Friday, September 23, 2016
Road Trip Collection
What Falling Feels Like—Jolene Perry
Kendall is still hurting from her divorce when she agrees to let her best friend’s little brother Tyler hitch a ride with her to New Mexico. What her friend neglected to tell her is that Tyler is no longer the scrawny geek she remembers; he’s all grown up and is exactly the sort of guy she could find herself falling for, especially as they reconnect on their trip. But with Kendall’s past, is she willing to give Tyler a chance in her future? This was probably my least favorite story of the collection, but it’s still enjoyable. One thing I did really like is that even though the mutual interest comes through pretty quickly, they do some time apart for Kendall to sort through her emotions before they really start their relationship.
Antiques Road Trip—Sarah M. Eden
Kelsey is a Jane Austen expert, so when she gets a chance to compete on a TV show where she’ll be assigned a character from 19th-century England, she’s all in. As she and her fellow contestants travel by carriage and try to stay in character, Kelsey isn’t surprised by how much she loves the chance to reenact history—but she is pleasantly surprised by how much she likes Devon, a fellow competitor, and she can’t help but hope he’s as great in real life as he is on TV. I was thrilled to see that Saran Eden managed to incorporate Regency England into a modern story about a road trip. Best twist on a road trip ever! That was awesome. I also really liked both Kelsey and Devon; they were sweet and the sort of good people you want good things to happen to.
Wouldn’t It Be Nice—Ranee S. Clark
Jacqueline has recently broken up with her long-time boyfriend Colin because his refusal to go on a road trip they’d planned with friends because it would interfere with his job convinces her that he’s never going to have time for their relationship. Jac quickly gets over her disappointment, though, when Hudson, a longtime friend, is added to the group—and when she finds out that he’s had feelings for her for pretty much forever, she starts to wonder how she could have missed someone so wonderful when he’s been right in front of her the whole time. Colin, however, hasn’t given up on the idea of him and Jac working things out, and Jac will have to decide once and for all what she really wants. I really enjoyed the bantering conversation between Jac and Hudson; the author did a great job showing their friendship and how they are really good for (and to) each other. This was another sweet story and it flowed really well.
Head over Heels—Annette Lyon
Tristian is on assignment for her online singles magazine when she briefly meets a guy who catches her eye—but is gone before she has a chance to do much more than find out his name is Mac. When another business opportunity pops up, she needs to find a way to get to Vegas fast, so when her friend Alyssa says she can arrange for Tristian to ride with a business acquaintance, Tristian accepts, thinking she’ll enjoy getting to know a friend of a friend—but not expecting that this friend is none other than Mac. With both Mac and Tristian having been misled by Alyssa as to the true identity of their road trip partner, they decide to get their revenge by making Alyssa thinking they’re falling for each other…but it turns out, maybe the joke’s on them, as they might be falling for real. Even though the whole relationship developed really fast, the author made it feel real, showing how Mac and Tristian really connected. This story was a lot of fun…even if several of the 1980s pop songs referenced were ones I’m not familiar with.
Two Dozen Roses—Heather B. Moore
Dayna is driving her mother from California to Oregon, making several stops along the way to fulfill her mother’s sight-seeing dreams. Roman is on a road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway with his brother Garrett to fulfill their sister’s dying wish they the brothers try to mend their relationship. After a couple unintentional meetings at sightseeing venues along the way, the two groups start planning to meet up—and as they do, Garrett tries to use his charm to woo Dayna, not seeming to notice that Roman and Dayna seem to be hitting it off. But when Kenzie—the woman Roman once loved…at least until she married (and later divorced) his brother—comes calling, Dayna realizes she might have lost Roman before she ever truly had him. This was a cute story. It was an interesting little twist that Dayna and Roman weren’t actually in the same car for this road trip. I love stories when the “underdog” (in this case, Roman, the more reserved brother) gets the girl.
Try, Try Again—Aubrey Mace
When Justin told Sarah he thought she was the one, she should have been ecstatic; she’d liked him for months. But instead, she panicked, assuming he couldn’t really mean it and she was just the rebound girl. And when he didn’t follow up at all, she figured she’d been right. But six months have passed, and she can’t help but want another chance—so when she sees an obituary for his grandfather, she convinces a friend of hers to go on a road trip with her so she can attend the viewing. But when she shows up, even though Justin seems happy to see her, she isn’t sure she’ll be able to put herself on the line and tell him what she really wants. I think the author did a great job of developing Sarah’s fears and behaviors, how she really likes Justin and wants things to work but can’t quite believe she has a shot at getting what she really wants. I also liked how Justin was pretty patient with her—he’d be direct but then back off when she started to panic; that was an endearing characteristic.
This is another great anthology. I always have so much fun reading them. I enjoyed both the traditional road trip themes as well as the creative twists. There were lots of great characters to cheer for and some good character development, which can be hard to come by in novellas. Definitely recommend this one for anyone looking for great romances and a fun read.
I received a free copy of the ebook in exchange for my honest review.