Who would think of taking a vacation on the Isle of Wight in February? Apparently Michael and his new girlfriend Trix. After two weeks together, Michael has realized that the things they have in common are fewer than he originally thought, and the fact that Trix never stops talking, ever, drives Michael to dump her at the most inopportune time. Trix had just proposed to Michael on the pier at the very same instant.
Aspiring chef Rufus is stuck on the Isle of Wight helping run his father and step-mother’s B&B, content with his life, or so he thinks, until a man comes out of the water by the pier. Thanking Poseidon, Rufus approaches the gorgeous waterlogged man and they soon arrive at the B&B where Michael is able to get out of his wet clothes. It isn’t long before Michael and Rufus end up in bed, but once the deed is done, Michael returns to his hotel only to find that Trix has taken her revenge on Michael, sending him fleeing for Rufus’ B&B.
An unusual beginning and an awkward reunion doesn’t stop Michael and Rufus from spending time together and getting to know each other better. Rufus thinks they could have more, but Michael, regardless of his attraction to Rufus, could never be in a relationship with a man, his mother would never permit it. It all comes to a head when the nasty rumors of Michael and Trix’s breakup reach Rufus’s family, sending Michael running home to the mainland.
J.L. Merrow is a favorite author of mine and so I was excited to be able to listen to and review Lovers Leap, a book that I haven’t read yet. I thought that the story was cute, and that both Michael and Rufus were likeable enough, but they were lacking some depth, with Rufus always pandering to others, and Michael’s one-track mind. Even the secondary characters were somewhat one-dimensional, but did their part to advance the story.
The premise was also cute (sorry, that word keeps popping up) and I will give Merrow credit for a strong focus on family, from Rufus’ father, accepting, yet cleverly determined to protect his son’s virtue, to Michael’s mother, heavily religious, but not made out to be a caricature. Where I kind of felt it was off was with Liz and Trix, who didn’t feel like the characters as they were described, they just seemed off.
The cool part for me was that the story was set on the Isle of Wight, which was a big part of the draw for me since I will be visiting a friend there this fall.
I appreciate it when a story set in the UK has a British narrator, especially since British narrators are something of a rarity. Sadly, what can be all too common is a narrator that speaks too fast, where the pace feels like they were trying to save some money on the cost per finished hour of the production. This made the beginning of the story very challenging for me. With having to adjust to the British accent and the pauseless run-on-sentence style of storytelling, I was so focused on hearing the narration that I wasn’t able to listen to, and absorb, the story.