Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Okay, what do you do when you enter a story, and within the first few pages, you find that you cannot stand the hero. He’s a rich playboy with no purpose in life other than to spend money. Yes, he makes sound investments with a diverse portfolio, and yes, he steps in to assist his best friend. Yet, initially, he isn’t anywhere near heroic.
Then, the heroine enters the story. This woman is focused, driven, independent, and self-controlled. Almost to a fault. She’s taken on her family’s construction business in the wake of her father’s illness, and everyone trusts her vision and her work ethic. However, she struggles with finding fun. You know the saying, “all work and no play…”
With those two characterizations, you know where this story is going. These two will need each other in a way that is otherworldly because they are the yin to the other’s yang. And this, my friends, is Jasinda Wilder’s newest contemporary romance, The Parent Trap.
No. This isn’t anything to do with the 1961 or 1998 movies. The name comes from the consequences of the wishes of the heroine’s father. He admonishes Delia to “have fun” because she’s only living a half-life, and his will creates a situation for her twin brother that creates the trap. The stage is set for Matthais “Thai” and Delia to meet, become attracted to each other, and find their happy ending.
This romance is all kinds of things. For one, it’s a bit of a slow burn. For good reason. Thai and Delia’s twin brother, Dell, were, quite frankly, awful bullies to her in their youth. The reason for Delia’s rigidity of spirit is a direct result of Thai and Dell’s bullying. As such, Thai and Delia must work beyond their past together as they find themselves attracted to each other.
One of my favorite parts of this book is Delia. Here’s the thing. She’s been bullied in horrible ways, and Thai and Dell are rather flippant about it for much of the story. In most romances, Delia would work to mete out retaliation. She’d find every way to undermine Thai. Yet, Wilder has crafted her to be “set above” her past in her initial conversations with him. When he’s right, she calls him that. And I loved this. I kept waiting for her to engage in gameplay with him, and it didn’t happen. Instead, Delia, while carrying a world of past hurts, is reasonable and mature with Thai who spends much of the beginning of the story showing his immaturity.
Because Delia is careful and thoughtful, this allows Thai to transcend his own past and find a better version of himself. It is a bit strange that he so easily falls for Delia (and vice versa), but Wilder makes it clear that the attraction had always existed with Thai bullying her because of his interest in her.
Jasinda Wilder’s The Parent Trap isn’t trying to do anything earthshattering in romancelandia. I simply loved Thai and Delia’s journey because it allowed them to become the best versions of themselves. It makes for a story that steals a little bit of your heart and it feels like a perfect weekend read.
In love and romance,