Book Review: The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

August 15, 2012 § 2 Comments

14 down on Goodreads Challenge

Lucy Jorik is about to marry the perfect man, and it’s all wrong. Hyperventilating, she can barely tell her would-be groom “I can’t” before she ditches the wedding dress and flees the church.  When a rough biker who calls himself Panda pulls up beside her and offers her a ride, she hops on the back of his motorcycle and takes off with him.

Her cross-country trip with this surly yet sexy stranger goes from Texas to Arkansas to a summer destination island on the Great Lakes. The island, Lucy discovers, is a refuge for other troubled souls, including a financially struggling woman who is suddenly saddled with an orphaned boy, a pining real estate agent who tries way too hard, and a fugitive reality show host who is taking a punishing dose of her own medicine. As Lucy’s life becomes intertwined with those of her lake-front neighbors, she begins to confront the emptiness that caused her to run away, and face the truth about the damaged man she now can’t seem to escape.

I really enjoyed  this latest contemporary romance by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I loved the two main characters, and I loved them together. Lucy is a woman who was forced to grow up too fast, and Panda is a man who was robbed of his childhood. The two of them have just enough understanding of the other’s inner demons to connect, while putting up thick enough walls to keep the antagonism, and thereby the chemistry, popping. Lucy and Panda’s relationship is edgy, fun, and off-kilter.  Phillips’ sophisticated, readable writing style and understated humor made it that much better.

“I did my time,” he said. “I don’t believe in looking back.”
Surely he was lying. “Has . . . your prison record impeded your career goals?”
“Not so as you’d notice.” He flicked through the channels. Fortunately, the motel didn’t seem to offer porn—the cross on the wall might explain why—and he settled for NASCAR.

I highly recommend The Great Escape, a fun, funny self-discovery journey with strong, engaging characters who are totally mismatched. There are surprises and turns right up until the very end. Though a stand-alone book, The Great Escape is actually a follow-up to Call Me Irresistible. I’ll be adding that to my reading list, too.

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