Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Kiss Before Dawn by Laurie Salzler

Publisher:      Blue Feather Books

A Kiss Before Dawn is a romance and a story about horses, two things almost sure to appeal to many people.
Chris Martel works very hard to make her horse breeding business successful.  She devotes her time to her horses, her dogs and her eighty-one year old neighbor, Frances Cook, the only real friend Chris has.  Occasionally she visits a lesbian bar to pick up a woman, but she prefers to be alone and doesn’t make commitments.  Chris isn’t impressed the first time she meets new vet Mary Jo Cavanaugh because Mary Jo is over confident and handles a situation with a horse badly.  Things begin on a rough note, but, with Frances acting as a matchmaker, the women become friends and discover that they have a number of common interests.  A romance grows between them and when a woman from the past tries to wreck vengeance on Chris, it clarifies for the women what they mean to each other.

A Kiss Before Dawn is a standard romance.  The characters are set up, tension arises between them and then it’s resolved.  The two major characters are well defined and there is a lot of information about horses, maybe too much as the plot drags in places.  The flaw in the book is in the pacing.  It meanders along as the relationship develops and covers a lot of information that doesn’t obstruct the plot, but really isn’t necessary.  It might be argued that this is because Chris is slow to trust anyone, but the primary reason seems to be that it adds length to the story.  Then when the crisis arises it appears out of nowhere.  There’s practically no set up and it concludes quickly.  The situation doesn’t ring true and it appears to be there simply to add a stressor to the story.

Anyone looking for a decent story to read and something to pass the time will find this book suits both purposes.  It’s a good example of a first novel and shows enough promise to give the author a try when another book comes out.

Review by Lynne Pierce 


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