Title: Irresistable Challenge
Author: Trish McGill
Published in July 2006 by Wings e-Press
There is nothing like an unwelcome surprise to start the day, and that is exactly what Amethyst Morgan received on a morning ride. Andrew Bowen was the love of her life, but things would never work for them. He had rebuffed her once, and when he moved away, Amy didn't think she would ever see him, at least not permanently in Yewbank. When she almost literally bumped into him on her morning bike ride, her heart almost lodged in her throat. She always had a thing for Andrew, but everyone in town expects her to marry his brother Tony. Andrew had moved on, and her childish declaration of love had meant no more to him than his move away from Yewbank. Now with Andrew's return, Amy is suspicious of him and of his motives. She is determined to keep her distance, but her friendship with Tony and the football team might make that a bit difficult. Amy is a big fan, and is pulled even harder when she learns that Andrew is being prodded to be a player/coach for the Yewbank team. She is not sure how the town expects to keep a man like Andrew there because one with his wealth and fame has a life much more glamorous than the small town can offer, and she knows he will soon be heading back to his life in the big city.
To say she is biased may certainly be true, for his rejection had hurt worse than he would ever know. It was one of the main reasons she didn't like him, or trust him. That of course, led to another conundrum. How could she not like and trust someone she loved? Well, that is totally silly, for she can't possibly love Andrew anymore. It was totally a child's infatuation, a crush, and means nothing in the whole scheme of things. Besides, Andrew bought the mansion they had loved as children. It is rumored he has a wife in mind, and she will be moving in there with him as soon as the renovations are complete, and they are married. Amy wishes him the best, but his actions still confound her. She has learned things about Andrew and his apparent motives she doesn't understand, and they only fuel her suspicions and her distrust more. She is truly convinced Andrew is neither the savior needed nor the man the town thinks he is, and she hopes they don't get their hopes up too high. Amy knows Andrew won't stay. House or no house, he will never stay in their small backwater town since having a taste of the big city life. He and his high-powered wife to be will never stay in Yewbank, and so she is determined to put him out of her life forever.
Andrew Bowen has come home. He has tired of the city's rat race, the life is just not satisfying. Injury kept him from the pro career he might have had in football, but he found his head for business and his education a better bet in the ling run. Yes, it has made him wealthy, but wealth can't buy happiness, and that is what he is looking for now. He has always gotten everything he wants. The truth is some would like to think him a spoiled rich boy, but he has worked hard to get where he is, and will work just as hard to maintain the place he has carved out for himself. There are, however, some things he has found he cannot do without, and one of those things is a person. Amethyst Morgan is special to him, and he is afraid he hurt her beyond repair when, as a brash youth of seventeen, he rejected her as being a child. Oh it was very true at the time, and yet there wasn't anyone around to give him advice on how to handle the situation. Being orphaned, he and his brother Tony were brought up by a maiden aunt who spoiled them outrageously. She never left them in doubt they were loved, but she had no idea of how to council them, or how to guide them when it came to their relationships. He has grown quite a bit since then, and with that maturity came the realization city life was not for him.
The only desire he had was to go home, and home was Yewbank, home was Amy. But when he returned, he found a hard-eyed skeptic, a girl full of suspicions and distrust when it came to him. He feared she was marrying his brother for vengeance against him. He was quickly called to task on the notion by Amy's politely informing him Tony never asked her to marry him, and even if he did, it was none of Andrew's business. He left their lives, and never looked back so he has no right or say in how they live, or the decisions they make. In a way he couldn't blame Amy because he did leave, and he didn't come home very often, but that did not give her cause to put down his honest attempts of friendship. She was stubborn as a child, and has turned into a strong and independent woman whom he admired greatly. He wishes she could let bygones be bygones and start again, yet that seems almost too much to ask. He doesn't know if his plans will work out, but he decides to go ahead as if everything he wants is his, and makes his plans accordingly. He is determined to get Amy seeing things his way, no matter how long it takes.
To those who know Trish McGill's work, the story of Amethyst and Andrew will not surprise you at all. The story is full of the sights and sounds of the game of football, Soccer as we know it stateside, and the flavour of Australia in spades. Constructed around strong characters with even stronger motivations, it is a tale that delights and enchants the reader as Amy fights her attraction to Andrew, and as Andrew decides Amy will be his. To her disgruntlement and his delight, Andrew begins a campaign to win her at all costs, and if it mean letter her come to her own conclusions about some things, so be it. He realizes Amy has no idea of his motives, and is too busy jumping to judgment without any facts to see him clearly. Although it may not be the ideal way to win her hand, he has to get her to see him as a real person, not the demon she has made him to be in her mind. Amy holds no illusions about Andrew. Yewbank was too small, too backward for the likes of him and so he left. For him to be here now doesn't sit well with her because she cares for the town, the people, and their football team. To her, Andrew is only a waling talking disappointment, and she hopes Yewbank doesn't find that out the hard way.
Irresistible Challenge is aptly names because it explains is exactly what Amethyst is to Andrew. He has come to realize there is no other woman for him but Amy. Now he just has to get it into her pretty but stubborn head there is no one for her but him. To see them fight and squabble their way to love is a delight no one will want to miss. Trish has again brought us the smiles, chuckles, and the wonderful frustrations occurring when we know something her characters don't. Irresistible Challenge is a book you will read again and again, for Trish has packed it with her insight into the workings of the heart, especially when it has to contend with a stubborn mind that doesn't want to listen. Fascinating, enchanting, and great are only three of the adjectives I would use to describe this book, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to give it a read. You should do the same, and if you go to Wings e-Press, you will find Irresistible Challenge there on the shelf. I think you should pick up a copy and enjoy, you will be very glad you did.
Yours in good reading,