Ticket to Love

 
Secrets of a Good Girl
by Jen Safrey
(Silh. Sp. Ed. #1719, $4.99, PG) ISBN 0373-24719-2
***
Another entry into the “Most Likely To” series gets us that much closer to discovering the secrets of and the final resolution of the University’s attempt to get rid of Professor Gilbert Harrison. In Secrets of a Good Girl, a student and a former professor who were in love and who have been estranged for ten years try to help him.

Eric Barnes was a young professor and very idealistic. When his friend from home, Cassidy Maxwell, came to Saunders University as a freshman, they agreed to just be friends and maintain an ethical distance, despite feelings that they thought meant they were to marry and live happily ever after. They made a deal to meet on Cassidy’s graduation day to begin their new life. But while Eric waited, Cassidy hopped on an airplane and began a new life as an assistant at the US Embassy in London, England.

Eric never forgot her, and in fact, struggled to recover from his heartbreak. He soon became a well-known political consultant. When he finds out the trouble Professor Harrison is in, he agrees to find Cassidy, despite his personal pain. He tracks her to London.

Cassidy is a successful executive assistant to the Ambassador, who is in the midst of a possible peace plan in Northern Ireland. She is basically a hermit in her personal life, having never forgiven herself for the horrible events that occurred in her senior year of college. She still loved Eric, but couldn’t bear for him to know her secrets; her own and one she discovered about Professor Harrison, who she worked for.

When Eric shows up, her world is suddenly thrown into turmoil. She has to learn about herself and she has to forgive herself. Eric must figure out how to forgive her while protecting his heart from being vulnerable again. And he must convince Cassidy to come to Saunders to help the professor. His ability to assist the ambassador gives him reason to stay long enough to do so.

This tale is a tad unbelievable. It requires the acceptance that two people could grow up as neighbors and then spend four years of college hiding their love from the world. It then requires the reader to believe that both people have held onto that love for 10 years, even though one of the parties skipped town with nary a word. And one has to believe that an intelligent and otherwise savvy woman would allow her life to be ruined without a fight.

Eric is a good hero, other than the undying love he holds onto for way too long. He is ultimately kind and gentle. He is also intelligent. But all his good factors are overshadowed a bit. Cassidy is more of an uneven heroine. She is smart and energetic, but again, her secret has overshadowed her for more than ten years and she has allowed it to rule her life.

The story fits in with the whole reunion mode. When the pair returns to Saunders, they meet characters from the previous books, but it does stand on its own. The saga of Professor Harrison continues and there is a definite set-up for the final book in the series where all will be revealed.

If you have been reading this series, Secrets of a Good Girl will not disappoint. For those of us less interested in the series thread, it is an average romance but not more.

--Shirley Lyons


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