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Echo Valley
Bo Carmichael thought Echo Valley, New Hampshire, was in her rear view mirror. Circumstances lead her straight back. Now, the one-time aspiring doctor is raising a son she never planned on having and toiling away as a hairdresser to pay the bills. When her boss hands her a plum assignment--preparing the family of a leading presidential candidate for a photo shoot--Bo unwittingly stumbles into a scandalous encounter between the happily-married senator and his exquisite female staffer. She becomes an unacceptable risk. To keep the potential president's dirty little secret under wraps, his loyal operative constructs a web of lies that paint Bo as a street-level criminal. She retreats to the one place that used to make her feel safe--her grandfather's farm tucked away in the Great North Woods. Detective Beckett Brady dissects the odd angles of this case. Guided by a hot-blooded yet inexplicable bond to Bo, he recruits his former mentor to help unravel the hastily hatched operation to keep Bo quiet. As powerful forces close in, Beck joins Bo at the farm, neither of them expecting the furious rush of desire almost as palpable as the danger they face.
Plot/Idea: 6 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.00 out of 10

Assessment:

PLOT: Vaughn sets up a dramatic central conflict that tests the strength and resilience of her protagonist. As Bo falls into an outrageous and cruel circumstance that threatens both her and her child, some plot elements strain plausibility--but are no less gripping.

PROSE: The narrative voice is clear, smart, and swiftly engaging.

ORIGINALITY: The events of the story are highly original and are made more meaningful due to the specific life circumstances and psychological dimension of the main character. 

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: Side characters are unevenly developed and the story's primary antagonist is somewhat overly villainous. The rich and immensely sympathetic protagonist, however, ably carries the narrative.

 


 

Date Submitted: August 03, 2017

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