Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Welcome, Reluctant Stranger! by E Journey : A Review

Book Details:
Book Title: Welcome, Reluctant Stranger! by E Journey
Category:  Adult Fiction, 250 pages
Genre: Cross genre women's fiction / romance / mystery
Publisher: Sojourner Books
Release date: May 1, 2015
Book Description:
          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.
          The third instalment of the series lived up to the expectations I had from the previous books I had read. It followed the already established romance / drama pattern and lived it up with strong female characters. This time, the story is about Leilani, a pampered child whose family takes a sudden flight from one country to another due to various reasons. What happens nearly decades later when her random act of bravery and kindness opens up a portal to her past and how she reacts to all that forms the rest of the story.
          I actually sympathised with Leilani as I felt she was trying to find out the meaning of love and trying to recover from drastic, life changing truths that shake a very comfortable existence. In times like these, deepest emotional turmoil would plague even the strongest of people. Anyone who faces what Leilani faces would start questioning their own identity. While the previous books were about Elise and her mother, this one also has Elise in an important role, as a really good friend.
          The story is about Elise’s brother Justin who starts dating Leilani. But then a series of lies, hidden truths and past secrets start haunting Leilani and through all this, she has Justin by her side, supporting her. The role reversal between the lead couple, Justin and Leilani and the way they met is a refreshing change from the usual run of the mill stereotypical man – saves – woman – and – carries – her – off – into – the – sunset kind of books.
          It takes a lot of effort to write an intriguing story and still manage to keep the strong surge (undercurrent) of emotions going strong. E Journey does it again. Her words are easy to understand, follow and the language is a joy to read. The characters are not exactly god like and flawless but they make very human mistakes that make them endearing. The books can be classified into many genres.
          The overall plot is nicely woven and the character description is a joy to read. The reader would immediately pick favourites from the book and feel an immediate connection with them. I greeted Elise like an old friend and also loved the central focus of this book. And this is the book where I felt the title added more intrigue to the story.
          E Journey has once again written a book that prevented me from noticing the time once I got involved in it. Really loved the story line. Yes, it had a few faults, but nothing hampered the overall reading experience.
About the Author:  

          EJourney 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.
PRICE: $3.90 for Kindle, $12.50 for Paperback


  1. Thank you once again for a delightful and thoughtful review. Writing for readers like you make it all worthwhile.

    1. Really enjoyed your series. Please do write many more books. Thank you once again for the paperbacks. They will be treasured.


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