Review: Welcome to Wickham Falls
HOME TO WICKHAM FALLS - Rochelle Alers
Harlequin Special Edition
BUY
July 2017
Category Romance
REVIEWER:  Alicia Aaron | RATING: C
REVIEW: HOME TO WICKHAM FALLS is Rochelle Alers’ latest novel through the Harlequin Special Edition line. The story focuses on Sawyer Middleton who returns home upon hearing about his father’s health and schoolteacher Jessica Calhoun, who is his sister’s best friend. This story ticks all of the typical romance boxes. It is well written, which is to be expected from a veteran like Rochelle Alers, but I was not as invested as I usually am with a Rochelle Alers novel.

Sawyer Middleton returns home after a long absence because of his father’s ailing health. Years ago, Sawyer had a falling out with his dad and hasn’t been home since and vowed never to return as long as his father was alive.

Jessica is a schoolteacher who loves kids and has begun to love the small town she moved to. While she wants a family, she’s content with her current life. She was previously engaged, but the engagement was called off when she testified against her fiancée’s best friend and frat brother when he raped her college roommate.

Sawyer and Jessica meet when she brings over a meal for the family since they have been spending most of their time at the hospital with the Middleton family patriarch. There’s instant attraction and Sawyer makes it a point to spend time with Jessica by helping her to write and secure a grant for the Wickham Falls schools.

This was an okay read, but did not draw me in. It did not capture my interests for few reasons. The first is the whole unforgiving nature of Sawyer. Yes, he eventually comes to his senses, but it takes his father’s ill health and a phone call from his sister for him to come home. Once he is home, he sees, in first person, how bad things have been for both his parents and his sister, who is divorced to a man who is an absentee father. His sister and her boys have moved in with the elder Middletons and the house is in disarray with several things needing to be fixed. Meanwhile, Sawyer is living a successful life in New York as a rich businessman. Sure, he tries to give his sister money, but sometimes money is not what’s needed, support is.

My next issue, was the reason behind Jessica’s guardedness when it comes to men. Had the reason for her guard been because of the actual rape and not because of her ex’s reaction to her testifying, it would have been more believable.

The last thing is minor, it was the way in which interracial relationships were introduced; it seemed a bit awkward. I understand needing to address the interracial aspect of a relationship; however, I think it could have been done in a different way.

I’m not sure if I would recommend this book to other Rochelle Alers’ fans because it is vastly different from what I’ve come to expect from her work. If you’re new to Rochelle Alers, then I would say, take a chance; but make sure you read her other series because they are far superior in comparison to this particular novel.

3rd August 2017 | romcol@caribsurf.com