Review: Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

32333026. sy475 Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.

4.5 Stars

After falling in love with Italy, Lina and Ren in Love & Gelato I knew there was no possible way that Love & Luck could measure up.

And yet, here we are.

Now that I’ve finished I want to do two things: I want to cry happy tears and I want to turn back to the start. I want to take this incredible journey with Addie, Ian and Rowan all over again.

Love & Luck is an emotional journey across the sweeping green countryside of Ireland. It’s the story of Addie and Ian; two siblings that have fallen out after a nasty betrayal and a broken heart. It’s a story that explores heartbreak and moving forwards while delving into the complex dynamics of family relationships.

Oh, and there’s a side serving of love and adventure because what more could you need?

The first thing I want to talk about is the Guidebook and I say guidebook with a capital G because it serves as its own character of sorts. That and it’s kind of the catalyst for Addie joining the spontaneous road trip and confronting her grief.

The Guidebook in question is formally known as Introduction to Ireland for the Broken Hearted: An Unconventional Guide to the Emerald Isle, third edition. Quite a bit of a mouthful, huh? Love & Luck opens with an excerpt from the Guidebook and its pages are scattered throughout. The Guidebook’s writer – who I’m referring to as Guidebook Lady – had such a comforting, motherly voice. I pictured her as this stout, Mrs Weasley kind with layers of knitted scarves, fingerless gloves and a tea cosy beanie. She’s got this warming tone – all “listen up buttercup!”. She’s sharp, witty and I absolutely loved it.

 Also, this Guidebook Lady knows what she’s talking about – I think we could all take a page or two from the her book.

Next comes the gorgeous Irish setting. With the Guidebook in tow, and a beat-up old car that’s actually falling apart, we have our golden ticket to traipsing vicariously around the Emerald Isle. Following the footsteps of the Guidebook, we travel to wind swept cliffs, crumbling castles, secret fairy forts, sleepy seaside communities and even an indie music festival. It’s a breathtaking adventure that will make you fall in love. And, as with anything Jenna Evans Welch writes, every facet is researched thoroughly. I feel like she really captures the essence and the charm of Ireland.

Which brings me to Addie and a confession…

Here’s the thing; I didn’t really get on board with Addie in Love & Gelato which was part of the reason I didn’t think I would enjoy Love & Luck. Let me tell you – I’ve never been happier to be wrong! Addie is such a strong, passionate protagonist. Characters with emotional baggage can be sort of hit or miss with me but not Addie. She’s trying her best while dealing with a pretty heavy betrayal. I loved watching her grow and own her mistakes as the road trip progressed. Addie really came into her own and I loved every second of her whirlwind journey.

Then there’s Rowan… *Sigh*. Before you get the wrong impression Love & Luck isn’t really a romance. It focuses more on Addie and Ian repairing the rift in their relationship. But, this review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Rowan and the sort-of-romance sub plot. It’s light and it burns slowly but it’s there. All I’m saying is I freaking ship it, alright?

Bottom line: Love & Luck is a stronger, mature follow-up to Love & Gelato. It’s an emotional and uplifting story in the style of Amy & Rodger’s Epic Detour that will leave you feeling inspired and empowered. This is not just another fluffy romance – it really drives home the whole idea that, at the end of the day, your family have always got your back. This is a series that’s not to be missed.

Now I’m going to brew myself a pot of Irish Breakfast tea and be super depressed that I wasn’t born in Ireland.

Spoilery side note: am I they only one who kind of thought that Miriam was the author??? Nope? Just me? Maybe I’m reading way too much into things.

9 thoughts on “Review: Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

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