Published May 1, 2015
Trade paperback, 250 pages
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani
Welcome, Reluctant Stranger is the third book in the Between Two Worlds series by E Journey. I enjoyed the first book Hello, My Love! and also the second book, Hello, Agnieszka! which I can now say was my favorite of the three. All three can be considered stand-alone novels but we have characters from Book One revisit in Book Two and a lot more in Book Three.
I was drawn to this third book, once again, because it had a different premise and also dealt with an immigrant family, this time of South Pacific decent. Leilani, along with her mother and siblings fled her country when she was nine. Her father, who was at that time the president's personal doctor, was to follow suit but he never did. We don't know if he was involved in the attempt to assassinate the president and therefore was thrown in prison or executed. This part of the story, which I loved the most, was slowly revealed by her mother and then became clearer toward the end of the book.
Leilani falls in love with Justin and this is their love story. Justin is Elise's brother, so Elise and Greg, lovers from Book One played a big role in this book. Although I liked this story, I wasn't taken in by the romance between Leilani and Justin, probably because Justin had just been left by his long-time girlfriend of seven years. A few weeks later he is declaring his love for Leilani and I just thought it was all too quick, too fast. It takes a long time to get over someone, so this felt like a rebound relationship. Not enough built-up like in the first two books.
Anyhow, the premise of political intrigue with Leilani's father being caught in a political coup was the best part of this book and I wished the author would have explored this more instead of including several scenes and friendly banter with characters from Book One that didn't do much for the plot. I was itching for more action and less dialogue.
Having read all three of E Journey's books I can say that her forte is in characters that are from immigrant families and that have a past. It seems that she is most comfortable and can easily build these characters and their stories. I hope that Journey explores more of this in her writing and I would be ready to read more of her work.
Note: This book is rated PG-13. There is a sex scene in this novel.
To read more reviews, please visit E Journey's page on iRead Book Tours.
She’s a well-traveled flâneuse—a female observer-wanderer—who watches, observes, listens. And writes. A sucker for happy endings, she finds enough that depresses her about real life, but seeks no catharsis by writing about it. For her, writing is escape, entertainment. She doesn’t strive to enlighten. Not deliberately. But the bias of her old profession does carry over into her writing. So, instead of broad shoulders and heaving bosoms, she goes into protagonists' thoughts, emotions, inner conflicts, insecurities, and struggles to reach balance and grow.
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