The Queen of Tarts Review
Ok, here is the synopsis of The Great Escape… It’s a book I’ve been waiting for over 10 years!
Release date: Jul. 10, 2012 | Publisher: William Morrow | Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Author)
ISBN: 0062106066 | ISBN-13: 9780062106063 |
“Next to Tracy and Hepburn, nobody does romantic comedy better than Susan Elizabeth Phillips.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune Perennial New York Times bestseller Susan Elizabeth Phillips now provides her fans with The Great Escape from ordinary women’s romantic fiction. One of today’s most beloved writers, the incomparable Phillips follows up her utterly beguiling hit, Call Me Irresistible (“Phillips at her very best. Romantic, funny, sexy, and poignant” —Kristin Hannah) with a sequel that’s equally impossible to resist. Returning in The Great Escape are some of Phillips’s most adored characters, including headstrong, impetuous ex-president’s daughter, Lucy Jorik, who’s just abandoned her fiancÉ, Ted “Mr. Irresistible” Beaudine, at the altar. Now she’s looking for adventure—and perhaps a little romance—embarking on a wild and hilariously unpredictable road trip that begins on the back of a rather menacing-looking stranger’s motorcycle. The winner of more Favorite Book of the Year Awards than any other romance author, including Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips offers her fans an Escape to remember, and they’ll certainly want to come back for more!
Like I said above, I have been waiting for this book since I met the character of Lucy in The First Lady novel back in 2000! She’s was a 15 year old teenager who was trying to take care of her little sister. She’s strong and brave and feisty and doing everything in her power to keep her little family together. She and her sister get adopted by Nealy and Mat. Soooo, she’s a character I’ve been curious about for a long time! Susan Elizabeth Phillips has said that she originally thought that Ted (the son of the characters from Fancy Pants) and Lucy would be a match. But that didn’t work and last years’ novel Call Me Irresistible, starts with Lucy fleeing her wedding to Ted Beaudine and tells the story of how Ted and Meg (the daughter of the couple from Glitter Baby) fall in love. We did get little peaks at Lucy during Call Me Irresistible but not much. The Great Escape is, finally, telling Lucy’s story.
Sheesh! After all that build up do you see where it could go wrong? I think I had super high expectations for this story and how could anything really completely deliver? Please don’t misunderstand, I loved this book. I just didn’t LOVE this book. It’s good and and I enjoyed it. It’s full of the sparkling, witty, characteristic SEP dialogue and humor. The secondary characters are wonderful and well drawn and never feel like filler. I fell in love with the character of Bree and was rooting for her and actually would have liked her story to be longer… and I really want Kristy to get her own story.
I enjoyed meeting Lucy again. It seemed very relatable how hard she was on herself for leaving her fiance at the altar at the beginning of the story. She does a lot of soul searching and has to discover who she is, not the perfect president’s daughter, the perfect lady she thought she needed to be, to be worthy of the life she’d been given. Lucy thought her marriage to Ted was right because he was perfect. If you’ve read Call Me Irresistible, you know he’s not! lol But Lucy thought he was and when she realizes she’s can’t keep pretending to be perfect herself and runs out of the chapel, she hops on the back of a motorcycle and escapes! The driver’s name is Panda. I know *shaking head* that name doesn’t really do anything for me either. His name is never really explained. You do learn his back-story. That he… Aack! I don’t want to be spoilery. But he has a lot of wounds and a lot of heart. Panda takes Lucy on her journey and she has to learn who she really is under the layers of perfect she’d been hiding under. I enjoyed that one of her disguises during their road trip is a homage to what her mom Nealy did in The First Lady story.
Lucy makes a reverse bucket list and wants to do some of the rebellious acts she never did as a teenager. Stuff like dye her hair and stay up late and swear and have a one night stand and avoid her homework . <g> Her homework is to write a couple chapters for her dad’s book on her mother’s journey to the White House. It was a bit unrealistic that a 31 year old professional woman would escape from her life that way…But it was entertaining to watch. As she does all these things she’s letting down her walls and learning about herself. SEP lets this unwrap over time. Lucy doesn’t just miraculously discover who she is, it takes time and work and this book allows for that.
The setting, is a delight. I loved Charity Island! I want to live there. I want to ride a bike and kayak and eat the local honey. *sigh* I liked the town and loved that the people there were welcoming and there wasn’t the drama from the townspeople that some SEP books have. :p
You get to see Panda’s protective side and his sense of humor … But I didn’t really connect with him. Maybe it is his name? I don’t know *wail* I like him well enough and he is hot and funny and snarky and strong and overbearing sometimes and he has a lot of baggage to deal with (side note-his issues are alluded to and weren’t a surprise to me when they come up). He gives Lucy room to be herself. Hmmmm… I’ve changed my mind. He’s good. I can’t quite put my finger on what was missing for me and what makes this story a lower case “l” love book. Really, that’s good though, love is way better than like! I do think I had outrageously high expectations after years of waiting for this story. I don’t even know what I really wanted. But, I read this book in one sitting. I laughed out loud and was eager to follow the character’s journeys. I will re-read this book. So, if you enjoy contemporary romance give this book a try. You do not have to read the other books first, but I think you’ll want to read more SEP after you finish. Some of my all time favorites of Susan Elizabeth Phillips books are Kiss an Angel and Ain’t She Sweet.
If you’ve read this book I’d love to know your feelings on it too.
The Queen of Tarts