Consider yourself warned that upon reading this book you’ll probably become overwhelmed with the desire to walk barefoot along the beach while eating a slice of key lime pie.
What’s it About?
When Anna Worthington’s twin sister gets jilted by her fiancé, Anna steps in with a plan for a girls’ Key West getaway instead of a honeymoon trip. Yet when her twin has her own crisis of commitment and doesn’t board the plane, Anna finds herself on a romantic getaway that she’s forced to navigate alone.
Gunnar Lockhart, whose specialty is island tourism, is the perfect match for helping Anna complete her vacation bucket list, but time together forges a connection more personal than either anticipate. As they make island memories, Anna has to untangle her mixed emotions. Are her feelings toward Gunnar real? Or like her sister’s wedding day, has this connection been doomed from the start?
This is a notice to all authors out there that if you want a 100% guarantee that I’ll read your book, be sure it includes a recipe for a delectable dessert or tasty treat at the end of it. To be honest, there’s a good chance I’ll read it anyway, but this is essentially a foolproof assurance. And while I haven’t had the chance to prepare the key lime pie dessert presented at the conclusion of this read at the time of writing this review, you better believe that pie will be in my future very soon.
Hand-in-hand with key lime pie is the island of Key West, Florida which features prominently in this read almost as a character in its own right. It’s no surprise that our male lead, Gunnar, works for the island’s Chamber of Commerce, as the book makes you want to book a trip there immediately. I was lucky enough to spend a day in Key West in December 2019 as a stop on a family cruise vacation before all things pandemic ravaged the world. While the island didn’t have quite the same spiritual impact for me as it did for our two leads, this book succeeded in reminding me of the hidden charm you can find once you remove yourself from its more boisterously touristy streets. And again…pie!
A Touch of Romance in the Air
While Anna has a rather rocky start to this unplanned vacation following her twin sister, Brie, being left at the altar, things start to look brighter upon meeting hunky and courteous “local”, Gunnar. He offers to show her around about town and help her cross a few items off her sister’s vacation bucket list. It was quite refreshing how realistically their connection was formed, as it wasn’t steeped in lust or purely from a sexual attraction. You really get the sense that these two people have laid the foundation for a healthy and potentially long-lasting relationship. However, always lurking in the shadows of their burgeoning romance was the fast-approaching end date to Anna’s time on this island. Not to mention, her entire reason for being there was the result of a man being a total douche rocket to her sister, so her trust in men isn’t exactly at a high point.
From Self-Discovery to a Selfless Connection
There is definitely a romantic component to this read, but in my opinion it sort of took a back seat to two other important plot points which permeated the story. First and foremost was the journey of self-discovery which Anna finds herself on. She uses this time in Key West to look inward, and reflect on what she wants her life and business to look like going forward. While Gunnar certainly comes to play a role in this vision, he wasn’t necessarily the primary driving force behind her future considerations, which was refreshing. As for Gunnar, he was unexpectedly faced with a life-changing decision in his connection with an elderly local who comes to rely on him in the most important of ways. Gunnar’s care and devotion to this man demonstrates the unconditional selflessness to his nature and personality. He might slip up at one point in his week with Anna, but overall this man is an absolute winner.
*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: Stand-alone, though I would be interested in a sequel involving Anna’s twin sister, Brie.
Final Impressions: This was a pleasant read that will leave you craving a beach vacation, a slice of pie, and a stroll along the sand with a dreamy man at your side. The romance presented didn’t necessarily have a lot of heat behind it, but it was based in reality and respect.
Smut Level: A few kisses here and there, but nothing explicit or overly sexual.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $5.99 Kindle Price. White Rose Publishing. 288 Pages.