Dropping the Ball
by Weston Parker
When I read the blurb for this book, I had strong suspicions as to what the illness was that sidelined Rylee, the lead female character. Pretty quickly into the story it was revealed that I was correct in my suspicion, and she suffers from a disease that I also have – multiple sclerosis. Because it’s such a huge part of my life, I feel that I have to address that part of the story first. Weston Parker handles the subject extremely well. Without slowing down the plot with extreme medical details or explanations, he effectively conveys the frightening nature of MS … the unpredictability, lack of knowledge about the cause, uncertain treatments, different long-term effects it has on different people, and the serious, triggering effect that stress has upon it.
Rylee took a 2-year break from her successful Broadway career, citing exhaustion as the reason and not telling anybody the truth. She is finally ready to make a surprise come back on New Year’s Eve in New York City, but she has been receiving very scary threats from unknown persons. Her manager convinces her to hire a bodyguard, who unbeknown to her turns out to be Carter, somebody from theater small town she grew up in. He was her brother’s best friend all the way through high school graduation, and she had a big crush on him. Somehow, he recognizes her but she doesn’t recognize him at all, although she inexplicably feels drawn to him connected to him. For me, this was the one weak spot in the story – it’s been about a decade since she saw him, how can he be that totally unrecognizable? And even if he was, Carter is a distinctive enough name that it would certainly give her a clue or spark a conversation.
That is a minor detail relatively speaking, in a book that was otherwise really good. The angst being felt by each character was totally understandable and realistic. She believes it is unfair to saddle him with a love interest that has an uncertain physical future. He believes that as a simple guy he is completely unworthy of being with somebody who has her caliber of talent and fame. Both main characters were very likable. The secondary characters were interesting, and I’d even like to know more about a couple of them. The ending was suitably dramatic and capped off with a great HEA. This really was an enjoyable page-turner of a book.