Wish You Were Here
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publish Date: June 1, 2011
ASIN: B002V092T2 (May 1, 2009)
Can a whirlwind romance ever go the distance?
When Jack proposes to Beth at the end of a holiday romance, she doesn't think twice--she knows he's The One. But then Jack walks out soon after their return, with no explanation, no nothing.
Eight years on and Beth finds a fantastic new job--working for Jack. She could definitely do without having to face him everyday, but then she can't do without the job...
As the two of them are forced to spend time together, Beth unravels the mystery of Jack's disappearance. Is there too much baggage for them to try again--or could they finally be in the right place at the right time?
Beth Allen works in the travel industry; she does backpacking trips in various parts of the world. She'd been working her father's small local company until he had a serious accident six months ago; while he's been recovering the business has slowly wound down. Now her younger sister has been accepted to an expensive college, and Beth is looking for temporary work in London to help with her sister's college expenses.
Jack Thornfield is the newest CEO at Big Outdoors travel company. When his personal assistant shows him Beth's application for Product Manager, he knows she'd be perfect for the job, but is hesitant to interview her. Jack feels guilty about how things ended between them eight years ago, and she doesn't know he's been hired on at Big Outdoors.
Beth hasn't stopped thinking about her whirlwind romanced with Jack Thornfield - it took her years to get over the pain he caused her. When she gets to the interview (she thought she was interviewing with someone else), she's floored and runs out. After thinking about all the reasons she needs the job, she goes back and agrees to accept the job - with the caveat that they don't discuss their past. Ever.
Beth realizes she's still attracted to Jack, and thinks he feels the same about her, but she's got an almost-fiance at home, and needs to concentrate on helping her family's finances. Besides, Jack broke her heart eight years ago, she shouldn't forgive him for that, should she?
Wish You Were Here was a sweet read; I'm a huge fan of the reunited lovers storyline. I liked both Beth and Jack, they were sympathetic characters and I found I was interested in their story right from the beginning: Beth shines in her role as Product Manager and enjoys living in London, making friends with her co-workers and experiencing big-city life; Jack is the slightly cranky boss who hides his feelings for her.
I was frustrated that we got Jack's backstory in tiny snippets. We knew he'd loved and left Beth, but we didn't know why until near the very end. The gradual way it was revealed left me thinking bad thoughts about him. After I got more information about his situation I changed my mind, but it took a while to get me there. Once I knew the full truth I was won over.
I know we're not supposed to like Beth and Jack's love interests, and I especially didn't care for Beth's almost-fiancee, Marcus. He seemed very one-dimensional and stuffy. I got the impression he was around the same age as Beth and Jack, yet his views on women's behavior was decidedly stodgy and out dated. Jack's girlfriend, Camilla, was stereotypically high-maintenance and not suited for life with someone who spends most of their time outdoors.
Beth's interactions with her father and her father's friend, Honor, were easy and sweet. You definitely got a sense of love and affection for Beth, and the fact that they weren't too impressed with Marcus gave them points in my book, lol.
I enjoyed the way Ms. Ashley ended the book - I love happy endings and Wish You Were Here pleased me on several levels.
This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.