Sunday, 22 April 2007

Where Fires Once Burned by Zelma Orr

Another deeply unfashionable but beautifully written 250 page romance.

April had loved Russ like forever. They married when she was 18. They both worked part-time as well as attending college. Then 3 years into the marriage Russ tell April he feels she’s smothering him with her immature love and that he’s missing out on knowing more experienced women, literally walks out and divorces her 3 months later. April is devastated, has a break-down then quits college and finds a new job driving vans and then big rigs.

Six years later, there has been no-one else for April. She lives a very spartan but generally happy life with her dog Brush, still driving trucks for a living. Russ also still unmarried, has been kidnapped, beaten and held for ransom in Egypt. After 12 days the company pays the ransom and Russ is freed. During his captivity he thought about his life with April and realised he still loved her. So on his release he returns to the apartment he and April shared when they were married, sees a little boy who looks vaguely like April playing on the stairs and assumes April has found happiness with someone else.

Meanwhile April had an accident in her rig when a man driving a stolen vehicle crashed into her. She suffered concussion and sectional amnesia. April cannot remember anything about her life experiences but does remember enough to still work day to day. The accident was reported on the local news station which is how Russ comes back into her life.

So Russ starts dating April all over again. And of course April, even though she doesn’t remember Russ, is receptive to him because he’s the only man she ever loved.
To give April credit she does initially tell Russ to get lost when her memory returns but she soon changes her mind. And Russ’s motives for seeking out April are far from perfect. Ok, he remembered her love whilst he was in captivity, and no other woman has ever cried when he moved on but, I ask myself, will his feelings last any longer than 3 years this time around. In a way, though, it doesn’t matter. Let them find happiness together for as long as it lasts. They’ve both suffered enough.

The story is written in a fantastic natural style. There are no sub-plots or superfluous characters so the reader spends all their time with the main couple. Something else that is unfashionable nowadays. And the bedroom scenes, while not hot, are very sensuous.

The only thing strange about this romance is that despite the cover I gained the impression that it was written by a person of colour about a non-white couple. But that’s the sort of crap Harlequin used to impose on some of its authors.

Lovely, lovely working class american romance which I’ve read many, many times.

Genre; contemporary romance. Movie rating PG13; pre-marital sex; deception.

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