THE SCENIC ROUTE – Devan Sipher
NAL
ISBN: 978-0-451-23966-2
June 2014
Contemporary Romance

Various Cities – In the not so distant past to the present

Austin Gittleman and Naomi Bloom first met each other in grammar school, but he barely remembers her, or knows that she had a girlish crush on him. Now adults, both are attending the wedding of their best friends and immediately hook up. Naomi and Austin had only one night together, but it's going to be a long road to find their happily ever after. Before they say goodbye, Austin doesn't tell Naomi he wants to pursue a relationship, though he tries to stay in contact, and Naomi thinks he's not interested in her at all. This miscommunication has her deciding on a whim to join a chef in Madrid, Spain, where she ends up living with him for over a year. But by the time Naomi decides to end this relationship and look up Austin, he's engaged to another woman.

THE SCENIC ROUTE sounds like it should be a travel book, but instead it's how life's obstacles can play a part in preventing people from finding that pot of gold—or love. Neither Austin nor Naomi forgot about the other after their one night fling, but first it's getting to admit to themselves that they should pursue, and take the steps to go for it. Just when the path is clear for one of them…BOOM…something else prevents them from getting together. Austin pined for Naomi for a long time until he finally gave up and moved on with another woman. Naomi stuck it out in her dead-end relationship with the chef until she realized Austin occupied her thoughts more than the guy next to her.

THE SCENIC ROUTE is a different kind of romance in that it takes place over the years, starting around 2008 and working its way to the present. Austin is an ophthalmologist in a busy partnership office that demands much of his time. He manages to squeeze in time to see Naomi on a whim and learns she is on her way to Madrid with the chef. A year later, she shows up in his office in Detroit and learns he has a fiancée. Back and forth goes THE SCENIC ROUTE. Along the way is a side tale about Austin's sister, Mandy, as well as the opening chapter's bride and groom's floundering marriage. By the end of the meandering road that Austin and Naomi take to find their happily-ever-after, a lot has happened that will make you smile and cry.

An unusual and interesting read, THE SCENIC ROUTE doesn't have Austin and Naomi in scenes together a lot, but they're never far from each other's thoughts. Grab a copy to see what I mean and get ready for a rollercoaster tale.

Patti Fischer