“…if you’re looking for a women’s fiction story about reinventing yourself with summery vibes, I think you might enjoy this book.”

~ Under the Covers

Not really a romance, but an interesting find-yourself vacation story if you go into it with the right expectations.

Annie ends up being left at the altar instead of marrying her college sweetheart, the man she was sure was Mr. Right. As she’s trying to figure out her life, she unexpectedly runs into Patrick, an old childhood friend who reminds her of those carefree days. So Annie decides to start saying yes to new opportunities. Including taking her honeymoon with a man who isn’t her husband…

Honestly, I went into this book expecting it to be a bit like Getaway Girl meets The Unhoneymooners. Except that’s not really what this story is at all. Rather than being a second-chance(ish) friends-to-lovers tale, The Lucky Escape is really about Annie finally standing up for herself and her life. Although there is a romance, this book should be blurbed/marketed as women’s fiction rather than romance. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had gone into it with different expectations. I can definitely relate to Annie’s desire to never rock the boat and just avoid confrontation. Seeing her be brave and take chances to get to where she wants in life was really heartwarming and inspiring.

I also struggled a bit with the pacing of this book. It took until about 25% of the way through for us to actually get to the honeymoon trip. There was just too much lead-in that didn’t really contribute anything. We mostly just watched Annie sit in a puddle of sadness and her mom belittle her (why does it always have to be a terrible mom as the backstory for why a character is the way they are?) and her younger sister try to be precocious. We did get to meet most of the cast of characters, which was nice, but many of them were very 2-dimensional characters that seemed to be there more to demonstrate that the author adds diversity to her books than because they were actually adding anything. Other than Annie’s little sister and her best friend, the rest could have been basically interchangeable supportive-friend-types.

Now for the parts that I actually did like. The atmosphere was really fun to read about. I’ve never been to Australia, but we got little tastes of the country through Annie’s adventures. I wish we could have had even more of this. The honeymoon itself was also fun to read about and seeing Annie and Patrick grow closer and start to give into their feelings was what I went into this book hoping for. If we could have had this half of the book be 90% of the book instead, I think I would have enjoyed the overall story a lot more. I also thought that grief was handled well (trigger warning: death of a loved one).

Overall, if you’re looking for a women’s fiction story about reinventing yourself with summery vibes, I think you might enjoy this book. It was a pretty quick read and mostly light and enjoyable with a bit of emotional substance. Knowing more of the style of story that Laura Jane Williams writes, I would enjoy picking up another one of her books and giving it a try.

Trigger warnings: dieting, food shaming, death of a loved one, parental criticism

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[about-author author=”Laura Jane Williams]

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