Crystal Green – “One For The Road”

27 May

GENRE: Romance / Contemporary

PUBLISHED: Harlequin Blaze, 2008

WHY THIS NOVEL: It was the mention of the Route 66 road trip + trying a new-to-me author.

The back blurb:
“A dull job, boring relationships. Life was a yawn when Lucy Christie decided to hit the road with her best friend. But she didn’t know just how much her dream vacation—a drive down Route 66 in search of no-questions-asked, guilt-free sexual encounters—would shake things up.
Her first conquest was Joshua, a cowboy with fancy boots and hips made for sin, a man who filled in every gap in her previously limited sexual education. In fact, he was so good, Lucy regretted having to give him up. But when she tried moving on to the next “drive-by seduction,” her demanding lover tagged along…intent on seducing her stop after stop!”

One for the Road is a road trip novel and as it often is the case with this kind of novel, it’s a story about the search for identity. All major characters struggle with their identity, even though it doesn’t seem like this at the start for each of them. Even the (small) secondary romance is centred around this theme.

It’s this identity theme that kept me reading. I found the juxtaposition and comparisons between the characters and the romance plots interesting and wanted to see how it all played out in the end. The characters and the main and secondary romance each show a different facet of identity and/or mirror each other and so ask questions about the concept of identity. Can you be your real self without personal facts like name and job? Or can you only be your real self when you leave all the personal facts behind? Can you know someone even if you don’t know personal facts about that person? I enjoyed the close look OFTR takes at the concept of identity on the intellectual level.

But I couldn’t get a real feel for the characters and felt a bit distanced from them on the emotional level. I know what was meant by the various “cues” but they didn’t completely “click” and come together to grab me and make me care. Also, I didn’t quite get what the deal was with Joshua’s background which made him appear as whiny (especially at the beginning).

Would I recommend this novel? Probably yes.

Would I read this novel again? Probably.

Grade: 3,5 / 5


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