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REVIEW

"an ambitious and intriguing story about love and second chances"

Gale Sinclair is a marriage counselor who has fallen for Zoelle Sutherland, the woman who came to him seeking help to get her marriage back on track. Zoelle loves her husband and wants to make the marriage work, but her quick wit and tall athletic body have Gale constantly dreaming of claiming her for himself. As much as he wants her, Gale remains determined to keep their relationship strictly professional -- at least that was the plan until he caved in to his desires and kissed Zoelle at the end of their last session.

Zoelle Sutherland has tried her best but realizes her marriage is over. Her husband, Laurent Crews is every woman's dream. Handsome, strong, and successful -- if only she could add "loving" to that list. As a powerful Real Estate tycoon, Laurent demands perfection from everyone around him. His dominating nature serves him well in business, but Zoelle is tired of living by his strict code of conduct and always falling short of his expectations. She has a successful interior design firm and can support herself. The time has come to divorce him and move on.

Zoelle and Laurent's relationship problems eventually come to a head. An argument ensues and Laurent becomes uncontrollably violent. Desperate for help, Zoelle calls Gale in a panic and he rushes out in a terrible storm to get to her. In his haste, Gale loses control of his vehicle and dies in a fatal accident. When Gale regains awareness, Zoelle is staring down at him with a worried frown. He discovers that he has been dead for 3 months; however by some bizarre cosmic happenstance his spirit now resides in the body of Laurent Crews...and someone has just tried to murder him.

Fate has granted Gale a unique opportunity and he intends to take full advantage of it. Gale suspects that Laurent wasn't the monster he appeared to be, but clearing his name won't be easy. There is a killer at large and he has to find a way to reconcile with a wife and step-son whom Laurent has hurt repeatedly over the years. Before he can come clean with Zoelle about his reincarnation, Gale must learn more about the man whose body he now possesses. But first, Gale must figure out who stands to gain the most from murdering Laurent and he has to do it before someone tries to kill him again.

Zoelle senses a change in her "husband" ever since she found him unconscious in his office, but past disappointments warn her that he may just be up to his old tricks again. Still, there's no mistaking his new relaxed demeanor and the tender caresses he now gives so freely. If she didn't know better, she'd swear he was someone else entirely. Someone Zoelle once knew and missed dearly. Someone who died tragically months ago, leaving her with crippling guilt and grief. Can a man change overnight? And is this version of Laurent here to stay? Zoelle ponders these questions as she learns of the greed, violence, and deception that surround their lives. Zoelle doesn't know who to trust and everything she cherishes is at stake. And with Laurent back in her life, Zoelle may have once again fallen for the enemy.

ETERNAL DESIGNS is an ambitious and intriguing story about second chances and being true to oneself. It is appropriate that the hero of this tale is a therapist, as much of this novel explores ideas of what drives the actions of others and how our experiences shape who we are. Gale and Zoelle are likeable and authentic as they struggle with their issues; Laurent comes through as a complex and troubled man. McKeever packs a lot of characters (and a few red herrings) into this novel, which lead to some confusion towards the end. I must admit that the motive for murder left me a bit puzzled and unconvinced, but for me the romance compensates for the chaotic ending. For readers who enjoy stories about lost love, love found and second chances, ETERNAL DESIGNS may be worth a try.

Reviewed by Sonya Harrison
Posted February 18, 2009

SUMMARY

Gale Sinclair is a marriage counselor who has broken the cardinal rule of psychotherapy and fallen in love with his client, Zoelle Sutherland.

One evening, Zoelle calls Gale in desperation after her estranged husband, Laurent, goes ballistic. Rushing out into a pouring rain to get to her, Gale is killed in a head-on collision on the expressway.

Zoelle is a successful interior designer whose firm is threatened by a takeover bid from none other than her husband, ambitious realty tycoon, Laurent Crews. Divorce is a viable consideration since their separation, certainly not murder. But when Zoelle stumbles upon her estranged husband in a pool of blood in his office after he's stood her up for a meeting, she realizes someone else doesn't feel the same.

When Gale wakes up in alien surroundings, returning to life in Laurent's body, Gale realizes that death has given him a chance--to love Zoelle.

Sensuality Rating: SCORCHING
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Paranormal
Interracial/Reincarnation/Suspense

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Eternal Designs
by Gracie C. McKeever

Siren Publishing
July 1, 2007
Available: July 1, 2007
ISBN #1933563397
EAN #9781933563398
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Other Books by
Gracie C. McKeever

Bouncer's Folly
Rapture, Vol. 1
Emilia's Emancipation
Ingenue's Choice
The Wolf in the Mansion
Zack and the Dark Shaft
The Matchmaker
Between Darkness and Daylight
Nine Inches of Snow and the Ebony Princess
Between Darkness and Daylight
In Plain Sight
Desert Dreams
Flames Past
New Life Incognita
Desert Dreams


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