Dear Beneficiary by Janet Kelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dear Beneficiary is the story of Cynthia, a sixty year old widow who deals with the loss of her husband and her newly found freedom by having a steamy romance with a much younger Nigerian man. Cynthia is heart broken when Darius, her love interest, must return to Nigeria to help his family. Cynthia decides to enlist her grandson's help in purchasing and learning to use a computer in the hopes of communicating with Darius, but instead she receives a "Dear beneficiary" e-mail and falls prey to a scam from Nigerian con artists, mistakenly believing that she is helping her beloved Darius. Cynthia decides to travel to Nigeria. Cynthia and her fellow travel companion, an unlikeable woman named Tracey are lost and overwhelmed in the Nigerian airport and they wind up being kidnapped. Although it is an engaging story, it did not feel believable. The author missed opportunities to really describe Nigeria and the experience that Cynthia had. At times it felt as if Cynthia was simply narrating her story and not really experiencing it. I never felt the terror or anger or frustration that I would expect from someone who is kidnapped. I really enjoyed the idea of Cynthia evaluating her life and deciding that perhaps she had been too safe, and her unexpected relationship with Darius. Overall it was a fun book, but the author missed some opportunities to make it really great.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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