by Fern Michaels

September 2003
ISBN: 0-8217-7586-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Dani Arnold, recently dumped and whose only constant companion is a cat, knew she shouldn`t get involved when she saw the little girl crying all alone in New York City. But even though she`s been burned before, Dani isn`t the type to not help someone. So despite her better judgment, she brings the little girl, Maria, home with her. Maria has flown by herself from Argentina to New York, where her father was supposed to meet her at the airport. Unfortunately, because of a lack communication and a change of plans, Maria`s father, Alexander Renaldo Mendeneres, had no idea where his daughter was, which led to his desperate search for Maria.

Once Alex finds Maria with Dani, he pleads (or more aptly coerces) Dani into caring for Maria while he tends to some dangerous and pressing business dealing with stolen and priceless scrolls. Add an evil wife and her stepbrother looking to get their hands on Maria and a mysterious monk who guards the Mendeneres family, and you`ve got a fast-paced plot sure to appeal to your adventurous side.

While the action in The Future Scrolls was not lacking, the character development was. Alex was not exactly an endearing male hero. He was arrogant, demanding and tried to use his wealth to get his way more than once. Also, despite the fact that he claimed to love his daughter above all else, he willingly jeopardizes her in order to regain the stolen scrolls. The reader is never given a reasonable explanation for the importance of these scrolls, but is only told that they have a religious connotation, give hope to Alex`s oppressed people and date back to the Mendeneres family`s oldest ancestors.

Dani on the other hand, seemed very caring and genuinely interested in Maria`s well-being and didn`t agree with Alex`s plan to regain the scrolls at any cost. However, despite the good qualities she had, her character seemed rather weak-willed and easily swayed. For example, there was one instance where Dani is furious with Alex but then once he gets her alone, she willingly falls into his arms without a word. It was both confusing and annoying and did not seem to gel with Dani`s resolution in the beginning of the novel not to let herself fall for the same type of man who had just left her.

Fern Michael fans need not totally despair, however. The Future Scrolls does have some redeeming qualities to it. For one, the story moves along quite well and doesn’t seem to have any points that drag. And while the hero and heroine have some unlikable qualities, Alex`s 10-year old daughter, Maria is very well and realistically written. I especially enjoyed her quest to learn American slang, which was often very amusing. Unfortunately, these reasons alone do not make a novel and The Future Scrolls is not a romance I would highly recommend.

Reviewed in August 2003 by Nicole.

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