cover image THIS TIME LOVE: A Classic Love Story

THIS TIME LOVE: A Classic Love Story

Elizabeth Lowell, , read by Laural Merlington. . Brilliance Audio, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-58788-264-7

Globe-trotting adventurer and bestselling author Gabe Venture returns to the remote, "unearthly beauty" of New Mexico's Lost River Cave and the memories of the young woman he left there seven years ago, in Lowell's latest, a revisiting of her 1986 romance Sequel. Hardened beyond her 27 years by the untimely death of her parents and the effort of keeping her single motherhood secret from Gabe, cave expert Dr. Joy Smith-Anderson is not worried she'll fall for him again, but she is afraid he'll discover just how much she's come to hate the man who "taught her about love and betrayal." Gabe's writing an article on the cave, which is bound to draw publicity and should help Joy receive a much-needed grant for further exploration. Because of the stakes, the duo repeatedly tries pushing aside their inner turmoil during the reunion for work, highlighting Lowell's strength at expressing subtle emotional shifts in her characters. While the author's well-researched cave information and descriptive passages of natural scenery adapt well to audio translation, the dialogue doesn't fare as well. Lines like "She's in my blood like malaria" are barely palatable in print, but hearing the female narrator's affected, overly gruff rendition makes them truly comical. Listeners may find the otherwise professional recording quality and portrayal of female voices seriously marred by the lack of a second, male reader. Simultaneous release with the Morrow hardcover (Forecasts, Dec. 16, 2002). (Jan.)