Sometimes it’s awfully hard to suspend your own personal reality and preconceived notions when reading contemporary romances. However, if the writing is good and the story is interesting it can happen and, luckily, it happened for me when reading Yours, Unexpectedly, the last installment in the Wild Ride to Love series.
Merilee Fallon is marrying her soul mate – the boy she’s been with since she was seven years old. Unfortunately, she’s anything but ecstatically happy; she’s content. But as her older sisters come back to town with their new loves, she sees their passion and realizes something is missing from her fourteen year relationship and it’s something she wants desperately and knows she deserves. Panicked, she calls off the wedding with only a couple of days to spare in order to discover who she is and what she wants.
Though he’s only twenty-one years old, Matt Townsend never doubted Merilee was the girl for him. She’s always been a part of his life as well as safe, familiar, and comfortable. Yet when she suddenly calls off the wedding, he is heartbroken and angry, but knows he must step back from the situation. Like her, he’s due for a little self-discovery.
Unable to get a refund on the Mexican Riviera honeymoon cruise, both need to get away though they can’t decide who should actually get to use the vacation. When they both show up at the airport, neither is willing to back down so they decide to go and, though they’ll share a cabin, they’ll go their separate ways. However, some alone time, help from family, friends, strangers, as well as some excitement and a little jealously, both are able to gain perspective and figure out what’s really important.
When I first began reading Merilee and Matt’s story, I was almost immediately turned off by the ultra young couple, still in school, with little evidence of financial security as well as the timely arrivals of all three sisters and their new, passionate relationships. The first two chapters were basically one big eye roll. In addition, I had to get used to the shift between first person narration told from Merilee’s perspective and the omnipotent third person narration.
However, I’m glad I held on, ignored my romance biases, and got to know the hero and heroine through Ms. Fox’s writing. Since Merilee’s character is in the first person, I was far more sympathetic to her character than Matt’s, though both were well written. At twenty-one they’re obviously young, with only a few life experiences between them. Luckily, Ms. Fox wrote them that way; like 21-year olds instead of thinly disguised thirty-somethings pretending to be 21. Sometimes the characters behaved selfishly, but then again, we do that in real life too. Everything was a new experience for them and the writing made it feel that way. Discovering themselves in a tropical paradise and rediscovering passion made for a refreshing experience for this reader. I wanted them to find their way back to one another and rooted for them, something I haven’t felt for a couple in a long time and I think their age played into that feeling.
Ms. Fox is a new to me writer but she’s certainly on my radar now. Her unique writing style and character driven plot have given me another contemporary author to look forward to reading.