Author: Laura Jane Williams
ONE CANCELLED WEDDING
When the day finally comes for Annie to marry Alexander, the last thing she expects is to be left standing at the altar. She was so sure he was Mr Right. Now, she has no idea how she could have got it so wrong.
ONE UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTER
After a chance meeting with Paddy, an old friend who reminds her of who she used to be, Annie takes a vow of her own: she’ll say yes to every opportunity that comes her way from now on.
ONE SPARE TICKET FOR THE HONEYMOON
Could a spontaneous trip with Paddy be the way to mend Annie’s heart? She’s about to find out as she embarks on her honeymoon – with a man who’s not her husband…
The Lucky Escape is a light-hearted story about the possibility of a second chance at finding love. Annie Wiig is about to get married to her handsome boyfriend, Alexander, who she met at university and have been together over ten years. Everything seems perfect on her wedding day, but everything goes wrong when Alexander does not show up, leaving Annie a jilted bride. On a random chance, she runs into a childhood acquaintance, Patrick, who went to theater camp with her years ago. Patrick has his own past that he is trying to deal with and the two of them end up embarking on a trip together. They have an attraction to each other, but they’ll have to see if maybe more is on the horizon in this story about moving on, healing, and growth.
For me, there is disconnect between the synopsis and the novel as the blurb seems to make it that the honeymoon vacation will be the main focus. While it is present, it only is about a third of the novel with the first third being the lead up and the last third being the aftermath. I expected more from the actual honeymoon portion and for it to at least be half of the novel. For me, the honeymoon middle section was the best part as it had it all from adventure to humor to building the connection between the characters. There is a lot of backstory and depth given to both characters during those moments that made me love this section of the novel. The first third leads up to the honeymoon where the Annie is left at the altar, she is heartbroken and leans on her friends, she randomly meets an old acquaintance from her past, and then the two of them, through a series of events, end up on Annie’s honeymoon together. While important for set-up, I would have preferred this section shortened. Once the two characters return to London for the last third of the book, there is a lot going on with Annie in addition to her conundrum with Patrick. While interesting, it was very rushed as there was a lot to work through even at the 90% mark.
One small detail with Annie that I could not stand is she is amazing at her job, but she does not enjoy it. Yet she is considered one of the most loved there and, for me, it irked me that this person with no passion for the subject is stealing the spotlight from those that may not be as naturally gifted, but at least have passion. It is a very realistic portrayal, but it seemed a little self-centered that this never crossed her mind. To her, she wanted something, so she would take center-stage, even if she did not care. I think it would not have bothered me as much if it was not repeated multiple times throughout the story about how much she had no passion for her job.
The actual writing was very well-written and enjoyable, but, again, the story itself was off balance. I loved Annie’s relationship with her friends and sister and it was well done. Annie’s rocky relationship with her mother was one that I was on the fence for as it had a lot of potential, but I just did not agree with how it turned out. I do not feel that Annie changed a lot as it seemed more surface level compared to the in-depth transformation that I thought it would. To me, if we looked at Annie in the future, I could see her making a lot of the same choices without actually learning much from her mistakes in the past. However, she did have some growth, but it just was not as much as I expected.
Overall, I still greatly enjoyed this novel as a whole, despite my criticisms. It is a fantastic escape read that takes you to the amazing destination of Australia in style. I love that this is a novel that everyone will take away a little something different as some may love some parts that I disliked and vice versa. The secondary characters were entertaining and the romance was sweet. A definite fun beach read to try!
**I want to give a special thank you to Netgalley, the publisher, Avon Books UK, and the author for a review copy of this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**