by Kristin Leedy, contemporary (2007)
Leedy Publishing, $17.94, ISBN 978-0-615-18147-9
Lizzie Benford is getting married in two weeks. Alas, not only are various hiccups in the wedding preparations giving her a headache, she realizes that she is still hung up over Payton Cartwright, the guy that got away eleven years ago. Of course, I could have told her that marrying an accountant in this kind of story is a sure sign that the wedding is never going to happen, but poor Lizzie doesn't know how much of a cliché she is. The signs are all there: Josh doesn't do it for her in the sexual chemistry department, she is not comfortable with some of the changes in her life that he insists on once they are married, and she is marrying him for the stability and security that he craves. Yes, I've read all that before, I can even map out the tracks that will lead up to the train crash.
I feel that The Heart Will Lead You Home suffers from a misplaced sense of priorities because what I've described above is the first chapter. The author then decides to go all the way back in the past to describe a twelve-year old Lizzie's experiences when she moved to Edenville with her family. I suppose the author wants to show me how Lizzie and Payton bonded in the past, but I personally believe that teenage infatuations are not exactly the most credible foundations for a happily ever after. I feel that the story will be stronger if the author has focused on the present.
When the story finally shifts back to the present, Josh turns out to be such a cartoon Mr Wrong that Lizzie comes off like a very dim-witted twit for being taken by this man. Payton's initial sending of a letter declaring his feelings to Lizzie weeks before her wedding is really badly done if you tell me, but his subsequent antics aren't too bad. He's a nice guy, really. Compared to Lizzie who becomes increasingly silly as the story progresses, Payton is like an oasis of sanity.
Ms Leedy has a pleasant and buoyant writing style that I can easily get used to, so it is a pity that The Heart Will Lead You Home is such an uneven story with too many clichés in the story, many of them making the heroine come off pretty poorly.
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