✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 4 ⭐️ Review: L.B. Dunbar’s Merging Wright ✍🏻

Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Tropes: over 40 romance; workplace romance; fake relationship; marriage of convenience; small-town romance; a bit of suspense

L.B. Dunbar’s Merging Wright returns us to her Road Trips & Romance series with Mach and Jane’s story. Coming into this book, we know that Jane, the story’s FMC, has adored Mach from afar. This isn’t an easy task because he’s ambitious, an overachiever, and immune to Jane. When he receives a delivery from his past, Jane and Mach are on a road trip to his family hometown, Wrightwood. It’s there where the ghosts of Mach’s past reside, and Jane must fight against them to win Mach’s heart. Their journey involves a death, a will reading, a marriage of convenience, a steamy honeymoon, and a grumpy hero who can’t decide from one day to the next if he wants his heroine or needs to keep her at arm’s length. Overall, I enjoyed Merging Writing, finding myself lost in Mach and Jane’s romance…sometimes. 

While I enjoyed this story, I struggled with the pacing and inconsistency of Mach’s characterization. Merging Wright was a slow read for me. It took me a bit to get lost in their story, and I never fully fell into it which is disappointing because I normally don’t have that issue with L.B. Dunbar’s stories. This one, though, was a struggle. It mostly has to do with Mach’s character development. In a phrase, Mach gave me whip-lash. One minute, he can’t live without Jane, and the next, he pushes her away. It isn’t that this happens just once or twice. This occurs throughout much of the story. The wash cycle for Merging Writing is overwhelming attraction, $ex, denial, and possessiveness. Over and over again, Mach follows this cycle, which becomes tiring. Even more, his willingness to reside in the hurts of his past for much of the story, I think, is the reason for the slow pacing of this story.

For me, the bright spot of Merging Wright is Jane. She’s decided, intelligent, and, when Mach cannot move beyond his past, creates the space necessary to inspire Mach’s change. She saved the story for me, investing me in her and Mach’s journey. She was everything Mach isn’t initially: compassionate, introspective, and inspired.

L.B. Dunbar’s Merging Wright is more hit than miss, but it needed Mach to resolve his issues sooner. Additionally, while I love spice in romance like any romance reader, the $ex of this book overwhelmed its plot development and characterization. If you’re a Dunbar fan, you should read this newest story in her booklist. It is quintessential Dunbar.

In love and romance,

Professor A

Author:

I teach students to write for college. I love to read writers who write romance. Why not review and promote the writing of people who love to write romance? Win-win for me

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