Review: Loving Laney

LOVING LANEY - Harmony Evans
Harlequin Kimani/Romance
PRINT | EBOOK
June 2014
CATEGORY ROMANCE

REVIEWER:
Jennifer Brathwaite|  RATING: C 
SYNOPSIS: A Broward-and a world-class athlete, no less-unmarried and expecting? Laney Broward is amazed she has kept her pregnancy a secret this long. Now headlines are blaring from the tabloids that she is in the family way. She can't believe that one impulsive, out-of-character night could have such lasting repercussions…

REVIEW: Life is like an iceberg, while seemingly there is a lot visible on the surface, there is much more to be seen under the water.

On New Year’s Eve, Laney Broward gives into an intense attraction and has a night of passion with a mild acquaintance, Austin Johns.  Cut to four months later and Laney is confronted with the reality that that night of passion has resulted in a pregnancy.  Mortified that she engaged in a sordid affair and even more stunned that she is now set to be a mother, Laney continually pushes Austin away in an effort to protect herself from feelings she can neither control nor explain.  Even though discouraged by Laney’s actions, Austin is not deterred.  While her attempts to rebuff him are hurtful, Austin follows his heart and stays true to his goal - to prove to Laney he is the man for her, she the woman for him and that they can have a perfect life together.  During the time that Austin and Laney are trying to find their way, the entire Broward family is also attempting to understand the motives of a famous movie star who has moved into their town and is buying up the land at a fast pace.  On the surface her actions seem harmless but many in the family are still suspicious.  By the end of the book all is revealed and the challenges to Laney and Austin’s happily ever after are conquered.

LOVING LANEY moves at a satisfactory pace with a setting, the town of Granger, which matches the story’s rhythm.  Enough time is given to each plot point and no area seems to drag.  Towards to the end of the book however, revelations, acceptances and changes of heart all come at top speed which does challenge the realism of the story.  Granger serves the novel well.  Everyone is in everyone else’s business, small town values, expectations and standards factor into all decisions and the importance of the land to the residents is magnified because of the intimacy of the community.

Austin is extremely patient, caring and likeable; his steady presence and charming attitude get the reader on his side.  Although it is interesting to have a heroine who is flawed and doesn’t always make the right choices, Laney often comes across as selfish, somewhat mean and indecisive which causes the reader question Austin’s feelings towards her.

By and large LOVING LANEY is good but not great.  There is no aspect of the book that is overly gripping or engaging.  No character to whom the reader can be totally devoted; the closest being Austin.  Although the storyline that has been running through the connected stories is resolved in this book and it is interesting, the denouement is too brief to be completely satisfying.  Although a nice story in general, perhaps only a must buy for those who have already read the other Broward books.

10th June 2014 | romcol@caribsurf.com