When Tomorrow Comes, by Regan Forest

>> Monday, September 13, 2004

Yet another book I have no idea why I bought? Maybe for the childless angle? When Tomorrow Comes is my first book by Regan Forest.

The whole town was curious about Kyle Sanders. It was odd for a stranger to settle in Rosewood, and the handsome architect had even bought land. Margie Donovan's land, to be precise, which made them neighbors. Close neighbors...

Despite the gossip, Margie welcomed Kyle. As an auctioneer she appreciated his expertise in designing the new sales barn. As a woman she appreciates.. other qualities. And then they had so much in common... including the man who wanted to expose their scandalous pasts.

When Tomorrow Comes wasn't badly written, it was actually quite original and its characters were likeable. However, too many things about it bothered me for me to actually like it. My grade: a C-.

As I said, the plot was original. It's not really a spoiler to reveal that Kyle's wife disappeared 5 years before the beginning of the story, and since then, he's being harassed by an investigator from the insurance company, Wayne Brockmeier, who's trying to either pin her murder on him or to prove that she's not actually dead and Kyle conspired with her to disappear in order to get the insurance. My problem with this were both Kyle and Brockmeier's actions. The investigator was waaaay too overzealous for someone just doing his job. I don't buy his actions unless there was something personal there going on, or the guy was mentally unbalanced. And I also don't buy that Kyle would let things go so far with this, to allow this guy to harass him this way without throwing in some legal impediments.

Maggie also has secrets in her past, and these secrets really, really dated the book. In fact, they felt too old-fashioned for a book written in 1988! I detested the scene in which everyone in town found out. You'd think it was the 19th century, after how these people reacted to the news that someone had a child out of wedlock once upon a time! And BTW, the actual secret, the part about her aristocratic French lover, and his long-standing betrothal and so on felt incredibly naive and stereotypical. Even the guy's name didn't ring true.

The ending of the story lowered my grade quite a bit. There was the part about Maggie's secret, and the whole feeling of injustice I ended up with, all those people acting so badly, just because they were mean, apparently, and not getting what they deserved. Or maybe we're supposed to think they got what was coming to them later on, after the book was over, but that just wasn't satisfying. I wanted to see them pay!

I also had some problems with the writing. The dialogue felt unnatural to me, and the author added some funny scenes with a pig that didn't work at all. I mean, the actual scenes about the pig's antics were really funny, and the pig himself was adorable, but instead of providing a welcome respite from the tension, as I guess was intended, all they did was contrast badly with the rest of the story and feel out of place.

Add to this a lackluster romance, between two very nice people but people who had zero chemistry between them, and this was a very weak book.


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