Return to You
Are there matchmakers in your life? Do you have a family member or friend who is constantly trying to fix up every unattached person they know? Are you that matchmaker? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you might want to consider avoiding Return to You, because you will be all too aware of the fact that real-life matchmakers have little in common with William Montgomery.
James Montgomery, nephew to the aforementioned William, is minding his own business, working as police chief in a little town in Long Island, when his life is suddenly turned upside down by the return of Selena Ainsley. Once upon a time James and Selena were sweethearts planning on getting married and having a passel of children. That future changed when Selena got into a car accident and her father stepped in to forcibly break them up. In the ten years since the accident, James and Selena have not seen or spoken to each other even once.
So, who do you think is behind Selena’s sudden return to her hometown? Who else but William Montgomery, aided by his new recruit Jen Lawson (aka Selena’s best friend). The crafty duo figures once Selena and James are back in the same town sparks will fly and the couple will reunite, which is essentially what happens. They get together to talk over what really happened all those years ago and manage to reconcile. Yay!
If the book had ended there, with James and Selena’s initial reconciliation, I probably would have given it a better grade. They worked well as a couple and I heartily approved of their sitting down to discuss their past in a reasonable manner (so normal, yet so different from anything commonly found in a romance novel). Unfortunately, James failed to tell Selena he comes from a rich family down in North Carolina, and when she finds out….well, you can imagine what happens. They break up, she runs off, and James has to pull out a grand gesture. With the help of his trusty Uncle William, of course.
I must admit, I am predisposed to find grand gestures distasteful, particularly when they are orchestrated with the help of numerous family members. I myself come from a very large, very nosy family, but I cannot imagine us ever pulling a stunt like this. There is a difference between knowing what your relatives are up to and inserting yourself into the more intimate parts of their lives. It bothered me that Uncle William seemed to dance around that line so easily, and that no one stopped to tell him off. I also wasn’t too impressed with the actual gesture itself, but then, Selena’s anger seemed a little forced as well.
In the end, I would mark Return to You down as a fairly typical, mostly decent book. If you love stories about older relatives playing matchmaker and invading everyone’s lives, then this is the book for you. If not, then I might look for something else a little more suited to your tastes.