When Lightning Strikes by Brenda Novak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved this story. It was romantic fantasy that took me away. I enjoyed the fact that Simon was portrayed so humanly. He went from being a famous actor to regular Joe to famous actor. I believe that is a realistic portrayal. Famous people are frequently thought of as self serving and out of control. It is easy for the average person to want to believe the hype around them, regardless of truth. I have long thought it must be the most difficult life someone could choose to live. For the money and beautiful things they have, the lifestyles they are able to live, they each pay a very high price. I think it takes a very strong person to survive it. Making Gail someone who was in his circle but just an average person was believable for me. I think if the author had made the love interest a fan, someone he met in a bar, at the airport or any number of places, I would have had a hard time getting into the story. It is not to say I do not think it could happen.I just think there is less of a chance of it happening. Gail, working in L.A., knowing Simon through her job, was perfect. I think the author took care to make the story as realistic as she could. Yes, at times it did seem a bit convenient, (such as the easy acceptance of Simon). These instances, though, worked over all for me. I have lived in a small town. I have family that would put aside what they thought to give a chance. I have been in a situation where the last person I expected was the first person to respond. Finally, I have been betrayed by those close to me. All without the money or the fame. I can imagine the sad reality of what fame and money can do to family and friends. Money changes everything. Some times for the good but just as often for the bad. I think the book is a strong opening for the Whiskey Creek series, but do not see it as the author's best. It took me a bit to warm to Gail, maybe because I first saw her as cold.By the end of the book I cared more for her though she is not my favorite Whiskey Creek character. Isn't this the realistic charm of a series though? In life we all surround ourselves with family and friends we care about. The degree we care though is different for each one. The author's ability to recognize this and effectively incorporate it into the series helps the series stay interesting, strong and realistically,a fantasy that will have broad appeal. I love Whiskey Creek. I think it will appeal to new readers who are fans of the tv series, (and book series by different author), Cedar Cove. They do have much in common, though I see Whiskey Creek as being a bit fresher and more realistic of the two series.
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