MAGICAL REALISM:  Blake Wells, politician and bachelor de jour, takes a holiday in Nassau. Soaking up the sunshine, his gaze lands on Cressida, and he follows the beauty down the beach. Blake ignores the vague warning she gives him. There’s no defeating the call of Cupid’s arrow stuck firmly in Blake’s backside even when odd events begin to happen. 

“Pandora” needs to be wrapped in crime scene tape to protect the innocent. Blake and Cressida have their first date at a quaint restaurant and a fire breaks out. Thus begins the odd events. Blake, Cressida and a business associate are golfing. The associate is struck by lightning. Blake gives him five chest compressions, and the guy wakes up, shakes it off and walks away. Really? A ship sinks while they’re on a cruise. With every incident, Blake jumps into action taking charge and saving the day, but never questions the events. Inconsistencies are littered throughout. Lilly drives up in a cart. A couple sentences later, she’s driving a Jeep. Blake is extremely wealthy, but when a check goes awry from a supporter, his whole campaign might crumble. Plot points are written without reason or rising tension. This, by the way, all occurs within three days. No character depth, no time for the hero to nurture the reason he wants to marry creepy Cressida. Poor sentence structure draws the story down farther, but when an author can’t be bothered to amend the haphazard formatting, the final straw breaks the back of this tale.

“Pandora” has potential. Edit, fill in the outlines, and the hair on a reader’s neck will stand up for all the right reasons.   

Sloane Austen