Eve’s Prescription
by Edwina Martin-Arnold
(Genesis Press, $8.95, PG-13) ISBN 1-58571-049-0
Eve’s Prescription is Edwina Martin-Arnold’s debut novel. It is the story of Seattle prosecutor Eve Garrett.

The novel’s prologue gives us a glimpse of Eve’s darkest moment. Todd and Eve Garrett were beginning a much needed trip together when he fell asleep at the wheel. As the car plunged into a river, Todd frantically awakened Eve and got them out of the car before it sank. Eve was unable to swim, but Todd managed to get her to safety before he died.

Eve’s Prescription begins more than three years later. Eve is a widow raising her teenage son alone. Her social life consists of attending events with her mother and a weekly game of dominoes with her best friend, Ebony, whom Eve notes has a “Cupid complex.” Her latest attempt at matchmaking pairs Eve up with Noah Russell, a firefighter who works with Ebony’s husband.

Although Eve is physically attracted to Noah, she is weary of rumors she has heard about his reputation. The prosecutor has convicted him on the basis of hearsay evidence. Her recollections of the buzz on Noah speak of him in the most condescending terms. There are references to Aretha Franklin’s song “Dr. Feelgood” and his fireman’s hose. The good Eve and the bad Eve war with each other for a plan to deal with her attraction to Noah. The bitchy Eve wins hands down. Even her mother calls her treatment of Noah “uncalled for.” Everyone but Eve seems to know that Noah would be good for what ails her.

But Noah and his ego continue to take a licking. A simple dinner with Eve requires an act of Congress. Noah continues his pursuit of Eve despite the never-ending series of roadblocks she places before him. She just doesn’t want to go out with him. She doesn’t want to be another notch on his bedpost. She is a mother. She is older than he is. Me thinks the lady doth protest too much. Through it all, Noah keeps coming back for more. The chemistry between the two characters is explosive.

Eve Garrett is one of the most annoying heroines I have encountered in quite some time. She clearly is not worthy of Noah. I kept thinking of the many secondary characters in other novels I’d rather see paired with him. At best, Eve is a tease; at worst, Eve is an arrogant woman. (The Grammatik program in Word Perfect chastised me and suggested this change from the five-letter word I had used in place of “an arrogant woman.”) If a hero treated a heroine the way Eve treated Noah, this book would have collided with the wall at regular intervals. I was morbidly fascinated by how much Noah would take before he cut his losses.

It is to the new author’s credit that she could create a character that elicited such a strong reaction. Despite a despicable heroine and a wordy narrative, Eve’s Prescription actually has a lot going for it.

Edwina Martin-Arnold is a good storyteller. We get a feel for the characters’ families and work lives. The author has created an entire cast of memorable secondary characters who provide just the right balance for the main characters. There is subtle humor in the story that I found engaging.

Edwina Martin-Arnold and her debut novel, Eve’s Prescription, definitely got my attention. I am looking forward to her next offering.

--Gwendolyn Osborne

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