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Suzann “Zann” Redecker is a wounded warrior, disabled by a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan, for which she was awarded the Bronze Star. But the former Marine Captain has no idea how much deeper her wounds will go as the story unfolds.
Marleigh Anderhall works at a local newspaper in the little Vermont town where she lives. When she’s sent to do a story on the returning war hero, Captain Suzann Redeker, she’s instantly smitten and pursues Zann until the two find themselves hopelessly in love.
In spite of Marleigh’s struggles to keep her job at a floundering small town paper and Zann’s difficulties getting a job to bolster her waning self-confidence, these two manage to make a life together. But secrets become a stumbling block and when Zann receives a letter revealing the truth about what happened in Afghanistan on that fateful day, it sends her into a tailspin from which she may never recover. The toll it takes on the relationship between her and Marleigh doesn’t seem like something from which they can recover.
Moment of Weakness begins at what appears to be a tragic end to a once idyllic relationship. However, that’s actually the start of this fascinating tale. Chapter One ends in an unexpected jolt and, with that impetus, we are thrust back to the “real” beginning, when Marleigh and Zann first meet and fall in love. This isn’t just a sweet love story that goes painfully wrong. It’s a whirlwind adventure which whips us around at every turn, utterly astounding us with one surprise revelation after another. And as Zann tries to deal with both her internal turmoil and the external onslaught of events around her, she makes the biggest tactical mistake of her life. She shuts Marleigh out. The action has a dual purpose in Zann’s mind—to protect Marleigh and protect herself. But more and more, it appears her choices are exploding like a misfiring gun.
The story is billed as a romance and it is certainly that. Marleigh and Zann have a certain undeniable charisma together, making it all the more tragic when things start to go wrong in their relationship. However, that’s not all that goes astray in this narrative. Marleigh’s friend and coworker, Bridget, unknowingly brings a drug dealer and his cronies to their doorstep and Zann must use all her training to try to prevent someone from being killed.
MacGregor has written a story that lulls the reader into thinking it will continue along a certain trajectory, then—wham!—we’re thrust in another direction with a startling revelation we never saw coming. Every scene skillfully moves this tale along, adding to the tension. From desperation to longing, anger to disappointment, unconditional love to fear, all those moods and emotions and more are well portrayed. The superb writing, characters, and well-timed plot twists are skillfully done to make for an entertaining and revelatory story.
The novel is infused with fully realized characters. Zann is a strong protagonist, but in the end, Marleigh proves herself even stronger. Best friend, Bridget, is a bit of a misguided, oblivious moll, who brings trouble to the doorstep of all her friends. Veteran soldier, Wes, the man who starts off on the wrong foot with Zann, turns out to be a stalwart friend who comes to her aid when she needs it. The bad guys are truly bad, with just a little bit of bumbling thrown in for good measure. As these characters, and more, march in to formation to unravel a fascinating tale, we’re informed, entertained, and electrified. Moment of Weakness explores the often unexamined tragic aspects of war, the power of true love, and gives the reader a thrill ride that lingers long after the last page has been turned.
Moment of Weakness
By KG MacGregor
Paperback, 9781594935572. 224 pp.