I have a confession… I’ve always been somewhat anti-romance – not necessarily a romance basher, but just someone who always passed by the romance section in search of better books. I’ve only read a couple in my life, and I thought they were poorly written and super cliché/cheesy. I, therefore, assumed that the entire romance genre is not for me. So when Lisa from TLC Books Tours asked me to join the tour for Beyond Coincidence, I was hesitant but eventually decided that I should maybe give romance another try. And well… I learned that I should take it a little easier on the romance genre. So thank you to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
4 of 5 stars
Beyond Coincidence is the story of Lucy who takes a solo trip to France after being heart broken by the man that she thought was the love of her life. While there she discovers that she is the only person who can see Freddy, a dead soldier whose remains have recently been dug up and who needs help having his remains identified so he can finally be laid to rest and have peace. He says to Lucy that he doesn’t quite know why but he feels like she was meant to be the one to help him. Freddy goes back to Australia with Lucy and begins the journey of learning about the life he never got to have. Lucy is able to track down Freddy’s last remaining relative, Nate – his great grandson, who has recently had some heartbreak of his own. They are immediately drawn to each other and up being inspirations to each other and to Freddy.
From the summary on the back of this book, I was somewhat scared that Lucy was going to fall in love with a ghost and then end up with a tragic, cheesy love story that would just make me gag. But it’s apparent after the first couple of pages that that is not the case. Also, after the first chapter, it’s pretty easy to guess what’s going to happen, but then again… that’s what I’m looking for in romance – a feel-good story, but one that’s real life without the romantic scenes being forced. Jacquie Underdown does a wonderful job of focusing on plot development while still delivering the romance. She also does a fantastic job with the magical realism of Freddy’s ghost - I completely believed that Lucy speaking with Freddy was something that was absolutely normal.
What really kept me interested in the entire story was the slight suspense of what Freddy and Lucy’s actual connection would end up being and if Freddy would find the rest that he was seeking. And everything connected beautifully in the end. This is definitely a cozy story of different types of relationships that make us who we are and enrich our lives. The only reason I give this book 4 instead of 5 stars is that the dialogue seems a little bit forced at times, but not so much that the story still didn’t feel sincere.
I will definitely be giving Jacquie Underdown’s other books a shot whenever I need to take a break from all my long fantasy series and read something a little lighter. I would recommend this book to anyone who is overwhelmed with a longer series that you’re in the middle of like I was or needs a quick genre switch to break up the monotony.