Frantic flight, peaceful life. Act of treason on an island country. Cauldron of warring emotions. Exotic beauty, ace with a gun. Hunk with gifts for mockery and cooking.
Nine-year-old Leilani and her family mysteriously flee the island country of Costa Mora, leaving her father. Years later, her peaceful solitary life in California ends when she rescues Justin Halverson from thugs and she learns a devastating truth about her father. As she agonizes over her father, Justin comforts her, and they’re drawn closer together.
With Justin, she returns to her birthplace to get her father quietly out. There, she reconnects with her past, but can she forgive her father and accept him for who he is? Can she finally be at peace with who she is? Welcome, Reluctant Stranger interweaves a love story into a tale of past political intrigue and Leilani’s inner journey, accepting her past.
This is my third review of a book in author E. Journey's Between Two Worlds series and I have enjoyed every one. They are well written, boast intriguing plots and are easy to read (you pick up the book for what you think will be a few minutes, then are shocked when you put it down at how much time has passed). The author's mix of mystery, intrigue and romance is sure to be a hit with readers. Each book offers strong female characters, tough life challenges to face and a love that endures despite challenges.
In book one we heard the story of Elise and Greg. Book two was a prequel in many ways where we are offered a flashback to Elise's mother story. For book three, the plot heads into new territory when Elise's brother, Justin. starts to date Leilani - a woman who had to flee her island homeland at an early age because of political intrigue. Her father was to follow them, but never appeared. No one seems to know what happened to him.
When word comes he might still be alive, Leilani has to return to her country of birth and navigate a minefield of deceit to find out the truth. Mixed into this story line is her growing relationship with Justin, a partner who is at her side to support her in any way he can and is determined to win her heart.
Kudos to the author for offering not just a great read, but tucking in a bit of insight as well. Setting down roots in a new country can be challenging. How does one keep their culture, but find a way to embrace that of your new home. Returning for a visit to your birthplace, it also becomes evident how much you have been changed. Immigrants can find themselves feeling "between two worlds." Where is home?
This is a great series. I think you should read it in order from book #1 through book #3. but each can easily be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.
Buy the book here: Amazon
Meet the Author
To read a behind the scenes interview with author E. Journey - click HERE.
E. Journey is a realist who thinks she has little imagination. Credit that to her training (Ph. D., University of Illinois) and work in mental health, writing for academics and bureaucrats, and critiquing the work of others. She’s been striving ever since to think and write like normal people.
She’s a well-traveled flâneuse—a female observer-wanderer—who watches, observes, listens. And writes. A sucker for happy endings, she finds enough that depresses her about real life, but seeks no catharsis by writing about it. For her, writing is escape, entertainment. She doesn’t strive to enlighten. Not deliberately. But the bias of her old profession does carry over into her writing. So, instead of broad shoulders and heaving bosoms, she goes into protagonists' thoughts, emotions, inner conflicts, insecurities, and struggles to reach balance and grow.
(note - E Journey just won the Bronze Prize in the Independent Woman Awards at SPR)
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