Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Rebecca Giacomelli
Publication Date: 5/7/13
Source: Received from author for review
Sometimes distance and timing can get in the way of what would otherwise be. What if you got that second chance?
That’s what Sarah Reder is asking herself when Kellan Parker, an ex-friend, an ex-maybe-something-more, is suddenly back in her life, even if it’s only for a weekend. Will she ditch her stable but boring boyfriend Ben? And what will Kellan do about his live-in yet absent girlfriend Alice?
Sometimes the shortest time periods can feel like the longest moments. Will one weekend be enough time to fix five years of silence, or will it just bring all the old fights back to the surface?
Sarah and Kellen are seeing each other again after five years (except for a couple of phones calls, and one encounter at her brother's wedding) is all of their group of friends is in New York City for their five year reunion from graduating from Columbia. She and Kellen have a few stolen moments together where he wants to talk about what happened, or didn't happen, with them in the past and why they can't be defined just as friends. They are indecisive and unsure and pretty much have been waiting 10 years for the other one to make the first move, so once again lack of communication is their downfall. They spend an evening walking around NYC and reminisce about all of the things they used to do together and it seems that there aren't a lot of places in their town that they didn't have a memory at together before he talks her into coming for the rest of the weekend back to Miami with him. Dun, dun, dun.
I held out hope at every single turn for Kellen not to be as big of a douchebag as he seemed. Sometimes he would be so sweet and attentive and want more, and then we find out some of the secrets he'd been keeping or even doing while she was in Miami with him and man oh man, did he not get what he deserved. Sarah's internal dialogue helped fill in the picture of who Kellen is and who he is to her, and it helped me alot. Their best friend status was one where they slept in the same bed almost every night in college, did everything together, finished each others sentences, but were too afraid of how the other felt to put their own heart out there. I figure it is probably why I still continued to like him even with his many faults. She explains he is OCD, and hot and cold and all over the place and even she is turned off by who he is, but that is still why she likes him too. He is always exactly who he is, and that for her...since she has no freaking clue...is very desirable. Kellen doesn't make great decisions, but hold out for when he finally figures it all out.
A huge part of the story also is the group of friends as a whole. The six of them were attached at the hip during college, and have kept close like Sarah, Luke and Hope. Luke is Sarah's brother and he is married to Hope. Or they've become somewhat frenemies with their friend Jen, who has an obvious to everyone but her breakup with Tom on the horizon. Kellen fell off the radar by moving to Miami, and not really coming back, but the reunion is a catalyst for them all to hang out together in their old haunts. The group feel and relationships that are revealed one conversation at a time has Indie Movie written all over it. I am a closet indie film junkie, and by closet I mean I watch alone simply because no one else I know wants to with me....so I fell in love with this obviously. Not many people I am sure has watched The Romantics, but if you have...it is that type of friendships. Secondary characters are very important to me, and if they can reach into the story and have important subplots without completely derailing the rest of the story, I am hooked. This is one of those, and it is funny when one outside person tells Sarah how not everyone is as crazy as their entire group is and it was so true. The whole group gets derailed in crazy, surprising ways by the end of the book and it left me wanting so much more information to where they go from here.
Sarah's job as a travel guide writer takes her so many places. She spends her life in a suitcase going from place to place analyzing restaurants, hotels, and out of the way places that aren't considered touristy places in all of the big cities she visits. The writing of this in addition to the memories and yes, even including the chaos of the present, is so good and made me fall in love with this book. I couldn't stop reading it, because Julie Meronek killed it with descriptions of New York from the point of view of a real New Yorker, or made me feel like I was on the beach in Miami, or on the streets of Paris. Inclusion of places that can be clearly visualized without being overly obnoxious in detail are yet another thing that I love and it is a huge part of the quest to understand Sarah.
I am amazed that since it came out in May there is only 1 review on Amazon, and no inclusions on Goodreads except for mine (that I can see, there might be more). It might be the price, which is a little daunting for a new book to people who aren't sure, or the cover. I liked it, but the blurb and it combined don't really give a clear picture to how amazing and rich the book was to me. I take away from it a feel for life and relationships and a girl finding herself and choosing who and what she wants, but taking a bumpy road to get there. Some of their decisions had me totally crazy, but that's life. People make horrible decisions all of the time, so for me these were raw and real, and the locations were almost another character. I am hoping that while I was satisfied for the most part with the ending, it did leave me with a few unanswered questions. If these two don't get another story, I hope atleast Luke does. That guy is the most amazing and loyal out of the group and gets the shaft in an awful way. *hint, hint* Julie, Luke..I want more about Luke!
"She wasn't happy. She's just pushing back against whatever she felt was keeping her in that situation, and yeah, it sucks. But you can't assume any of that about Kellan. Honestly, he probably didn't think about it at all."
"I wish it were simpler to keep someone. To know someone well enough, and then just hold on."
Luke shakes his head. "You don't get to keep people. They're too complicated, they're always changing. Independent, real, whatever you want to call it. Not a commodity."
Connect with Julie at her Website