REVIEW: Honeymoon Alone by Nicole Macaulay
Just how reliable are psychics – specifically psychics hired by your sister for wedding entertainment?
When irrepressibly romantic Lucy Gray is ditched at said wedding by her date in front of her whole family, the promises of a psychic seem better than her pity-riddled reality.
The psychic’s advice seems insightful: stop ignoring fate’s signs – fate will lead you to love. But when “fate” leads Lucy to London, she finds herself tangled in a web of lies. In a story about finding independence and taking chances,
Lucy learns that leaving everything up to fate can be dangerous – and jeopardize her chances at happily ever after.
Dear Ms. Macaulay,
I just finished another book review in which I said I’m tired of jilted people going on their honeymoon by themselves. But then I saw the blurb for this book and something about a psychic at a wedding, finding yourself and taking chances caught my attention. Plus the heroine is going on someone else’s honeymoon.
Lucy has always been the dependable one in the family so when the psychic doesn’t show up for her sister’s 80s themed wedding (and I’ve never gone to a wedding like that but I have lived through the era), it’s Lucy who hustles to find one. When her colleague “date” (brought so that her extended family won’t keep bugging her about “why doesn’t she have a boyfriend?”) hooks up with a cousin, Lucy heads to the psychic herself for a little advice. What she gets is being told to “take chances.” Then when fate hands her the chance to go to London and use her sister’s “second honeymoon” choice (that sis forgot to cancel), Lucy thinks “why not.”
Quickly (before her worrying family can try and talk her out of it), she makes arrangements for a teaching sub and someone to look after her tuxedo cat, Ricky (as in Ricardo – Lucy has a thing for 50s/60s sitcoms) and jets off. Complications immediately ensue. But she’s free, doing something spontaneous, stepping out of her comfort zone, and having fun. With a former school mate to help her (that’s part of the complicated) ward off a nosy hotel employee (also complicated), Lucy begins to explore London and eventually Paris (though someone should have reminded her earlier that the exchange rate isn’t 1:1). As she helps her friend with his love life, she begins to have feelings for someone, herself. But is it something to build a relationship on or was it all just a vacay?
The story is told in first person for a reason as certain things must remain hidden from Lucy and her friend until the end. I figured those things out after a while but since the main emphasis of the story is on Lucy and how she changes, I was okay with her staying in the dark. The whole set-up of the plot, along with some of the details needed to keep all the balls in the air, requiresthe reader to just go with it. But then most rom-com movies induce some eye rolling and have some “Yeah, okay” moments, too.
To repeat – the majority of the story is about Lucy discovering new things and strengths about herself. I liked watching her spread her wings and decide that she was going to make this work and make the most of it. The friendship that she forges with her old school acquaintance is fun to watch and she doesn’t lose her agency as I’m used to seeing in these situations. She also fends off “the other” guy’s questions and intrusions into her life until their relationship begins to change. He was never utterly obnoxious (more like a bit annoying at first until Lucy began to take some control of the relationship) and slowly we can see his feelings changing for her. I also adored Lucy’s family’s blog.
There were a few things that made me think another editing pass would have been nice such as two uses of the word “ushering.” “Everyone seems to be closing shop early for the holidays, ushering down the streets to family and traditions.” “Everyone is ushering inside for reprieve from holiday madness and bitter chill.” Another reviewer pointed out that FAO Schwarz was misspelled.
Still I enjoyed Lucy’s joie de vivre and watching her break out of her rut and grab her chance to do what she wants. It is also nice that the humor in the book isn’t turned on Lucy as so often happens in chicklit. I would have liked to learn what she decided to do with her thoughts on how she wanted to change in her life going forward (besides permanently hooking up with The One). But for me to enjoy a trope I thought I was tired of says a lot. B-