This time out I have Lisa Dale's second book, It Happened One Night (Grand Central). The back cover tells us that Lana Biel and her best friend Eli Ward have known each other forever, and can talk about anything. Except the one time they strayed from their just-friends path. Or the feelings Eli's been hiding for Lana for years. And now something has happened that will change Lana's life, and might make even staying friends impossible. What the back cover doesn't tell us is that Lana's sister Karin and her husband are desperately trying to have a baby. Or at least, Karin is. Then there's Lana and Karin's estranged father who's arrived in the small Vermont town where they live, and neither knows how to deal with him, or how to make him leave. I'll start by saying I didn't like Ms. Dale's previous book much. I didn't think it was really romance, as it read more to me like women's fiction. This one is very similar. Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with women's fiction. But there is much more going on here than a romance. Lana's sister plays an equal role in this story, which makes it a challenge sometimes to really believe that Lana is the main heroine. The story of Karin and her husband is really at least as compelling as Lana's own. And frankly, Lana isn't always very likable. She's wishy-washy and easily led by her older sister, who I found much more believable than Lana. Then we get to Eli, who puts up with quite a lot before he mans up and goes for what he really wants. If I were marketing this one, I'd put it in the fiction section. Yes, there's some romance, but it really isn't the main focus of the story. And there's nothing wrong with that, but put it where it belongs. This one gets only two of Cupid's five arrows. Very disappointing.
Until next time, happy reading!