Twenty-four-year-old Sophia is at a crossroads in her life in London. “The bright lights, the eccentric people, had all lost their glitter. It was no longer an adventure here, just a very lonely place full of very lonely people.” Sophia counts herself among them. Having just ended a bad six-year marriage, she finds herself sharing a house with a quartet of seemingly unfriendly university students whom she dubs the Fantastic Four.
While she still has her part-time job playing guitar and singing at a bar owned by Rick, a protective father figure, she’s having a hard time making her rent. When a photographer says he’s looking for modeling talent, Sophia jumps at the chance, thinking the exposure could be good for her music career. She’s quickly thrust into the city’s somewhat dark and seamy underbelly, where she meets the handsome and brooding Markus.
Sharon Abel’s Inheritance of Desire is full of twists and turns as Sophia maneuvers through a treacherous world while trying to maintain her “normal” life. The plot moves along at just the right pace for the reader to understand how Sophia’s hesitations at becoming involved in this unfamiliar terrain are overcome by her desire to have new friends, despite the possible dangers.
Sophia is a woman who tries to control her destiny, but she can’t seem to trust her emotions regarding the mysterious Markus: “She wasn’t sure how she felt about him, this gorgeously charismatic man who could be cold and unfeeling. How could one man possess such opposite traits?” She asks herself this after several times witnessing Markus’s threatening behavior toward others despite his usually benevolent attitude toward her.
The year following Sophia’s divorce completely changes her life, and the reader shares her sometimes unbelievable journey with her as she realizes she’s really not lonely or alone after all. A completely unforeseen twist two-thirds of the way into the book intensifies the action and sends the reader combing through previous passages for missed clues. The author even leaves a small opening for a possible sequel.
Sharon Abel lives in Wales, and the text is peppered with British spellings and slang terms, but they are neither a major distraction nor difficult to interpret. What does detract from the account of Sophia’s intriguing adventures are punctuation errors, misspelled words, and instances of incorrect tense.
While the book delves into territory that could be uncomfortable for some readers, those who enjoy a combination of romance, intrigue, mystery, international travel, revenge, and a heroine with a sense of humor will find this book very much to their liking.
Robin Farrell Edmunds
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