Fast, Far and Away

Anonymous: HarperImpulse Romantic Suspense - Dani-Lyn Alexander
"I'm not a yo-yo. You can't keep bouncing me back and forth. You want me, you don't, you want me, you don't..."

When it comes to books of this length, I usually just count my blessings when it comes to rating them. This... this is a challenge to say something nice about.

Because at the heart of Anonymous is a poorly planned mystery with weak red herrings and deplorable characters trapped in a ridiculous conflict, cursed with the worst excuse of a "shocking" plot twist in the history of ever. 

Ali is a workaholic lawyer in the process of getting divorced by her discontented husband Mark. In a moment of womanly weakness, after seeing her husband with another woman, she goes on a dating site called Anonymous where she meets "Joe". After being charmed by Joe's mad wooing skillz through playing "What's your favorite?" and sending her to tears through sending her virtual daffodils (I kid you not), Ali grows increasingly distant from her husband. 

A slight inconvenience since she has a stalker who sends her these "YOU WILL DIE" notes and Mark is a cop bent on winning her back by becoming the hero in that whacked out scenario.

So yeah, Ali's got a bit too much on her plate to begin with when she finally agrees to meet up with the mysterious Joe. 

On a cruise. 
Yes, that's in the middle of the ocean.

I don't know if it's just me, but I had the twist figured out early on, making me a bit more critical of the red herrings Dani-Lyn Alexander has been frantically throwing my way. It really made very little sense in the end, with a lot of loose ends left, well, loose. Particularly, 
what became of Mark/Joe's sick dad subplot? Did Ali even know about it? And how douchey is it of Mark to have the time to be bored about the regiments of married life, asking other girls out when his father is sick?
(show spoiler)

Ali as a character made as much sense to me as Calculus. She's angry at him, stepping out with a younger woman around the time of their divorce, even driving her to the dating site. Like is such a strong word to use here, but I did appreciate that she tried to exert her independence from Mark when he tries to win her favor playing the Protective Cheating Alpha husband role against her stalker. Even if she's being illogically stubborn, I suppose that little bit of pride in her was something I could empathize with.

But soon as she discovers that 
Mark and Joe are one and the same person, she basically throws every defense she's mounted against her shiteous husband's shiteous behavior out of the proverbial window. 
She smiled and when he returned the smile, she was lost. All of the pain washed away, as the vast amount of love she'd always felt for this man flowed through her.

I mean, really, what's the difference between Mark parading a younger woman around town before their divorce and Mark (as Joe) wooing someone online who just luckily happened to be her? 
(show spoiler)

The starry-eyed and loopy romantics will see that as fateful... the smart and pragmatic will see that as divine providence. The universe telling them to run. 



Fast, Far and Away.

In the strictest sense, this would be shelved as a happily ever after. But upon closer inspection it actually ends on an ominous note. One that reflects the unresolved decay in a marriage, the stench temporarily glossed by the glitter and confetti of romance, blurring out the writings are already on the wall. 
 

 

For the first time, she realized they'd both been wrong. Mark for seeking fun elsewhere and her for giving up on them.
Ofcourse, Mark had been more wrong, but it was time to forgive.

Unfortunately, both protagonists are practically illiterate.

Review Copy provided by the publishers.