Title: Aloha Also Means Goodbye by Jessica Rosenberg
Publisher: Sand Hill Review Press
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 305 pages
Book Rating: C
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Jo and Jordan tied the knot five years ago in a mud hut in the middle of Zambia far from all their friends and family. Now they’re in Hawaii for a big wedding vow renewal ceremony elaborately planned by Jo’s mother. There’s just one small issue, something’s wrong with the wedding license issued in Africa and only Jo knows that she wasn’t legally married in Zambia. Enter her old flame, the man she was running from when she met Jordan. He’s on the island and with his two kids, both of whom are named after her.
Coming face to face with her past, just as she’s trying to brave her future, forces Jo to make some big decisions. It might even force her to grow up. Luckily she doesn’t have to do any of it on her own; her two best friends are there to hold her hand and help her down the right path. But what path will she choose?
Despite all the upheaval and complications, Jo will eventually walk down the aisle to say “I do” to the man who completes her. But will the wedding be the one Jo’s mother planned? Or will it be something much, much better?
With its lush tropical setting, Jessica Rosenberg’s Aloha Also Means Goodbye is an ideal beach read. It is a mainly light-hearted romance with Jo and Jordan planning to renew their wedding vows, but their upcoming ceremony is threatened when Jo is confronted by her unresolved past.
Aloha Also Means Goodbye is off to a strong beginning, but it quickly gets bogged down by too many storylines. The main story arc focuses on Jo and her sudden doubts about whether she and Jordan belong together. These misgivings intensify when she runs into her first love Andy and she learns new information about their break up years early. When Jordan finally arrives for their renewal ceremony, Jo is left wondering which of the two men she really loves.
The secondary story arcs revolve around Jo’s friends, Sadie and Roxie. Sadie has a long history of falling for men who are going through some sort of turmoil and once they are back on their feet again, they dump her. So when Sadie meets a sexy and kindhearted bartender, she is immediately smitten but has she made a mistake risking her heart so soon? Roxie is the complete opposite of Sadie-her relationships are fun, flirty and short-lived. However an unexpected attraction leads her to question her lifelong beliefs about love.
Throw in Andy’s crumbling marriage and Jo’s troubled relationship with her mom, and an already convoluted storyline becomes even more complicated. Both of these storylines are eventually resolved, but with so much else going on, the overall story feels rushed and somewhat superficial.
All in all, Aloha Also Means Goodbye is a heartwarming, light read with a surprising amount of depth. The romances are enjoyable, the various conflicts are neatly wrapped up and Jessica Rosenberg brings the novel to an emotionally satisfying and very romantic conclusion.