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The Promise of Change
Sarah likes her life organized, compartmentalized and adheres to a perfectly created daily schedule. Married and divorced, hoping to seek her father’s approval every step of the way she can’t seem to divorce herself from analyzing and scrutinizing her decisions and life every step of the way. When offered a great promotion at work she had to think and rethink over the offer before agreeing to an interview. Sarah hates change. But, with change sometimes-great things happen and with rigidity and the same old same old come boredom, complacency and no real challenges that life affords you. When Sarah finally appears in front of the committee for the interview although her performance is sterling she does not get the job. Wanting someone with litigation experience to handle the more difficult areas of the law firm they hire a barracuda and Sarah’s own nemesis from law school, which turns out to anything but wonderful for those in the company. Patricia seems on the outside to have it all together but in reality the only way she makes her mark is by destroying the confidence and self-esteem of others. Becca is Sarah’s sister and Ann her best friend are there every step of the way to guide and support her decisions. When going out with them she was approached by a young man to go for a drink but refused. Her not wanting to date strangers is really not a bad rule. However, she was reluctant to give anyone a real chance after her divorce and her desire to win her father’s approval hanging over her head at all times.
A trip to England and the classes she was taking would change everything. Bored with her life and quitting her job when an ultimatum forced her to make a snap decision, she enters an entire new world in England. Sitting in class she is invited to tea by what one might call the Matriarch of Oxford whose real motive has yet to come out. Uniformity, consistency and no changes are what Sarah is about. Offered a job as an assistant literary agent and hoping to have her first novel published seems to be not what she wants and put on the back burner. Lady Clara appears to have her own agenda for Sarah. Enter Alex Fraser into the pub where she was with several of her classmates. Not realizing who he was or his title Sarah does what would do in America refuse to date a stranger or even have a drink with him. Little did she know he would reenter her life, as he is the Earl of Rutherford and Lady Clara’s grandson? As the relationship blooms she learns more about Alex and soon comes face to face with his brother Robert whose opinion of Alex is anything but sterling. Alex is an actor by profession and although he cares about Sarah his duties to his family and the tabloids stalking him overtake what could be a great relationship. Learning Alex was dating the Prime Minister’s daughter, seeing pictures of her ex-husband in the paper and learning about his impending marriage and honeymoon on a yacht seemed to shake Sarah’s inner core. Despite her friendship with Lady Clara and Alex’s definitely honest affection for her the brief encounter with his brother, the rudeness that ensues and the end result sends her back to the states and back to square one. Not only does she lose Alex but also now she still has to decide on a job. After a whirlwind courtship, plays, dinners and much more Sarah feels deflated even with the support of her sister and her best friend Ann. Trying to find his place as an actor and not looked at only as the Earl of Rutherford, he learns more than he wants when his brother insists he give up his career to tend to family business and concern about the estate. Learning about Emma, his mother, her yen for travel and how she handles being a countess, give Sarah much pause for thought. Change is not something she can readily handle and surprises, although he gave her many were at times not really welcome. Reality sets back in and she returns to the states and one year later she finds herself with Alex back in her life.
Sarah finally learns the truth behind her father’s actions and what is more important is his definition of what he hopes and wants for her. Sometimes semantics or just one word can change everything. Parents need to communicate their thoughts in a way that is understood as Sarah learns that she no longer has to vie for her father’s approval she always had it. When Sarah faces a major change in her life as she is offered the job that she was turned down for. What happened to Patricia was you have to read it for yourself as sometimes what goes around definitely comes around and in this case she definitely got just about what she deserved and hopefully more. But, Sarah decides to finally take a different route and polish that manuscript and hope for the best. When she learns that not only is the novel being published but made into a movie she leaves for England and is thrilled to reunite with Lady Clara. But, when casting the movies she is surprised as to the actor playing the lead. Will she allow herself to deal with Alex? How will she feel when she sees him again? Walking into an elegant Georgian townhouse along with director Michael Williams she meets Alex. Meeting with him and the lead actress difficult and yet cause for a “flash of distain” from Alex. Why? His actions were so distant and angry? What was the reason? Reason: One director and his jealousy. The rest still remains to be seen as misunderstandings and misconceptions seem to go a long way in this novel. Learning more about the director and handling his advances in a professional light, did not help how Alex reacted to her or her to him. But, when a scene goes wrong and she interjects her opinion upon his request what happens next will definitely change the complexion of their fragile relationship and hopefully spark some mutual interest.
Sarah finally realizes that change might not be a bad way to go and explains her feeling to Alex but what comes next is surprising even to her as she learns more about her inner most thoughts observing the lead actress and Alex. But, there were many similarities and definite parallels between the relationship of the leads in the movie and their real life relationship. Just what they were and how they would play out in their real life still has many more scenes to go. Watching the ones between Amelia and Christian did not do much for Sarah, as she felt tense and uneasy watching them act. But, what happens next will enlighten the reader to perhaps the final scene in his or her own special movie. But, the leading lady would produce a special scene and script of her own. What would Sarah’s next move be when she learns the truth behind how and why the movie was being produced and made? Would she do what she normally does? Run or would she listen and realize the truth? As Sarah decides to take ride in the tube something happens and her life is in jeopardy and the reunion in the hospital might change it all as an accident caused by an explosion would bring more than the flames to light. The tabloids enjoy writing about Alex but when it includes them both things need to change and will the person causing the notoriety pay?
A visit from the past brings her perspective back to the present and teaches her that some things never do change and that some men will always be who they are. As Sarah finally have the last word or final say in a scene that was over long before it started. If you want to know who the leading man was in this one you need to read Chapter fourteen in part three of this novel for yourself before the director says the final cut and print. What Alex does will definitely endear you to him and where he winds up and what happens will make you laugh and definitely smile to what lengths some men will go to curb their jealousies. But when the truth behind what Adrian thought comes out you almost wish it wasn’t. Will she embrace change and find a life that will embrace excitement, love and unpredictability or will she decide that the promise of change is not certain and too unpredictable?
Author Rebecca Heflin gives the reader much pause for thought as betrayals come full circle, misunderstandings come to light, promises are broken and others are made proving that The Promise of Change is the promise of excitement, great things to come and what’s more a great novel that promises to keep the reader riveted to the printed page until the final scene is played or in this case written.
Fran Lewis: reviewer