Flight SQA016

Flight SQA016 - A. E. Radley I picked up Flight SQA016 because I thought it would be a dreamy, sexy in-flight romance between an ultra-rich first-class frequent flyer and a flight attendant. What I got was something else entirely (okay, I didn't pay close enough attention to the blurb, lol) but I was still thoroughly entertained.

Olivia jets around on the London-NY route, twice a week without fail and only in first class. She calls the economy class 'savages'. :) Some think she's a snob. Others think she's weird. She herself thinks she's socially inept. More at home in the cold comfort and certainty of numbers rather than the artifice, ambiguity and unpredictability of human interactions, she's nevertheless managed to carve out a successful career as head of a financial services firm.

Emily on the other hand, is neck-deep in debt. A lifetime of bad choices and bad luck has left her with crippling credit card debt. To help get her finances under control, she has chosen to work a brutal schedule on transatlantic flights. It pays well, but it meant leaving her 5 year old son with a friend most days. A medical emergency threatens to derail all her well-laid plans but an incredible stroke of luck offers her a chance to make everything right, and finally get a life...and fall in love in the process.

I went into this knowing its fanfic roots so I wasn't really expecting anything more than a sweet and simple romance--a comfort read after a mad work week. It more than lived up to my expectations in that regard. Lovely characters you can identify and emphatize with, an emotional, heart-tugging storyline, a generous sprinkling of humor--these elements combine to give this reader a nice, laid-back, weekend read. But the romance doesn't develop in the usual way. You know the saying that the way to a man's heart is thru his stomach? Apparently, the way to this woman's is through her kid. Emily's 5-year old toddler Henry has almost as much screen-time as the two leading ladies. If the reviews had mentioned it, I probably wouldn't have picked up this book at all, as I don't care much for kid-centric stories. Yet, not once did I feel like the kid usurped too much attention. In fact, I think the author really 'got' him, more than all the other characters. When the book ended, I realized that even though no one joined the 'mile high club', I didn't miss it. (maybe in the next book? A girl can dream...lol)

The thing I dislike most about ex-fanfics is that they tend to gloss over the details of real-life work, places and stuff. So while my right brain was going all awwww.... over Olivia and Henry's bonding and Olivia and Emma's awkward but endearing encounters, my left brain was busy trying to rationalize stuff....things like: $12,000 for a roundtrip ticket at 104x a year (@2x a week)!?!? how does the board justify that extravagance? A socially-challenged CEO!?!? how did she become CEO, a very PR-intensive position. An impeccably-groomed woman with a spectrum disorder!?!? Only if grooming was their obsession, duh... Eventually, the author did give a fairly credible glimpse into both Olivia's and Emma's work that was enough to quiet my left brain for the duration of book, at least until the last 5%, when something totally unexpected happens. This is one of those love-it or hate-it plot developments. My right brain cried Yesss!! DRAMA!! My left brain said, what the hell just happened??? One character just made a 180-degree turn-around--completely negating all her character development in the book. We're back to square one!

Unfortunately, I'm not sure which side of my brain will win the argument until the sequel comes out, because the book ends on a cliffhanger!

4.3 stars

ARC from Ylva