Title: The Boyfriend Backtrack
My take: I’ll admit, at first I thought I wasn’t going to like this book. Sure, the expository scenes were well-written, and the proposal scene where Regina has the flashback was funny, but the other flashbacks to Regina’s past made me dizzy, and there were parts where I was getting stressed for our heroine because of all the things that were happening to her. Then I realized that I was probably projecting my own stress on the book, so I put it down and saved it for a happier day.
“I just think you missed out on something that must have been beautiful,” she insists. “You see people get married and say all these things to the loves of their lives. How come you missed out on yours?”
It’s a good question. We stand in the middle of Leslie’s driveway, the cold wind sweeping past us. I just say, “Maybe it’s not always like the movies, you know? No perfectly-scored moments or anything like that.”
She looks sorry for me, “You used to believe in those things. (…) I kind of miss that.”
I smile at her, “We grow up, Jules.”
Regina should talk about growing up. She works as an assistant to a renowned wedding photographer, and everyone – including her co-workers – can tell that she’s spacing out on the job. She refers to her relationship with her boyfriend Kevin as a “situation,” since he travels a lot and doesn’t see her much unless he’s in town. So it’s no wonder that, when Kevin proposes to her, she has that horrible flashback to all of her exes since high school. But the road to self-realization is rough: it’s no spoiler to say that she sees her exes again, and none of them make her feel any better about her “situation” than before. And then there’s The One Who Got Away, whose presence will make you wonder what’s so important and special about him…until you read further, and realize that he’d been there all along.
As I mentioned before, The Boyfriend Backtrack isn’t perfect – there are also some copy-editing issues that took me out of the story – but Dawn Lanuza’s debut is sweet and charming, and it’s especially fun to read for those who like contemporary romances with a lot of heart. I look forward to reading more from this author!
Final grade: B