Friday, December 10, 2010

Reunion by JL Penn - A Contemporary Romance Book Review

From the book's cover: Reunion is a lighthearted and witty yet suspenseful story about how an innocent Facebook reunion with an old high school crush turns one woman's life upside down. Will she remain faithful to her steadfast husband, or will she succumb to nostalgic desire for the one that got away?

J.L. Penn's Reunion is longer than a typical category romance or "Chick Lit" read at a length of 82,000 words, yet the book never feels slow, due to the smooth pacing throughout most of the book. The first couple chapters did seem bumpy and unpredictable to me, but after that, the plot and scenes unfolded quickly and held my interest. The book is written in the first-person, present-tense point-of-view, which I am personally not fond of, but I must admit, gives this story an ultra-modern polish, which is entirely appropriate for this tale of virtual flirtation and temptation and where they may lead. While the story is not appropriate for younger audiences, neither is it overtly sexually graphic, and handles the necessary sexuality with grace.

The only complaint I had about the text was a single grammatical faux pas, in which the author consistently failed to use commas before conjunctions that joined complete phrases. While I believe in allowing a fiction author great leeway with grammatical rules in order to suit his story, his characters, and his voice, this particular omission creates difficulty in reading the longer sentences and thus, seems like more of an oversight than a stylistic selection. That one minor flaw probably only caught my eye, however, because the book is otherwise superbly edited.

Overall, Reunion really hit the sweet spot for me with its delicate balance of drama and humor. It is not laugh-out-loud funny from start to finish, but I did find myself chuckling, giggling, and grinning throughout the course of the story, yet simultaneously feeling pensive, thoughtful, and at times, even a bit misty-eyed. A delightful read indeed-I eagerly await the next production from J.L. Penn.

Reunion is available for purchase in paper and eBook format at most major book outlets, such as Amazon (paper and Kindle format) and Smashwords (paper and other digital formats).

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