Author: Lou Sylvre and Anne Barwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
[xrr rating= 3.5/5]
Kiwi Nathaniel Dunn is in a fighting mood, but how does a man fight Wellington’s famous fog? In the last year, Nate’s lost his longtime lover to boredom and his ten-year job to the economy. Now he’s found a golden opportunity for employment where he can even use his artistic talent, but to get the job, he has to get to Christchurch today. Heavy fog means no flight, and the ticket agent is ignoring him to fawn over a beautiful but annoying, overly polite American man.
Rusty Beaumont can deal with a canceled flight, but the pushy Kiwi at the ticket counter is making it difficult for him to stay cool. The guy rubs him all the wrong ways despite his sexy working-man look, which Rusty notices even though he’s not looking for a man to replace the fiancé who died two years ago. Yet when they’re forced to share a table at the crowded airport café, Nate reveals the kind heart behind his grumpy façade. An earthquake, sex in the bush, and visits from Nate’s belligerent ex turn a day of sightseeing into a slippery slope that just might land them in love.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
This was quite beautifully written, featuring a New Zealand setting and I think it’s the first of Dreamspinner’s World of Love series. I enjoyed the descriptions of the vistas from the Orongorongos mountain area, the hiking trails and the beaches and towns. It was a wonderful feature of the book to also learn Kiwi terms and colloquialisms. I was easily able to imagine much of everything described.
Written in third person, Nate and Rusty have alternating POV’s which was well suited to the character driven plot. Unfortunately, I had a difficult time relating to the characters themselves and their romance. Starting with Nate’s poor behavior at the airport and Rusty’s irritation, that dynamic continued through much of the book. Too often, one or the other was withdrawn, aggravated or angry and both engaged in rather repetitious internal monologues. There was a fair amount of dialogue between them but not always as substantive exchanges. I was unable to care enough about how they might get past their self-imposed obstacles. Their moodiness seemed to bleed over into mine. It was partly redeemed by the ending and epilogue, which were lovely and did finally capture some of the sense of romance and connection I was missing.
It was by no means a bad story, just one I wasn’t able to fully appreciate. Other readers may well have a different and better experience. It was worthwhile for the glimpse of New Zealand life and a bit of the everyday sights and sounds.