(3rd Book in the Lisa Millar trilogy)
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publisher: Drama Llama Publishing
Publication date: November 08, 2019
Potential Trigger Warning: Grief, Loss, Mental Health, Bipolar, Depression
Five thousand miles from her ex, Lisa is living with her decision to call it quits and leave both AJ and Alabama behind. She believes she’s finally ready to put her broken heart back together and move forward with her life as a single woman. But when she meets a seemingly too-good-to-be-true doctor, she feels both unsure of herself and guilty for moving on so quickly from her engagement to AJ. Lisa finds herself at a cross roads, does she give up all hope of ever reconciling with AJ and take a chance on love again with someone new? Or is her heart destined to be forever entwined with the married man she met on the internet?
The focus is on Lisa and AJ’s relationship, and whether they get past their problems to build a life together. The story is narrated through Lisa’s POV, and I hear that AJ’s POV will be dealt with in a separate series.
There’s a brief mention of Lisa’s harrowing past, so her current state of mind is understandable. If you don’t have background information, it looks like there’s so much “girl drama” right from the first page–Lisa has frequent panic attacks and crying spells. She often asks her friends to stay up all night talking to her on the phone–friends who live in different time zones and are amazingly supportive. Only a bit later do you realize just why she is in such a fragile condition and why she needs all the support she can get.
An author’s note at the end of the book explains the rationale behind the title, “Fateful Coincidence,” which is derived from a Chinese concept called Yuanfen. It seemed like a heavy title for a romance novel, but once you read this story about fate playing loose and fast with Lisa’s life, you begin to see the connection.
McMaster’s language is in step with the times. Phone calls, text messages, group chats, Facebook, and FaceTime are the backbone of the story. Words like craic lend a distinctive Irish flavor (I admit I didn’t know what it meant and I had to Google it.)
Lisa’s “inner dialogue” vs. actual outward response is used effectively to showcase the tussle going on within her. And boy, does her shoulder angel talk a LOT!
Mental health issues are sensitively and responsibly discussed. Good to see young people taking stock of their lives and health along with having fun!
There are some references to popular culture and literature e.g. Marie Kondo’s mantra of checking to see if an item sparks joy, references to the Hunger Games and Fifty Shades, Team Edward vs. Team Jacob (Twilight), which give the book a current feel.
Lisa is more sorted at 23 than I will ever be! Supported by the most amazing friends, she counters everything that life throws at her–and her obsession with lists helps her quite a bit. I was amazed to see how knowledgeable and prepared she was for a friend’s delivery. She’s spunky and makes no apologies for expressing her sexual desires. At the same time, she suffers from plenty of self-doubt.
She calls herself a “drama llama,” but I feel she handles herself well. Who doesn’t freak out when life messes up big, big time? (I don’t want to say just how big–that would give the plot away!) I rode the emotional roller-coaster with her–ecstatic at her joys and devastated at her losses.
Jeremy is the guy friend every girl wishes she had. And unlike the usual stereotypes, he’s not gay. Those night cuddles made me so jealous.
The girl gang–Chelsea, Ana, Siobhan, Aoife (What a lovely name!), and Clare–consists of the sort of people you consider family and not friends. They laugh, cry, scold, scream, and text their way through events happening in each other’s life. Secrets, gossip, sarcasm, drama, fights–there’s nothing these girls don’t do.
AJ Williams is a conflicted individual, unable to take a step forward or backward in life. There wasn’t much of a back story for him, so all I understood is that he is an honorable man who respects his commitments. But the heart wants what the heart wants, even if it means stepping over boundaries drawn by society. I was waiting for him to grow a spine and take a stand for his woman–and I’ll let you find out if he manages to do that.
This is my first NA Romance novel, and I’m glad I chose to step out of my comfort zone to read this book. Suffice to say that I will be reading the other books in the Lisa Millar series by and by–not just because I want to know more about Lisa and AJ’s history–but also because I enjoy this genre.
I loved the fact that there is zero judgment around things like mental health issues, single motherhood, crying as a form of emotional release, and falling in love several times. The overall tone of the book is quite progressive, and it leaves me with a good feeling.
About the Author
Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.
You can find more exciting reviews of this book at:
(Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources offered me the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.)
Talk to me!
- Have you read the book? How did you like it?
- Which is your favorite New Adult Romance author?
- Have you read other books by Lasairiona McMaster?