Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Expiation by Greg Messel

Expiation is a romantic rekindling between high school sweethearts.

Dan was the All-American dream boy in high school.  Great at football, decent grades, popular, had a perfect girlfriend and great friends and family around him.  His plans included graduating high school, attending Berkley in San Francisco studying Journalism, working an internship for the Chronicle and marrying the girl of his dreams.

Katie was the All-American dream girl in high school.  She was a friendly, beautiful cheerleader and girlfriend to Dan.  She was going to go to school for a year in Seattle and join Dan after he got situated in San Francisco where they planned to build their future together.

However, the course that life flows had other plans and the two drift apart and marry other people and lead their lives separately.  On the day that Dan's mother dies, the two meet again after 30 years.  The sparks fly and the two try to determine what path their future shall take.  Will their love be rekindled so that the two can spend the rest of their lives together?  Or will the fates continue to keep them and their love apart?

I didn't mind this read.  I liked Katie and enjoyed reading about her.  She was personable, likeable and determined.  I wasn't as impressed with Dan however.  After leaving her with many promises, in which he continuously broke, he walks back into Katie's life with arrogance.  I didn't like how he spoke to her upon their first initial meeting.  He hasn't seen the woman in over thirty years and proceeds to oogle and salvitate over her.  It would make me uncomfortable to have a man talk to me in such a manner, especially one who left me without any explanations and a load of heartache.

I did like how Dan remembers the memory of his deceased wife, Wendy.  Even though he has always loved Katie, his memories and heartache are real and I was pleased to see this.  I also liked the interactions between Dan and his daughter, Vickie.

I felt that the dialogue was a bit cliched and would've enjoyed seeing something new and fresh in the handling of Dan and Katie's reunion.  I also thought having them meet again after 30 years at Dan's mothers funeral to be a bit tacky.

I liked the background history of events that occurred, such as the WTO protest that broke out in Seattle in the late 1990's or the Zodiac Killer which plagued San Fran in the 70's.  I equally enjoyed reading about the Y2K scare that folks were going through at the time of the books setting.  I never felt that Y2K would amount to anything and to see the panic mongers as they were written was comical to me.  I remember the talk at the time and many of the things shared were quite similar.

I found that the read was easy and the flow was great.  The editorial issues were infrequent and didn't hinder the read in any way.  If you are a romance reader and especially enjoy those stories about long lost loves, then this book will be enjoyable for all who read such. 

In 1968, Dan and Katie are one of the hottest couples at Ballard High School in Seattle. He is the hero football player, and she is the beautiful cheerleader. These high school sweethearts believe theirs is a love that will never die.

Life changes when Dan leaves Washington to start college at the University of California Berkeley and pursue his dream of working for a big time newspaper in the glamorous city of San Francisco. The quest for his dream occurs against the turbulent background of Berkeley and San Francisco in the 1970s as Dan and Katie go their separate ways.

Now, thirty years later, Dan is back in his hometown of Seattle attending his mother's funeral. He's never stopped thinking about Katie, his long-lost love. But the two former high school sweethearts reconnect in a most unexpected way as the rest of the world grows more fearful of Y2K and the dawn of the twenty-first century. They are hoping that their love, once lost, can now be reclaimed.

** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by I see it~!! **