When you’re caught in the world of reading contemporary/NA romance you may often find yourself reading the same thing over and over. Authors are constantly trying to invent new ways to reinvent the classic love story, but sometimes the cure for our boredom, or how we should decide what to read next is not how exciting or heartbreaking the story is, but how classic and heart-warming it is. Cherry Girl by Raine Miller is a stand-alone, classic love story, about how two people, who, even though their love runs so deep, can still be torn apart by a lack of communication.
From the moment she met him as a child, ten year-old Elaina Morrison knew she was in love with Neil McManus. Even with their seven year age difference she knew she would love him forever. Even through tragedy, pain, loss and separation, her love for Neil still remained strong; that is, until a shocking discovery tears them apart, putting them on two different paths that lead further and further away from each other. After several years and a great distance, fate brings them together again. Neil is determined to stay away from Elaina, despite his undying and great love for her, while she tries her hardest to ignore him despite the flame that still burns for him. When at last he finds her again, he’ll stop at nothing to win her heart back and convince her that even after all this time he’s still in love with her.
It was nice to read just a classic romance for once. Many contemporary romance novels nowadays have so much heartbreaking drama, or some major life changing even that just ruins everything. They make you feel things, make your eyes overflow with tears, and give you this gaping hole in your chest. But at least those stories have their happily ever after. Cherry Girl does have its own happily ever after, but you know it’s coming, you as the reader know that in the Blackstone Affair, Neil and Elaina are going to live their happily ever after. Perhaps that took a little bit of the suspenseful drama away, but that still doesn’t stop Miller from creating such a beautiful love story for these two characters.
“I remember winking at you, thinking you were being so generous, offering me the last of your mum’s gourmet buns.”
“You were nice to me,” I told him, “so I could afford to be generous. Not many seventeen year olds will give a ten-year-old the time of day, let alone secret winks.”
Here you have a couple, who’ve been in love since they were young. They get together and have an amazing time together, but circumstances force them apart. Their brief relationship didn’t end on the best of terms and through it all, it was their pride and a silly promise that kept them apart for so long. If I could speak plainly, the only reason they weren’t together was because of a failure to communicate. Both Neil and Elaina were so badly hurt that neither of them could fess up to missing another. Neil, far too prideful for his own good did the one thing a man should never do when in a relationship – let the girl go. Of course there were other contributing factors that led to their break-up, and that gets revealed in the story.
Is it wrong to say I love Cherry Girl for its simplicity? I hope not! Because this is the kind of book I would introduce new Contemporary Romance readers to. It is the perfect stand-alone for those just starting to get into the series and those looking for a classic romance story with love, loss, and yearning.
4/5 Hearts of Love