Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Passions Unleashed by Donna Kelli

Publisher:             AuthorHouse

Passions Unleashed is the third installment of the story begun in Hidden Feelings and Unbidden Desires.  Lori Hunter and Julie Conners go to college, different colleges, and there is the problem.  While Lori pursues her scholarship at the state university as a member of the volleyball team, Julie will be attending an art college.  They have to maintain their relationship despite separation and lives that are developing in different directions.  Their emotions will be tested by people who would like to drive them apart and by creeping doubts about if they can trust each other.  Whether or not they truly love each other will be determined by a number of factors.

Kelli uses her books to show the awakening of sexual knowledge in young people and how they cope with their awareness.  The vocabulary and situations are designed to reflect the experiences of young adults.  The first two books were especially adept at this, but this book is a weak link in the series.  A good editor could have turned what is an OK book into one that has an intriguing story.  There are too many scenes in this book that do nothing to enhance the reader's knowledge of the characters or to move the plot forward.  For example, there is a long passage about a camp the volley ball team attends and all of the team building exercises they do, but it doesn't reveal anything that couldn't have been said in a few well chosen paragraphs.  The main characters are also becoming less appealing.  Lori is too out of touch about what is going on around her when it becomes clear that she has a problem with a team mate.  Julie suffers the most in this book.  She's jealous, frivolous and, when called upon to trust Lori, the girl she's supposed to be madly in love with, she totally fails the test.  Some of the situations that occur in the book aren't very plausible either. 

People who have been following the series may want to read Passions Unleashed just to keep up with what is developing with the characters.  The ending seems to hint that there will be another book about these two.  Kelli has proven that she can write an engaging story.  New characters might give her a better chance to demonstrate this instead of returning to characters who seem to be growing stale.

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