This was the second Paige Toon book I’ve read, and after quite vehemently disliking the first one, I wasn’t going in with massively high hopes about this. Why read it, I hear you ask? Well it was free on iBooks and it looked like the kind of light and fluffy read that I needed that week.
He’s smiling down at me with tears in his eyes as I say my solemn vow:
‘I, Laura, take thee, Matthew, to be my lawful wedded husband…’ I thought I would never feel like this about anyone ever again. Not after my first love… Not after the heartbreak and the loss and the trying to pick myself back up again… Then I met Matthew, and I know that he has my heart forever: my perfect, gorgeous, adoring Matthew. And then I wake up. And I remember that he’s not perfect. He’s so far from perfect that my heart could surely collapse from the pain that instantly engulfs me…
To say Laura is unlucky in love is an understatement. Her first boyfriend died in a horrific accident, and now she’s just discovered that her husband of six months has been hiding a terrible secret. Devastated and unwilling to face reality, she escapes on a girls’ holiday to Key West with her best friend Marty. But a deep and instant attraction to a sexy Cuban scuba diver takes her completely by surprise. When her two weeks in the sun come to an end, Laura doesn’t want to go home again. But she can’t run from real life forever. Can she?
The Longest Holiday was exactly the kind of light and fluffy read I was looking for. Summery and mostly light-hearted, with a bevvy of sexy guys all clamouring to pay attention to our heroine and her friends on their holiday in Key West, this was the kind of escapism I needed.
There’s nothing terribly deep in this book, but there are a few nice moments which give pause for thought. Laura’s something of a blank canvas, if I’m honest – she feels like the kind of character designed to let the reader project themselves onto her, but in this book she doesn’t actually do that too badly. She’s trying to pick up the pieces of her marriage and decide if she can move on from Matthew’s betrayal, and wondering if the sexy Cuban scuba diver is the way to move forwards. Her friends don’t understand what she’s doing when Matthew is clearly repentant and feel like she should go home to save her marriage, but Laura has her own ideas.
While obviously a bit over the top and exaggerated, not only in how Laura reacts to her marriage crumbling, but also in the deep and instant attraction between Laura and Leo, as well as the twist in the final quarter of the book which tears them apart.
But actually, I wasn’t all that put off by the unrealism of it, because I was looking for escapism, and this is what I got.
Light, fluffy, a tiny bit of a bite, and a hefty dose of sun, sea, and sand (plus some scuba diving, which I’m predisposed to dislike for … reasons), this was the kind of book that I was looking for at the time, and I had none of the major objections that I had to the last Paige Toon I read.
From reading reviews of this and other Toon books, it seems like sometimes her characters cross over between books, and Laura is one of these. It’s nice to learn more about characters that you’ve only seen in passing before, so I might pick up some more books and see if I can trace the crossovers between them at some point in the future.