Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Tropes: single parents; forced proximity/one bed; over 40 romance; tropical destination; insta-attraction; opposites attract; mother of the groom/father of the bride
It’s guaranteed that L.B. Dunbar is quickly cornering the market on all things over 40 romance. Her latest tome, Parentmoon, reminds us that parents can have fun too in the shadow of their children’s love. The story begins on a luxury island, where Dunbar’s FMC has agreed to take her son’s honeymoon after he and his fiancee call off their wedding. When the bride’s father comes to the island, she finds out quickly that she’s staying in his island retreat. Even though the MOG believes the FOB doesn’t like her, we find, over the course of the story, that isn’t true. What happens over the course of a 10-day island retreat is sun, spice, and sentimental promises.
What did I love?
- Dallas, the MMC of Parentmoon, is a force. He pushes the FMC, Keli, to embrace her sensuality and make choices for herself. While he can be frustrating at times as he doesn’t easily reveal that he hopes for Keli to be his end game, he seeks to let her know how much he admires her. As a single mom, Keli has accepted the dregs of her former marriage and lived her life to raise her son. Dallas admires her strength and tenacity, and he uses their time on the island to woo her. Nothing is more swoony than a hero who wants more than the heroine imagines.
- Keli is an “every woman.” As you read her story, Dunbar has drawn her in such a way that readers see themselves through her experience. Just as Dallas holds back his feelings, so does Keli. And this builds the tension of the story as Dallas and Keli both share their adoration but also hold back due to their geographical distance. Dunbar chooses to enact the resolution through Keli’s character because she has the furthest to go in falling in love with Dallas. Dunbar knows that Keli’s agency is important.
- The fun of an island setting provides the perfect backdrop for Keli and Dallas’s fierce attraction. Dunbar has inundated her story with the effects of that attraction. It’s sensual and spicy in all the best ways. I love that Keli and Dallas are over 40 and physicality is as necessary to their relationship as a character in their 20s. It allows for an older readership to find themselves in her stories.
I enjoyed L.B. Dunbar’s Parentmoon. If I had any criticism, it would be repetitiveness. This is a tendency in this book as Keli vacillates with revealing her feelings for Dallas. She recognizes her “back and forth” with him, and it becomes redundant midway through the story. However, Dallas’s sweetness at the story’s end rescues the reader from losing interest. As far as I’m concerned, Dunbar can continue to write romances for the over-40 set.
In love and romance,