Return Engagement
By Jenn Engstrom
Oct 25, 2003 - 12:27:00 PM

In RETURN ENGAGEMENT, Lynn Michaels brings us a wonderful tale of second chances and new beginnings. Lindsay Varner was a minor star in the Hollywood heavens. Her small glory had peaked when she was a teenager on a popular TV sitcom, “Betwixt And Be Teen”. And then, around 15 years ago, she’d simply winked out of existence – at least out of the Hollywood existence. Lindsay doesn’t miss that life one bit; she has almost everything she could ask for right here in her hometown of Belle Coeur, Missouri. She’s blessed with a bright and handsome teenaged son, owns and runs a successful bookstore with her cousin, and has a mostly-loving family all around her. If she’s lonely, she certainly doesn’t notice it, and her life is just the way she wants it: calm, steady and predictable.

Lindsay’s only trouble is her little sister Jolie. Jolie is bitter and unhappy. All Lindsay wants is to love and help her, but Jolie doesn’t want Lindsay’s help – or love, it seems -- at least until now. Jolie’s enterprise, the quaint local play house, is spiraling toward bankruptcy. So Lindsay’s little sister plans to give it one last try in what she hopes will be a smash hit play, with Lindsay as the star. Unbeknownst to Lindsay, she won’t be the only star, nor will she be the biggest. Jolie’s plan for success includes Lindsay’s washed up, heartthrob, sitcom co-star Noah Patrick. With both of them on the billing, the play is sure to bring in a boatload of obsessive fans.

Noah is more than washed up, he’s washed out, and quite ready to end the life he’s ruined with drinking. Being sober for the last two years hasn’t made life easy, but in the midst of trying miserably to drown himself, he has a change of heart, and a change of fortune. Vivienne Varner, Lindsay’s mother and Noah’s agent from “Betwixt and Be Teen”, and an unlikely savior, shows up out of the blue, telling him she’s washed up too. In order to salvage them both, she offers him a chance to clean up his image with the small town production of her daughter’s play, “Return Engagement.” Sure, it’s too bad he can’t actually remember his old co-star, but any job is a boon right now, and he won’t let a little thing like missing memories stop him from reclaiming his success!

Lynn Michaels’s RETURN ENGAGEMENT is a truly beautiful story of redemption. Noah and Lindsay both have a history that has left them wounded, and while not bitter, they clearly have a lot of healing to do. With amazing sincerity, step-by-step they heal and grow before our eyes. And what a journey it is! Amidst a warm hometown that makes me long for a visit to the fictional Belle Coeur, and among an extended family full of delightful characters and tender love, we see Noah and Lindsay’s spirits blossom independently, even as we watch their romance grow. And at the risk of sounding like an infomercial, that’s not all! The sparks really fly between these two, offering not only the warm love of reclamation, but also the heat of a grand passion—delicious! If you’re looking for a read that will entertain, warm your heart, and knock your socks off, RETURN ENGAGEMENT is the book for you!

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