The Return of Cassandra Todd by Darrel Nelson ~ Review

The Return of Cassandra Todd by Darrel Nelson Return of Cassandra Todd

“We’re going on an adventure!” Cassandra told her four year old son, Justin. Such an understatement! When Cassandra left her abusive husband, Brad, he hired two men, apparently fully equipped with all the stereotypical gangland ways and means, appearances and mannerisms, to find her and bring her back to him…with the elusive white envelope.

While hiding in a motel in her home town she encountered Turner Caldwell. Even though she didn’t recognize him from their high school days until later, she sensed she could entrust her life and that of her son’s to this man.

What follows is an exciting adventure fraught with close calls, hair-raising escapes, numerous chase sequences, and a contest of wits in a wilderness setting. While the tale is told in the third person, most of the point of view is Turner’s. The series of events gives the reader a fascinating view of Turner’s transformation from motel handyman and college student to hero and courageous rescuer, from former high school dweeb and apparent nobody to hometown adventurer.

The author has skillfully painted his characters in vivid colors and endearing personalities, especially in his portrayal of Turner Caldwell who impresses the readers with his quick thinking, selflessness, easy wit, and wilderness survival knowledge. All during the nail-biting suspense in the final scenes, I couldn’t help but hope for a satisfying resolution for Cassandra and Turner. In my mind, they already felt like a family.


I am a little disappointed that the romantic element of the story is so light; the reader is aware that the two main characters are attracted to each other. But since events happen in rapid succession, there is no time to explore those feelings. Instead, the reader is left to imagine that a courtship will eventually occur, after the dust settles, so to speak.

One element I really liked about the story was the realistic portrayal of Cassandra’s relationship with God. The reader is aware from the beginning that she prays about her escape from Brad and that her encounter with Turner is apparently part of the
answer to her prayers. She is not pushy or preachy about it, and Turner eventually moves from bitterness towards God to skepticism to openness about His intervention on their behalf as events unfold.

Overall, the author has created a well-balanced fast-paced adventure tale with light romantic elements and spirituality that I thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys this combination of genres. It will be worth your time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the Booketeria, a service of Charisma House Book Group and Realms Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


2 thoughts on “The Return of Cassandra Todd by Darrel Nelson ~ Review

  1. I wanted to thank you for your kind review of my novel, The Return of Cassandra Todd. You mentioned in your review that you were a little disappointed that the romantic element was too lightly treated. Interestingly, that’s the issue I’ve received the most criticism regarding. Many reviewers think there is TOO much of a romantic element because Cassandra is a married woman, and they were horrified to think I was putting Cassandra in a potentially adulterous relationship, so I had to tread carefully with Turner and Cassandra’s relationship. If you’d like to see a more developed love story, check out my first novel, The Anniversary Waltz. I think that might be more satisfying to you. Thanks, again, for your excellent review. Much appreciated.


    • I loved the story! I am not really critical about the amount of romance; it was only a disappointment when the genre included romance when it was really an adventure, sort-of romance, etc. Or there could have been an epilogue included with more hints of further resolution to their relationship since it was hinted at in several places in the book. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change anything.


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