Wayworn Lovers by Gun Brooke has a bunch of my favourite things in one place: it’s an age gap, rich girl/poor girl, opposites attract, workplace romance with an ice queen. It also brings back some of my favourite characters from Brooke’s previous romances, even though it’s a standalone story.

Giselle Bonnaire is a renowned and talented composer who doesn’t leave the house because her anxiety disorder comes with an extra side of agoraphobia. When her housekeeper needs to go overseas to deal with some family business, Giselle is left wondering how she’ll get food for herself and her pets.

Tierney Edwards is a restless soul, wandering from place to place after never having a real home. When she finds herself in East Quay, Rhode Island, with less than a hundred dollars to her name, she knows it’s time to find another odd job. A couple of busybodies point her in the direction of the newly alone Giselle, and she manages to convince the reclusive woman to let her stay for a few days.

Of course, a few days turns into more as Tierney can not only shop and cook, but train Giselle’s naughty black retriever mix, Charley. And while Giselle tries to keep Tierney at arm’s length, the women can’t seem to stop the attraction that builds between them. Giselle can’t leave East Quay and Tierney’s never been one to stay anywhere. Can two such different women really find a happily ever after together?

The Characters

Both Giselle and Tierney are complex women who have been through a lot. By all rights, they shouldn’t be drawn to each other, especially since they’re so good at protecting themselves. Tierney isn’t an ice queen like Giselle, but she has a healthy apprehension that’s been earned through negative experiences and has served her well. Giselle, on the other hand, keeps everyone from getting too close, including her best friends who understand the limits of her anxiety disorder. Both women blossom thanks to their time together, leaving them fundamentally different people in ways that are very good for each of them as individuals, and for them as a couple.

Fans of Gun Brooke will be very happy to see old friends return, including the four leads from Coffee Sonata and Noelle and Helena from Fierce Overture. You don’t need to have read their books to enjoy Wayworn Lovers, but you’ll probably enjoy it more if you have (like I did!).

Also, high five to Charley—although maybe he’d prefer to shake a paw? He was such a sweet dog and I loved seeing his relationships with each of the women.

The Writing Style

Wayworn Lovers is a super dramatic, angsty read, very much in line with Brooke’s other contemporary romances. I’ve found they can be more polarizing than her sci fi romances, so that readers either love them or don’t, and I’m definitely in the “love them” camp. Some of the story’s circumstances had me raising my eyebrows, especially with Tierney’s past, but I enjoyed the book on a whole.

I also liked how music was a huge part of the story. Not only is Giselle a composer, but Tierney writes song lyrics and has a great set of pipes. Their interactions over music are interesting and well written, and they do a great job of giving two such different women common ground where they can bond.

The Pros

I can’t put my finger on what did it, but I just couldn’t put this book down!

I also love that she weaves in references to her other books, whether overtly by giving us several scenes with Vivian and Mike from Coffee Sonata, or subtly dropping hints that only superfans would find like when the Maddox movie series from Course of Action is mentioned.

The Cons

I would have liked to see more of Giselle and Tierney together as a couple. The buildup to them getting together is good, but I just wanted a little more so I could more firmly believe in their future.

The Conclusion

If you’re a fan of romance that comes with an extra dose of angst, you’ll want to read this book. If you’re not sure, I’d recommend you at least check out a sample, because you just might find you like Tierney and Giselle as much as I did.

Excerpt from Wayworn Lovers by Gun Brooke

Something moved to the left, behind her fence. A person was walking along the gravel road leading from the main road to her property. As the figure neared, Giselle saw it was a young woman dressed in khaki pants and what looked like an army-surplus jacket, carrying a large backpack and a messenger bag. She stopped at Giselle’s gate, pulled off the backpack, and placed it on the ground. Spotting Giselle, she waved and smiled broadly.

“Good afternoon, ma’am. My name is Tierney Edwards. I’m looking for Giselle Bonnaire,” she called out.

Giselle gripped her mug harder. “Why?”

“I’m here to inquire about a job.” The woman, Tierney, didn’t attempt to open the gate, which helped Giselle relax, if only marginally.

“Nobody is hiring here. I’m sorry.” Giselle stood on shaky legs but remained on the steps, curious about Tierney. “Who sent you?”

Tierney looked hesitant. “I heard from an acquaintance of yours in East Quay that your housekeeper had to leave.” Tierney then told Giselle a story about visiting colleges and needing to earn some extra cash. “Are you Ms. Bonnaire?” Tierney placed her hands on the gate but kept her distance.

“I am. And as I said, I don’t need to hire anyone.”

“That lawn and those flowerbeds beg to differ. I’m good with my hands. Gardens and pets are my specialty, but I can take care of a house too, if need be.”

As if on cue, Mister and Charley came from the back of the house, no doubt after hearing a strange voice. Charley rushed over to the gate and rose on her hind legs to greet the newcomer with a wagging tail.

“Traitor,” Giselle muttered.

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781626399952
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Gun Brooke Online

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