Series: Boudreaux #5.5
Published by Ampersand Publishing on May 30th 2017
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Lena Turner has spent her life as the outsider. Thanks to her extraordinary gifts, she’s learned to be independent—especially when it comes to men. She’s content to live her life in New Orleans as a schoolteacher, dating casually and dedicated to her small family. Long term is not part of her plan. Sometimes the past catches up with you…
Leaving Lena behind to pursue his career was the most difficult thing Mason Coulter ever did. He told himself that it was for the best, had even convinced himself that he had only Lena’s best interests in mind. But now, after six long years, he’s back in New Orleans to settle his late eccentric aunt’s estate. All he has to do is get in and out of the city without submitting to the need to see Lena. But to Mason’s dismay, his aunt made other plans. And sometimes the future and the past collide… Having Mason walk back into her life is something Lena never saw coming. She could refuse to help him, but she’s never been good at telling Mason no. So she’ll do what she can to get the estate settled and Mason out of her life for good. At least, that’s the plan. But Mason has plans of his own…
‘Easy Fortune’ is, well, an easy read and incredibly short even for a novella. It packs a second-chance romance, a cute treasure-hunt and a resolution that’s too neatly wrapped-up with promises of true love after a week of sex and fun, though I do think it would have been better had it been a longer, more-drawn out story that wouldn’t have otherwise, put an easily-forgiving female protagonist and a selfish bastard of a male main character back together easily.
But that’s cynical, jaded ol’ me speaking and I’d be the first to raise my flag in support of the mantra that second-chances romances have a hell of a lot to prove before they actually satisfy. Maybe I just wanted an extended time of grovelling and a taste of Mason’s own medicine shoved down his throat; maybe I wanted more than just sex that heated the sheets but a deeper development that went past a treasure hunt and a letter that pretty much explained to the MCs why love is important and why both characters should be together.
My problem with this particular second-chance story is that Mason’s apology and return to Lena’s life really felt like an afterthought: circumstances had brought him back to where he used to be not because of choice and that his meeting with Lena (and subsequent apology) would not have happened because he never would have sought her out of his own will independently. Throughout, I couldn’t help but think that he was nothing but a self-serving idiot—leaving the woman to pursue his dream without even managing to bother with an explanation when she would have been supportive of him—especially he’d presumptuously and genuinely thought he leaving her without a word really was the best decision for her.
It didn’t seem like a decision that anyone sensible could come back from (let alone easily), particularly after the emotional damage Mason did to Lena, which was why her easy forgiveness of his thoughtless actions left me incredulous, as it merely felt like a hurdle the author wanted to get over and done quickly with before they could move forward together.
The only saving grace, perhaps, was that Lena left in the end yet even so, I was left sceptical in the manner in which Mason came back after trying to redeem himself in a (laughably) big way.
My rant could go on and on. But it’s not a new argument that I’m rehashing against second-chance romances because there are so many things that make this particular trope problematic for me. ‘Easy Fortune’ sadly, isn’t quite one that I could swallow hook, line and sinker.