From the desk of Kimberly Denny-Ryder:
I’ve always been a sucker for dark and brooding men in romance novels (hello Mr. Darcy!). One trait that seems to go along well with these types of characters is that they are loners in their own right. Yes, they may have friends and family around them, but their internal isolation is the first thing that they must overcome before they take on a new romantic interest. I find this struggle quite interesting and therefore was excited to read The Loner by Kate Moore, which stars a loner much in the same predicament.
Will Sloan is a loner with a tough upbringing, coming from nothing and making a name for himself. His mother was a waitress and his father was a rodeo cowboy, killed in a tragic accident in the ring. The former scholarship student is now a wealthy tech entrepreneur, with a net worth in the billion-dollar-plus range. By all conventional accounts, he shouldn’t have any shortage of friends, yet he still finds himself adrift amongst the party atmosphere of L.A., while his so-called friends urge him to get out and find Mrs. Right. He decides to attend his high school reunion on a whim in order to get out of this funk, and that’s when it happens: he sees Annie again.
Annie has her own tough story to tell: widowed at a young age, she found herself unemployed and drifting in her early twenties. Now, a decade later, she has a much more stable life, complete with a job she loves and a house of her own. She’s finally found a point in her life where she feels stable and secure. All this is for naught, however, when she sees Will again for the first time in years. They have a history, and being in the same room after so much time has passed ignites old flames, only these aren’t all passionate ones.
After I finished this book, I had a lot of conflicting feelings. On one hand, I felt that it was overly descriptive (i.e. describing everyone’s outfit, a plate of food, furniture, etc.) Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy descriptions. They are especially important when world-building in a fantasy novel or something similar. They serve to immerse the reader in a new environment that he/she would not be able to adequately imagine otherwise. However, this book takes place in California in the present day, where I don’t think this amount of description is needed. Additionally, I was surprised to learn that Will and Annie didn’t have a romantic relationship in their past. I understood that she turned his marriage proposal down, but they hadn’t dated prior to this proposal due to her employment at the school and the fact that he was a student. I thought it was odd that Will was so disappointed in her refusal when he didn’t have a real relationship to base his proposal on. I get that the relationship they had was a bit more intimate than a friendship, but it wasn’t one that would have warranted a marriage proposal.
On the other hand, I really got to enjoy the side plots that developed concurrently with the main storyline. For example, the mysteries over what was really happening at the school, as well as what was going on with Ulysses. Additionally, its parallels to Persuasion had me excited to see what would happen between Will and Annie, and I rooted for them much as I rooted for Captain Wentworth and Anne.
3 out of 5 Stars
- The Loner: (The Canyon Club Book 1), by Kate Moore
- Boroughs Publishing Group (2014)
- Trade paperback & eBook (200) pages
- ISBN: 978-1941260647
- Genre: Austenesque, Contemporary Romance
We received a review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image courtesy of Boroughs Publishing Group © 2014; text Kimberly Denny-Ryder © 2015, austenprose.com. Updated 09/22/22