Review of Detour to Love by Amanda Radley
I’ve read a few books by Amanda Radley and particularly liked Huntress and Bring Holly Home. This author was previously known as A.E. Radley and most of her career has been as an independent writer. This is her first book published by Bold Strokes Books and under the name Amanda Radley.
Celia Scott is an upper-level executive in an insurance company on her way to Tokyo to receive an award she doesn’t want for personal reasons. Lily Andersen is a children’s book illustrator who’s travelling to Japan to meet her online crush. As they find themselves seating together on the plane, their personalities clash and they initially cannot stand each other but fate makes them cross their paths and realise that maybe they were meant for each other…
This is an opposites-attract, age-gap, enemies to lovers romance by this author who has previously used these tropes in her extensive career. The age gap is quite substantial (Celia is 51 and Lily 26) and even though the main characters are completely different, the author makes their attraction work. I wouldn’t say that the chemistry is explosive; the romance is slow-burn and there aren’t any explicit sex scenes, but the mains are good enough together more in an intense platonic friendship than anything else.
I was under the impression that this was a romantic comedy based on the cover and blurb. It starts like that, with a few funny moments. However, the tone of the novel suddenly changes to slightly somber and it never goes back to the initial lightness despite that there are some funny moments afterwards. I’m not going to explain why because it’s not stated in the blurb and I don’t want to spoil anything, but the circumstances around one of the characters made me change my reading mood substantially. It’s not that they behaved out of character, it’s absolutely understandable, things considered, but nevertheless, it changed the general tone of the book or at least my impression of it.
If you enjoy slow-burn romances with more emphasis on the emotional than the physical aspects and don’t mind an age gap of 25 years then this might be for you. 3.5 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.