Hello everyone! I finally got around to reading the sort-of-companion book to Love & Gelato and it definitely did not disappoint.
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.
This book was such a fun and cute read! Much like her debut novel, Love & Luck explores relationships, internal conflicts, and beautiful scenery. By the end of the book I was packed and ready for Ireland (in my head, at least).
I really loved the emphasis on family relationships in Welch’s second book, specifically the relationship between Ian and Addie. Both of the characters were complex and multi-dimensional individually, and these characters played off each other so well. As each character grew independently of one another, the dynamic between the two changed as well. This really helped keep me interested and invested in their storyline.
I admired Addie’s strength and adaptability. Her stubbornness and her dedication to her brother often clashed, which definitely led to some interesting plot points and scenarios that left me laughing and feeling very involved in the story. I loved Addie’s unapologetic attempts at self-healing. She welcomed Ireland for the Heartbroken and was willing to share that journey with someone she didn’t even know. There of course were times where she resolve in herself and others wavered, but that made me admire her even more.
The romantic relationship was also very well-done. Rowan and Addie’s relationship seemed to grow gradually, though the book only covers a few days while they are on the road. All the characters experienced so much character growth at what felt like such a natural pace that it was easy to forget the road trip was only a few days long. I love when authors start the romantic interests out as friends. It is more realistic and the characters become more relatable. Welch is really good at making the couple seem genuine while also maintaining their individual characters and strengths.
As she does in Love & Gelato, the author places her characters in a beautiful foreign country. I do wish that she could have explored Ireland’s scenery in more depth, but the character-driven plot makes up for the slight lack in setting development. When she does discuss the setting, however, it is pretty easy to imagine and get lost in.
Love & Luck is a fantastic quick and light read. The characters are each relatable in their own way, and they really drive the story forward. I do wish that some of the more major developments were explored earlier in the book so it would have been less repetitive in the beginning, but overall the story was really well-done! I would definitely recommend this if you love road trip books and quick reads.