Friday, January 23, 2009

Stranger in Paradise-Jackie Griffey

Stranger in Paradise
Jackie Griffey
Five Star, Mar 2009, $25.95
ISBN: 9781594147531

In Greenfield, Laura Carroll mourns the death of her beloved Aunt Sophie, who raised her like she was her daughter. Attorney M.C. “Mac” McKinley informs Laura, who he is attracted to, that her aunt placed in her will a condition that Laura was to go on a vacation for no less than two weeks. Reluctantly Laura agrees as she made a death bed promise to her aunt to carry out all the conditions of the will.

Laura travels to Isla Verde near Puerto Rico. There she meets Esteban Aguilar who speaks Spanish only. As they fall in love she extends her stay to thirty days. When he talks of sharing a casa, she accepts what she assumes is a proposal. However, after he tells her “Yo te amo”, he vanishes. When he fails to reappear, she goes home heartbroken unaware he hid the truth from her to keep her safe. He and his family are hacking a path through a Columbian jungle.

STRANGER IN PARADISE starts off as an intriguing contemporary romance that half way into the tale switches into a suspense thriller. The story line is at its best when the theme is pure romance on Isla Verde between two people finding love enables them to communicate even though they speak two different languages. When Esteban vanishes, the suspense feels a bit jarring and a second twist on Hawaii even more strident. Still fans will enjoy two STRANGERS IN PARADISE using love as their common language to discuss the present and future together.

Harriet Klausner