Author: Elizabeth Lane
Category: Historical - 1911
He gave her the freedom to fly...
Alexandra Bromley had everything her father’s money could buy. But what she really wanted was excitement, adventure and independence. When pilot Rafe Garrick fell out of the sky and into her arms, Alex discovered a thrilling new world. But how could she live her dream at the price of Rafe’s love?
Alex Bromley was trouble. Rafe knew it the first time he set eyes on her. But he couldn’t stay away. Not even if having her meant making a pact with her devil of a father. Now she was his, and it was up to Rafe to tame Alex’s reckless spirit—or lose her to the sky.
I was excited to read this book because of the time period in which it is set. The year is 1911, the place upstate New York.
Alexandra or Alex is the epitome of the term "poor little rich girl." She is spoiled, and for a girl of that time she has many liberties. But Alex feels that something is missing from her life. Under the oppressive thumb of her father, Alex is expected to hurry into marriage and birth a broad of boys to take over the family business.
During the boring summer of her twentieth year, Alex witnesses a plane fall from the sky and her future is forever changed. Alex ends up saving the pilot of the crashed plane and finds herself with a new found passion in not only the handsome pilot, Rafe, but flying as well.
Rafe Garrick loves to fly and not even a suffering a plane crash will keep him out of his plane. After being saved by the spirited Alex Bromely, Rafe falls hard for her but knows their situation will never work. Alex's father wants her to marry a man in her social standing and Rafe is not even close.
Rafe is determined to recover from his crash and leave Alex behind as a distant memory, but Alex is not allowing him the clean break he wishes for. She is determined to help him repair his damaged plane and after a little coaxing Rafe gives in and lets her. Their attraction is tested many times during the course of the weeks spent fixing Rafe's plane until they finally give in to the undeniable passion they have for each other.
My thoughts: I did not like Alex. I thought she was a selfish, self centered, spoiled brat. I had a hard time figuring out why Rafe even liked her. She lied to him more times than were necessary, defied his care for her at every turn, snuck behind his back and did things that could not only endanger her life, but those around her, and she blamed all of the stupid mistakes she made on him.
I understand that this was her character flaw and the author reiterates this by having Alex declare herself selfish whenever possible. But having the character admit to their selfishness, and actually work to change it for the better are two different things. I did not see any growth in Alex, and even up to the last pages she was telling Rafe that she may never change:
- "Listen to me. I've never been a good wife to you. I fought you at every turn, put my own selfish ambitions ahead of our marriage and made shambles of everything I touched. I might try but I can't promise that I'll ever change."
This sounds to me like someone that does not wish to grow. More than once Alex threatened to leave Rafe if he did not agree to her flying. Instead of attempting to compromise with her husband and work something out, she was completely all or nothing.
I understand that flying became her dream after meeting Rafe and she longed to fly a plane. I get that she did not want to be confined to the life of a subservient wife; like her mother had been. But I do not understand why she would be willing to throw her marriage away if Rafe dared tell her he was too concerned about her safety to let her fly.
And poor Rafe, he got saddled with her. Rafe had to bend and conform to keep Alex happy, but she never seemed to be content. Rafe would agree to let Alex do something that she wanted, but as soon she got that out of him she would quickly be discontented by something else she wanted to do. In short: Alex was never satisfied, she always wanted more, and Rafe was so afraid of losing Alex that he turned into a pansy to keep her.
The book started out promising but quickly fell flat for me. Grade C.