"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
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