Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stranded by Blayne Cooper

Publisher:              Spinsters Ink

Rachel Michaels has a very successful morning radio talk show with her ex-husband, but she's not satisfied with the job.  Taking a job as the broadcaster for Denver's new professional women's soccer team seems like a good idea until she's told she has to fly to Venezuela to do a story on the hot new recruit Miranda Gutierrez.  Her traveling companion will be Nora Butler, the team assistant director, and Rachel is sure Nora has a personal relationship with the team's owner.  Things go well meeting Miranda and her family until the three women discover plans have been made for them to go to a remote area for a bonding experience.  On the way there an accident leaves them stranded in the jungle and no one knows where they are.  Rachel, Nora and Miranda learn to depend on each other as they trek through the jungle and fight for their lives.  Rachel also discovers she has feelings for Nora who seems to blow hot and cold towards her.  Fighting to survive and fighting to understand Nora make for very stressful days for Rachel.

Stranded is an adventure story that keeps the tension high and the danger ever present.  When Nora falls sick on their trip through the jungle, the reader can sense the concern the other women have for her safety.  The romance between Rachel and Nora is entertaining, but it's the beauty of the Venezuelan wilderness that really stars in this book.  The personality clashes are interesting to observe, especially as Miranda changes from a rather self-centered teenager to someone who realizes she has to respond to the needs of others.  The reader will sense that she's going to be an even better soccer player because of what she has experienced with these two women.  The drama comes out of Rachel and Nora trying to figure out exactly what their relationship is going to be and that's not resolved until the very end of the book.

Blayne Cooper has written several books and shows her experience in crafting this story.  She develops the characters gradually and leaves enough surprises to keep the reader wondering what is going to happen.  The dialogue is handled well and balanced with the narrative sections.  Cooper tells an engaging story and keeps the reader turning the pages.  You can't ask for anything better in a book.

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