Review of Then and Now by Monica Mccallan, Audiobook narrated by Lori Prince
This summer I’ve listened to The Flaw in our Design by this author, an audiobook also narrated by Lori Prince. I liked it a lot, so when I saw this new audiobook release, I did a happy dance. I’m glad to say that it met my expectations.
Lily Connor and Bennett Burke had a torrid affair for a few months while they were in a study abroad experience but Bennett broke Lily’s heart when she stopped it after returning to America. Five years later, Lily is a successful wedding planner in her way to get more responsibility on her job but she needs to nail her latest wedding assignment. Unfortunately, Lily will need to work with the bride’s best friend who is no other than Bennett. Avoiding falling for Bennett again shouldn’t be a problem, should it?
This is a second-chances story with some elements of new adult romance too. The story happens in two timeframes, one in 2013 when Lily and Bennett met (presented in flashbacks) and the other in the present time as they meet again. The flashbacks are developed in interspersed separate chapters.
I know that some readers don’t like flashbacks and even consider them a pet peeve. I personally don’t mind them if they are well written and add substance to the story. This is exactly the case. There are a few reasons why the flashbacks work well in this book, one of them is because the past is an integral part of the plot, a background to the story that needs to be told. Secondly, both parts contrast well with each other, one bringing levity when the other is angsty and vice versa. And last but not least, the flashbacks act as a tease of what’s about to happen, especially the sex scenes. The intimate scenes that happen in the past start from fade to black building up the level of explicitness towards its resolution in the present. I thought that was cleverly done.
I like the writing style of this author, it reminds me of Melissa Brayden’s but she’s definitely not a carbon copy. Ms. Mccallan’s characters are empowered and independent women who have agency but who are still trying to figure things out. They are far from larger than life characters, they have flaws, fears and shortcomings. Both Lily and Bennett take a journey throughout the story arriving at the end in an improved version of themselves. They are both very likeable and it’s impossible not to root for them.
Once again, Lori Prince did an excellent job. Her narration is impeccable, showing that she can perform serious stories as well as comedies. I absolutely loved her interpretation of the many intense scenes that are present in this book. As usual, Ms. Prince brought the story to life and made it even more enjoyable. If you are looking for a second chance romance with all the feels, I highly recommend it. 5 stars.
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins