An unforgettable story of love, idol worship and overcoming obstacles
In “Unspoken Vows”, author Maisy Menold brings to life a fantasy that every teenage fan of pop bands wish to make reality, and a young woman with a dark past struggling to free herself of the pain that was all too common in the time of wild hair bands, synthetic new wave and pop idols that graced the pages of teen magazines. In the midst of this is a former pop sensation Alex Corwynn who has grown up to a mature and responsible man in the music industry, and he emerges as the “white knight” perfect match for Megan Beal. Rare is the occasion that I invest in soap opera couples, or couples with soap opera qualities, but Alex’s devotion to Megan makes you root for them to be together, praying that they never split up, knowing that loving someone who can teach her to love will be the only way for Megan to heal. Menold succeeds in making the romantic elements of the relationship work as they develop and blossom into solid and secure future, like a flower that takes an entire novel to bloom. Readers of the modernized romance novel will appreciate the connection between Alex and Megan’s relationship and Megan’s trek to overcome the dark shadows – if they can handle the dramatic situations that she gets herself into – while fans of 80’s and perhaps 90’s music will be interested in the elements of Alex’s music career and how he handles himself as both music mogul and famous figure in AIDS advocacy. In the writing process, Menold succeeds in combining these two elements to create two believable main characters and the obstacles that face them.
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There are a few issues with wording and paragraph structure and repetition. I’ve noticed a couple of instances where one paragraph is broken up by an incomplete sentence or word, and the next paragraph begins with the rest of the sentence. Also, by “repetition,” I talk about the fact that the author has managed to write two chapters in one, then repeated the action in the second chapter in the very next chapter. This may be nothing, but it can be a bit of a turn-off to readers in a published book. As well, there are some issues with punctuation (I’ve certainly noticed some places where commas can be helpful,) but these are all things that can be fixed with some professional and eagle-eyed editing. Nevertheless, these issues did little to distract me from an investing and interesting plot. As well, there were some scenes where conversation is exchanged and all we see are quotes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the reader just may get either bored or confused about who is saying what, especially if readers aren’t into the trading of small talk back and forth. I would suggest adding a “beat” of action from the speaker where appropriate either before or after the quote, so the reader can at least keep track of who’s speaking. However, if the readers can overcome this, the results are an unforgettable tale of falling in love with someone you’ve idolized for many years while facing and overcoming challenges and demons with support and love. A brilliant story, and I look forward to what else the Heartbeat series has in store.