Irene Estep






Awe-Struck E-Books, May 2007
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood

Romantic Suspense

Kate is horrified to find her friendís fiancť Carlton flirting like crazy with her. Jordan is horrified to find his friendís fiancťe Louise flirting like crazy with him. But neither of them can clear their heads enough to either resist temptation or pierce the fog of mistaken identities.

While Kate and Jordan are sorting out who each of them is, someone else is trying to kill Jordan. Does it have to do with the modern shopping mall that Jordanís family is building in Kateís small, aging community? Or is it more personal? There have been a number of seriously unpleasant people in Jordanís past. Meanwhile, unpleasant people from Kateís past have reemerged to make her life as uncomfortable as possible, too.

Kate and Jordan arenít stupid, they just act that way. Kate has the soul of a doormat; she is ready to assume the worst at every turn. Less believably, Jordan is a confident young rising star of his fatherís company. Someone with Jordanís past would more likely be an emotional basket case. His vice is sacrifice. The one truly appealing characteristic they both have, if you donít count their passion-fueled devotion, is that they both love animals. Once they are free to have pets, they want to adopt every animal they see.

Unfortunately, some romance authors and publishers have the idea that itís ok to write really dumb people. Sometimes that is the only way to create conflict, but it's not an excusable tactic, to my mind. If the plot needs stupidity to create misunderstandings, it isn't good enough to write. On the other hand, I suppose the "comedy of errors" that Kate and Jordan go through could have been meant to be funny. I remember snorting a laugh once.

In sorting through Jordanís memories, author Irene Estep tells a story that sounds like there was another novel before this one. When I went looking for it, sure enough, there it is, PROMISES PROMISES, on Awe-Struckís website. If you are going to be reading PROMISES PROMISES, be sure you do it before reading SUNSET PROMISE; otherwise you will get a summary of the whole story, spoilers and all.

You could read SUNSET PROMISE for the passion, which is hot. You could even read it for the story, if you arenít demanding. But donít read it if you want to be able to believe in or respect your main characters.

Jan 2007


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