Only A Fool's Game
Grade : F

What do you when you’re reading a pretty average book when the hero has a sudden personality transplant and becomes a jerk? Normally I’d give up on the book, unfortunately I had to keep reading this one in order to review it. 

Terry Hart has her reasons for disliking all members of Her Majesty’s Canadian Navy. When she was 17 Terry met and fell in love with a sailor who talked her into bed and then sailed out of Halifax, leaving Terry alone and pregnant.

Now Terry is older and wiser, or so she thinks. While jogging with her daughter Alison, Terry is knocked over by a guy playing football. Mitchell Holding, a lieutenant in the navy stationed in Halifax, feels guilty for hurting Terry and takes her home. He is immediately attracted to her and slowly works his way into her heart and her life. He takes her for picnics at the beach and gives her books (which she prefers to flowers). He becomes best friends with her brother and her daughter.

Everything goes swimmingly until Mitchell receives devastating news about his family. After a trip to Quebec, he changes. When tragedy strikes Terry’s life, Mitchell treats her like dirt and takes a hike. Once again Terry learns sailors aren’t to be trusted with her heart. Or has she?

Personally, I thought the most disturbing part of this book was not so much Mitchell’s sudden change and his treatment of Terry when she needed him most, but how her family doesn’t blink an eye at his behavior. In fact they bend over backwards to get them back together. They seem to feel sorry for Mitchell when Terry does not jump back into his arms immediately upon his return. Sure he’s contrite, but I felt some serious groveling was called for if Mitchell ever hoped to redeem himself. He knew how Terry had been hurt in the past, but his own feelings always seemed to come first.

Other problems I had with this book was the fact characters seemed to vanish. A former student of Terry’s appears to be stalking her. He pops in for one page and then disappears. A woman who has apparently been pursuing Mitchell relentlessly shows up for one scene to make Terry jealous and is never heard from again. Then there are Mitchell and Terry’s good friends Claude and Holly who play a major role in their getting together. Apparently Ms. Fevens had Claude and Holly elope to the Yukon or something while the leads visit Quebec, because they cease to exist in the book.

Nearly as bad as the sudden disappearances of characters were other characters that show up out of the blue. Like the aforementioned student and mystery woman, there is Mitchell’s half-brother/cousin David. This character is mentioned only once during the trip to Quebec and then shows up at the very end, for no apparent reason other than allowing Mitchell to drop the bombshell about who is cousin really is.

This story needed to be longer; it was choppy, and with characters popping in and out all the time, it felt as though something was left out. Like perhaps the explanation for Mitchell’s strange behavior two thirds of the way through the book.

At nearly $9 and at the length of an average series romance, I can think of nothing at all to recommend searching out this book from its tiny Canadian publisher. Spend your money instead on one really good single title or two series titles.

Reviewed by Jennifer Schendel

Grade: F

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : January 12, 2001

Publication Date: 2000

Review Tags: Canada Maritime Canada

Recent Comments …

  1. Personal impression is subjective. What works for one person doesn’t always work for others, as we all know. However, when…

  2. I appreciate your comments, I find their tone completely in line with the tone of the review itself, not an…

Jennifer Schendel

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