In Beth Hale’s book Trusting Jack the author has created characters so realistic they practically walk out of the pages. From the first chapter where Emma Payne is betrayed by her cheating husband Ryan I liked her character. Although she was devastated by his infidelity and subsequent abandonment, she takes steps to pull herself together and move forward with her life. Supported by her gay friend Chris and encouraged by her mother she returns to the job she had before marrying Ryan; assistant to world famous actress Norah Jackson.
Traveling to Europe with the actress for the filming of a “period drama” Emma, a history buff, is thrilled. Once in London the women have the opportunity to enjoy the city for a few days before the filming begins. After a flurry of shopping they go to a local popular dance club in the evening and fortuitously run into James Wyley and Jack Brandon. It turns out Jack is also starring in the movie and James is his best friend. Jack, an Englishman, is instantly attracted to the girl from the American South. While James flirts shamelessly with Emma he notices Jack’s interest and volunteers to step aside should the actor want to pursue her.
Emma may be attracted to Jack but her recent pain makes her wary of entering into any kind of relationship. What she doesn’t know is that Jack himself has had a recent romantic break up and he is also cautious.
The story flows beautifully as the relationship between Emma and Jack grows more serious. Behind the scenes Marcus Reynolds, want to be actor and assistant to starring actor Roger Agnew, lusts after Emma. She is unimpressed with him and deflects his very forward advances. In spite of this he continues to believe she will eventually give in to him.
This is very much a character driven book. The relationships between all the characters are well defined and develop in a realistic manner. Hale does a great job of dialogue, keeping Emma true to her Mississippi roots with occasional lapses into Southern dialect. Meanwhile all the British characters also use phrases and terms that are common in England. This sets yet another realistic tone to the story.
I found this book to be an enjoyable and well written romantic story. While Hale does kick it up a notch toward the very end with an unexpected violent act, it is smooth and transitions comfortably. I highly recommend it to readers who like a solid love story with a fulfilling if somewhat surprising end. It’s a pleasure to award Trusting Jack a Gold Bookworm.
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