has also reviewed:

Rendezvous

 
Lost to Love by Bridget Anderson
(Arabesque/BET, $4.99, PG-13) ISBN 1-58314-010-7
***
Bridget Anderson is one of a growing number of African-American romance authors who live and work in the metropolitan Atlanta area. (Others include: Carmen Green, Carla Fredd, Angela Benson, Shirley Harrison, Robin Allen and Gail McFarland.) Her second novel, Rendezvous, and "Imani," her short story in Moonlight and Mistletoe, Arabesque's 1997 holiday anthology have earned her a spot on my Emerging Authors' list. Rendezvous is also among the ten stories selected by Black Entertainment Television, Arabesque/BET Books' parent company, to be a made-for-TV movie for the cable channel.

Lost to Love, Bridget Anderson's third novel is a story of family secrets, sibling rivalry and second chances.

Psychologist Deirdre Stanley-Levine and her daughter, Mia, have returned to her hometown of Brunswick, Georgia. She is living with her parents while she establishes her practice and saves enough money to move out on her own.

When the story begins, Deirdre's office has been vandalized by a person or persons unknown. A clock radio, petty cash and confidential patient records are missing. Deirdre and her assistant suspect teens from the adjacent community center. The office and center are located on prime real estate that figures into the city's urban renewal plans. Anything that happens in the up-and-coming riverfront area is news. Reporter Robert Carmichael is dispatched to do a story about the break-in.

Deirdre and Robert have met before...in high school. He was a member of the in-crowd and she had a huge crush on him. Robert is now attracted to her. He has returned to Brunswick to regroup near his family after the death of his wife in an automobile accident and his descent into the bottle that followed. Robert wants to ask Deirdre out. But once his story appears, it shows her office in an unfavorable light and Robert's attempts to see her socially are rebuffed. When her office is burglarized a second time, it becomes apparent that someone wants to drive her out. What began as simple vandalism rapidly escalates into attacks on Deirdre's female patients. Robert and Deirdre join forces to discover who and why.

Lost to Love features one of the resilient heroines that have become fixtures in Bridget Anderson's work. Deirdre will not be intimidated or bullied. She is determined to find out who is tormenting her so she can move on with her life. In that regard, Deirdre's character is more defined than Robert's. They are both battling demons from their pasts, but the reader is better able to gauge how she deals with hers. The secondary characters, particularly Robert's and Deirdre's parents, offer much needed support. There are enough suspects and possibilities to keep the whodunit fans guessing.

There are a few inconsistencies in the development of a minor and a couple of loose ends within the plot. I was never quite sure how old the villain was. While these flaws make it a very strong three-heart novel, they didn't diminish my overall enjoyment of the story.

--Gwendolyn Osborne


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