Review of Welcome, Reluctant Stranger by E. Journey

Welcome, Reluctant Stranger is the third installment of author E. Journey's Between Two Worlds series. Taking everything into consideration, I consider this to be my most favored one in the entire set. Let me delve deeper in the reason as to why.

Title: Welcome, Reluctant Stranger (Between Two Worlds #3)
Author: E. Journey 
Published by: Sojourner Books 
Publication Date: May 15, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Copy Given by Publisher and Tour Organizer


Frantic flight, peaceful life. Act of treason on an island country. Cauldron of warring emotions. Exotic beauty, ace with a gun. Hunk with gifts for mockery and cooking.

Nine-year-old Leilani and her family mysteriously flee the island country of Costa Mora, leaving her father. Years later, her peaceful solitary life in California ends when she rescues Justin Halverson from thugs and she learns a devastating truth about her father. As she agonizes over her father, Justin comforts her, and they’re drawn closer together.

With Justin, she returns to her birthplace to get her father quietly out. There, she reconnects with her past, but can she forgive her father and accept him for who he is? Can she finally be at peace with who she is? Welcome, Reluctant Stranger interweaves a love story into a tale of past political intrigue and Leilani’s inner journey, accepting her past.


When I flipped to the first page of the book and read its content, I knew that this will be much better than the last two I've read. The characters were realistic, and though some situations may be as well I'd much rather think of it as fiction. 

Here's why I liked Welcome, Reluctant Stranger more than its predecesors: Leilani was born and raised in a small island called Costa Mora but she, along with her mother and two older siblings, had to flee the country and live in the United States. This is realistic as there are thousands, if not millions of people who migrate to America from third-world countries in hopes of having comfortable and successful lives. A corrupt government and a rotten system also plays a major part in this life-altering decision. Justin, on the other hand, is what I consider a normal guy because he experienced heartache. Pained from a lover's loss and betrayal; his coping mechanism of drowning his feelings in alcohol is an accurate description of how guys in the real world deal with relationship problems. 

I would also like to give the author an extra star for not going the abused route of instalove that most authors are obsessed with nowadays. When Justin and Leilani met, they acted appropriately in the situation they were in. There were no annoying thoughts like, "Despite the bruises and cuts, I see a beautifully sexy man." Or, "Even with my one good eye I see that my rescuer is a stunningly beautiful woman." Then he groans because his foot is broken. I detest, I repeat, D-E-T-E-S-T instalove and inappropriate sexual thoughts at inopportune times.

The story ran well. There were still a few jumps in scenes like in the first two parts I've read, but they're easily passable. There were also multiple layers in the plot making things more interesting and less bland. However, there is one thing I must point out--I don't like how much involvement Elise and Greg (from Hello, My Love) have in this book. It's like they were sharing the spotlight, and I don't like that. In fact, I'm trying to get away from those two characters; for me they are done and must be put to rest. Not be killed but to not be given that much exposure either. 

Welcome, Reluctant Stranger gets 4.5 stars from me which is notches higher than Hello, My Love (3 stars) and Hello, Agnieszka (DNF). This was a truly enjoyable read.




EJourney is a realist who thinks she has little imagination. Credit that to her training (Ph. D., University of Illinois) and work in mental health, writing for academics and bureaucrats, and critiquing the work of others. She’s been striving ever since to think and write like normal people.

She’s a well-traveled flâneuse—a female observer-wanderer—who watches, observes, listens. And writes. A sucker for happy endings, she finds enough that depresses her about real life, but seeks no catharsis by writing about it. For her, writing is escape, entertainment. She doesn’t strive to enlighten. Not deliberately. But the bias of her old profession does carry over into her writing. So, instead of broad shoulders and heaving bosoms, she goes into protagonists' thoughts, emotions, inner conflicts, insecurities, and struggles to reach balance and grow.



Book image provided by iRead Book Tours


  1. Finally! Glad to know you found a book in the series that resonates with you. Yes, sadly the plotlines in the story do happen and most people in the Western world are not aware of them.

    I find it curious that different books in the series appeal to different readers. Some like this third book the best and others could relate most to the first or second one. Anyway, many thanks for whizzing through these books and giving this one a well-considered review.

    I wonder what part of the world you're at.

    1. I'm from the Philippines, which is a third world country. I think that's why I found this book easy to relate to. :)

      Thank you for giving us (book bloggers) the chance to read and review your books.

      More power to you! God bless.

    2. I guessed as much—where you are. I was born there, decades before you were, I'm sure. I came to the US to study and never returned.

      Some events in Book 3 are loosely based on experiences of people I know from there and I did research for the book via an exchange of many emails with a young woman from Cebu. In fact, she suggested the name for the fictitious country in the book. Book 2 also has scenes based on stories my Polish husband told me. In Book 1, I culled ideas, rather than scenes, from my work with different populations of the mentally ill including the "criminally insane."

      You write well. So much writing on the internet is atrocious. Keep on writing. I wish you the best.


  2. Sounds like maybe the author is getting better at her craft? That was a nice upgrade in rating from her previous work.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


Powered by Blogger.