3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
In Haylie B. Fox's novel Wrong Turn, Right Guy (also called Falling Off the Career Ladder), Tessa is a successful attorney. Her boss, and senior partner, has indicated she will be made partner if she wins her current big case. In spite of her years of working overtime, foregoing a personal life and being the hardest working member of her team, she is sacked when she refuses to miss her best friend's wedding in Italy to stay and work on the case. Lacking a job, and therefore purpose (in her mind), Tessa flounders and wallows in despair, even as she prepares for and attends her friend Anna's wedding in Italy.
While there, Tessa meets Alex. He is a charming well-to-do young man who steps in one day to rescue Tessa and her mother from a transportation dilemma in the Italian countryside. The pragmatic and career-minded Tessa surprises herself when she starts to develop feelings for Alex. Could she seriously be falling in love with someone she's just met? Will she be able to find another job when she returns to the states? How will she define herself if she can't be a lawyer anymore? Where is her life going, anyway? Tessa finds herself at a literal and metaphorical crossroads in her life. Which direction will she choose?
Wrong Turn, Right Guy is part romance novel and part travel guide to Italy. The country is not merely the backdrop for the action in the novel. Italy's cities, roads and countryside are characters every bit as much as the people are. Ms. Fox paints a stunning portrait of Italy with it's fertile rolling hills, colorful citizens and ancient (but living) history. As I read the book I was in the water taxi with Tessa and her mother, I was at the country farmhouse with Tessa, Alex and Alex's roommate Luca; I stumbled down the slope with Tessa as she skied her way down the bunny hill in the Alps.
Ms. Fox has written a compelling novel with Wrong Turn, Right Guy. The characters and their relationships are well-developed, the setting is appealing and I found myself invested in the characters' outcomes. The two drawbacks for me are the need for further editing, and the sometimes selfish, whiney nature of the protagonist. The grammatical errors are distracting, and at times Tessa is only in complaining mode, even though (and perhaps because) she lives a privileged life. I understand she is trying to find meaning in her life, but it is hard to relate to her during these times.
I rate Wrong Turn, Right Guy 3 out of 4 stars. The story is entertaining, and the characters are engaging for the most part. The novel would have gotten a higher rating had it been better edited. Readers looking for a virtual romantic international getaway will love this book. They can experience Italy with a knowledgeable tour guide without ever leaving the house.
Wrong Turn, Right Guy
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like e-tasana-williams's review? Post a comment saying so!