I absolutely adored Lasairiona’s first book, Bloom Where You Are Planted – a no-nonsense guide to living abroad – so I couldn’t wait to read her first fiction book. I’m pleased to say that it didn’t disappoint!
Lisa Millar makes the big ‘mistake’ of falling for handsome, musical, sporty AJ. So “what’s the problem?” I hear you ask. Well, he lives five thousand miles away and they’ve never actually met in person. They’ve only ever spoken over the Internet! After a few months though, after a spur of the moment decision and encouragement from her best friend (who happens to live in the same city as AJ), Lisa decides to book herself on a flight to Alabama to go and surprise this guy who she’s so quickly developed strong feelings for, and who, from everything they’ve shared online, apparently feels the same about her.
What follows is a warm, quirky story about how Lisa and AJ navigate their journey from being relative strangers to becoming the actual couple that they thought they were over the Internet! They quickly discover that although they thought they had gotten to know each other quite well ‘long distance’, they had a LOT to learn, and that meeting up ‘IRL’ (in real life) was a different matter completely.
McMasters’ writing style makes you feel like you’re chatting to an old friend. She’s funny, relaxed and pulls no punches! She’s completely real, which is what I loved about her in her first book: she tells it like it is. The theme of this book is current and extremely relevant in today’s online era. And the reality is that so many people find it easy to misrepresent who they are when they’re hiding behind a screen. Couple that with the number of scammers who lead victims astray, conning them out of untold fortunes of their hard-earned cash! It is really sad that there are so many evil-doers willing to prey on others who are merely looking for company and someone to share a ‘happy ever after’ with. So while this doesn’t stray into those waters, it does cover the very real fact that as much as you think you know who you’re talking to on the other side of the world … you actually don’t!
This is a thoroughly enjoyable 4-star read, and I can’t wait to get to the next leg of Lisa’s journey.
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.
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Many thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me along on this blog tour. Take a look at what other bloggers are saying about Intimate Strangers …