Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Narrator: Marnye Young
Audiobook Length: 5hr 14m
Release Date: 03-02-2017
Reading Time: 7 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a review copy of Walland from Marnye Young in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the narrator, author and/or publisher’s generosity. You can’t fake these stars, baby!
Can broken hearts risk love again? India’s life has always gone according to plan. But when she decides to call off her high-profile wedding and take time off from her network television job, everything turns upside down. A tranquil resort in the moody Smoky Mountains of Tennessee was supposed to be a place she could hide out and lick her wounds. Instead she finds herself questioning everything she ever thought she wanted.
Wyatt is a man with scars that run deep. He’s built a careful life for himself, and he has no intention of letting anyone get close to him…again. But what happens when two people who are running away from love run right into one another? Will the intense chemistry they feel be enough to overpower their fears? Or will their time together in the Smoky Mountains end with broken hearts?
First Line: “India Evans fiddled with the necklace at her throat as the wheels tucked themselves up into the belly of the plane and the nose shot skyward, up and away from LaGuardia.”
The first time I am introduced to a narrator, it usually takes me a few chapters to coalesce with their rhythm. A new voice, a new cadence, a new style. With Marnye… yaaaaOK it took me about 30 seconds; she’s hypnotizing, melodic, and angelic.
India and her fiancé are on the brink of death; the commercial flight they’re on has just declared an emergency. Oxygen masks are flailing, panic is stuck in her throat, and she looks to her future husband in hopes to get one last wishful glimpse of love and comfort…
Except he’s texting.
In fact, he’s sending out a tweet saying farewell to his devout followers.
HELL. NAWWW. Get my canoe! This man needs to be drowned in the river.
Andrea Thome immediately sets the scene and intricately illustrates India’s current “problem.” Here she is… scared, engaged to this leech, and he appears to be anything but invested in her emotions. Of course the two survive the flight, but that nauseating feeling India had aboard the plane does not recede. Being a news broadcaster who endured an (almost) life-threatening event, she should be excited to recap the events on live tv! Yet the only one excited is her fiancé… But, hey, at least his tweet is getting over a million likes, right?
Since she can’t take a leisurely stroll with her fiancé to the river so he can suffocate on some fresh water air, India has only one other option: leave him.
Listening to the faraway notes of the chamber music filtering through the walls of St. Patrick’s, she’d realized that, for the first time ever, she was dreading doing the very thing that she loved most: delivering the news.
So where does one go to recover from a failed engagement to a self-absorbed man? Walland, Tennessee.
And whoooEEE the men sure are dreamy in Walland! Channel your inner Celine Dion because this is the Power of Love, baby!
Wyatt is holding up a slew of emotional walls, but India and that alluring way about her is making him all sorts of weak! And whatdoyouknow… it looks like India has signed up for a photography workshop that Wyatt just so happens to be instructing!
He felt a thrill when he registered another emotion in her eyes. Excitement. It had flickered across her face before she could help it or notice him, and it was in that moment that he knew he had to kiss her. It would be on her terms, but it was inevitable as far as he was concerned. He was bewitched.
Yes yes yes! Saucy romance is in the air. Gimme some of dat juju!
But – and there is always a but – Wyatt isn’t forthcoming when he has the chance… and neither is India. Both are holding back, and this is an absolute recipe for disaster. This once in a lifetime connection is going to be gone just as fast as it started because these two are stuck in this cyclic whirlwind between limbo and doubt.
Besides, India is only in Walland for a week. Girl’s got a life back in New York!
She fit him. His friends, his family. His life. He hoped she would come to the same conclusion when she went back to New York, but the alternative scared him. He shook the thought away, determined to make the most of this last day and night with her. Then it was up to fate. And India.
Do not let India leave (except he does because he’s a FOOL)! Do not succumb to this comfortable lonely life, Wyatt! Do not leave this up to fate (or India) because she has no clue what to do!
Gaawd. Given both of their track records, who knows how this cluster of emotions is going to settle.
Andrea Thome. ANDREA THOME! This book is intoxicating! No amount of filtration can dilute what Andrea has created. Walland is an incredible story of fate, passion, and love reborn. We have the power to choose our family, but sometimes – like with India and Wyatt – family chooses us. Andrea Thome is immaculate in her descriptions of Walland, the people, and the opportunities hidden within chance.
Wyatt and India’s failed attempts at love provide a delicious undercurrent of doubt that slowly fades with each page turn. These two concurrently grow into better versions of themselves (although they have problems realizing it) and inevitably recognize that Plan B is the path they were meant to take all along.
I don’t know about you, but I need a vaca to Walland, Tennessee. Mayhap I’ll write all about it in my journal and ask Marnye Young to read it back to me.