Saturday, May 26, 2012

Waiting in the Wings by Melissa Brayden

Publisher:       Bold Strokes Books

Jenna McGovern receives the best graduation present possible.  No sooner does she finish college than she is cast in a famous touring Broadway show starring television star Adrienne Kenyon.  When Jenna and Adrienne become lovers everything seems to be going in the right direction; then Jenna receives an offer she can't refuse, but it costs her Adrienne.  Years later they meet again when they are cast in the same movie.  They slowly learn to reestablish their trust in each other and begin to consider giving their relationship another chance; then Jenna gets another offer, the best of her career.  What will she decide this time?

Waiting in the Wings is Melissa Brayden's debut novel and she demonstrates that she has mastered the requirements for a romance.  She has a well developed story and two appealing central characters.  She also manages to include gentle love scenes without verging into erotica.  The reader will like both Jenna and Adrienne, which might explain one of the flaws in the book.  Some passages are confusing because Brayden appears to be saying that Jenna is responsible for the course of the story, then she switches to Adrienne being the one at fault.  It's also misleading when one moment Adrienne appears to be totally involved in the relationship, then Brayden indicates that she isn't.  It's difficult to tell whether this is due to Brayden's inexperience as a writer or because she couldn't make up her mind.

Actually, I was expecting more from this book because of other reviews and the fact that it's a finalist for an award as a debut novel.  I thought the story would be stronger and show more ingenuity.  That is one of the pitfalls of reading comments before the book is read and establishing expectations.  What I discovered was an entertaining, but ordinary story.  It's fine reading for entertainment, which is all it really needs to be.  A reader looking for something fresh or different will need to look elsewhere though.

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