By: L.D. Critchton
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication Date: March 2017
Reviewed by: Diana Buss
Review Date: March 23, 2017
As her Volkswagen Beetle breaks down, we find Emma Fletcher back in her hometown of Stonefall - the place she spent her entire life trying to get away from. After growing up with an alcoholic mother and a past she would rather not remember, she returns only out of necessity - it's the only place she could go. After years of not returning home and every intention of leaving as soon as she can, an old childhood friend rides up on his motorcycle. Desperate to not be remembered, she pretends she does not know him and hesitates when he offers to send for a tow truck. Not only can she not afford it, but she knows it will be Tristan behind the wheel, Mateo’s best friend and by far the best looking man in their small town. Emma, too tired to argue anymore, finally relents and Mateo calls Tristan, telling him to hurry as it’s going to rain and he can’t leave a beautiful girl in the rain. Within ten minutes, Tristan arrives and sees Emma, and upon seeing her, old childhood memories of her flood back into his mind. If he thought the reunion was going to be a warm one, he was sadly mistaken, as she is carrying a secret far darker than he could have ever imagined.
Upon arriving at her mother’s house, she finds that her mother may have stopped drinking, much to her surprise, but Emma refuses to get her hopes up, as she has had them broken before. Not long after settling in, Emma's best friend, Marley drops in. Surprised to see her but not surprised Mateo told Marley she was home, Emma comes up with the excuse that she needed to take some time to settle in, and that she’s sorry she didn’t tell her she was coming home. There has been a lot she hasn’t told Marley, and she certainly doesn’t intend to now. After avoiding Marley and Stonefall for three years, when Marley asks her to go to a party with her, Emma is reluctant, but her guilt drives her to go. Mateo and Tristan are there, and Tristan is just as reluctant as Emma to be there. Tristan and Emma end up spending time there together, and this is when Tristan gets the first glimpse that something terrible has happened to Emma, and he wants to help her in any way he can - even though he has deep-rooted problems of his own past to deal with. Both not ready for a relationship or love, they come to find it and together, work through their past problems and tragedies in order to overcome and slay their own dragons, learning that the past can be let go and the present can be better than ever before.
Not only is The Enchantment of Emma Fletcher completely suspenseful and captivating, but it will leave you needing a second volume. This is the type of book that you could easily read a little at a time, but you will dread putting it down. Not only is it well-written and descriptive, but it also deals with all too relevant issues in a manner that is taken seriously and gives the reader hope for the future. The way the internal conflicts were handled and tied in with the other characters and the rest of the story was clearly and easily understood, while not sacrificing the serious material. The lessons that were taught in The Enchantment of Emma Fletcher were deep and thought-provoking, not preachy and cliche. It was refreshing to read a book with this subject matter and not feel awkward or as though it was too lightly discussed. It was taken as seriously as it should have been without going overboard and left you with the feeling that no matter what you have been through, no matter how it altered your life, you have the power to slay your dragons and control your future. This was a beautifully tied-together love story where the female conquered her demons thanks to taking control of her own story, not the man saving the damsel.
Quill says: The Enchantment of Emma Fletcher is a book you will want to spend the entire day devouring, as it’s impossible to put down.