in Belle Coeur, Missouri, to raise her son. Noah Patrick loses everything and is contemplating suicide when he is literally plucked from the beach by an agent who just happens to be Lindsay’s mother.

Agent Mom has decided that Lindsay and Noah will co-star in a new play in Belle Coeur, written by Lindsay’s sister, in order to save said sister’s theatre company. It’s a “surprise” for Lindsay. Lindsay once had a fling with Noah, which he was too drunk to remember, and she has no intention of reminding him. Noah, recovering from alcohol and other problems, can’t figure out how he couldn’t have been madly in love with Lindsay all those years ago, and wants to make up for it now.

A story that could be predictable and dull is a lovely, charming, funny romp in Lynn Michaels' hands instead. She understands both the theatre and real people. She knows how difficult it is to put on a show, and how the emotions of those involved often defy logic. Part of the magic of creating theatre is the hysteria that goes into the creative process, which, hopefully, the audience never sees. She cares about all of her characters and stays true to all of them, even when the going gets tough and there’s an easy way out. Even Pyewacket the cat is well-represented.

Lindsay’s son, Trey, acts his age and is a believable kid instead of one of the precocious snots that so often litter a story. Lindsay and Noah are smart, hard-working and imperfect. Instead of merely re-acting to the world around them, they interact with it. The only predictable plot twist near the end is forgivable because the reader likes the characters so much. In fact, this reader was ready to pack bags for a trip to Belle Coeur, Missouri.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Devon Ellington, 2004

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