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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Review: Since We Last Met

Title: Since We Last Met
Author: Bronwyn Sell

Publisher: 5th January 2022 by HQ Fiction

Pages: 400 pages

How I Read It: ARC book

Genre: women’s fiction, contemporary

My Rating: 4 crowns


Five years ago, Carmen and Bruno spent the night together. Their daughter, Mika, was born nine months later ... but Bruno doesn't know she exists. Can the couple find each other, and the truth, in a tropical island paradise? A sparkling romance for readers of Alissa Callen and Penelope Janu.

Single mum Carmen Lowery's life might be annoyingly imperfect, but at least it's orderly and predictable. Until a tall, dark, handsome stranger mysteriously arrives at her family's Whitsundays resort island - and turns out to be not quite a stranger after all.

American special ops pilot Bruno Michel fell off Carmen's radar five years ago after they shared the wildest night of her otherwise straitlaced life. The self-confessed fly-by-nighter when it comes to love is delighted to be temporarily reunited with his uninhibited dream woman, but there's something he doesn't know. Their liaison came with a consequence - a little girl who has his eyes.

Carmen and Bruno pick up where they left off, but the legacy of their liaison runs deep - and Bruno is hiding his own not-so-white lie about that night.

Before he ships out and Carmen's happy-family fantasy drifts away on the trade winds, they must decide whether their unexpected bond can survive life-changing secrets, meddlesome relatives, and a heartbreaking vow made decades before.

My Thoughts

Since We Last Met is a sequel/spinoff of Lovestruck by Aussie author Bronwyn Sell. Not familiar with the latter, I still found it was easy enough to read this new offering as a standalone. It is a perfect romcom summery read, set in the lush Whitsunday islands off Australia - a perfect paradise for all the romance and drama that unfolds.

‘I don’t want my life to be messy and random. I want it to be like the home and garden magazines, where there’s never any dishes on the bench or weeds in the garden or finger marks on the walls.’ ‘Then you’re setting yourself up for misery.’

There is quite the lineup of characters to get your head around, however, Carmen and Bruno are the stars and they make a great duo. I loved how relatable they were to the reader - Bruno being decent and genuine, Carmen the frazzled, hardworking single Mum - as they navigate arising challenges. I appreciated that despite the obvious humour (and there are many funny/awkward moments) Bronwyn does not shy away from the more serious underlying issues and themes. It was this that brought a real sense of reality and relatability for the reader. 

‘This whole human life thing is just one big doomed experiment. None of us knows what we're doing... No one ever learns from anyone else’s mistakes; every generation fucks it up all over again, with ever-worse consequences ... It’s like we’re stuck in a revolving door … we spin around for a bit, all dizzy and going around in circles and finding and losing people and crashing into each other, until suddenly we get spat out, and then a new human gets thrown into the same revolving door to make the same mistakes all over again. We suck. We’re an evolutionary disaster.’

Bronwyn provides some great armchair travel to a beautiful part of Australia - just what I needed - a tropical time out with loads of love and laughter. As with all romcoms, you know exactly where this tale is heading, but gosh the journey getting there is fun and highly enjoyable. 

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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