Title: Easy Reunion
Series: A Boudreaux Universe Novel
Author: Tracey Jerald
Publisher: Lady Boss Press
Publication Date: 30 March 2020
Synopsis from Goodreads
It’s always harder to forgive yourself…
Against her better judgment, Kelsey Kennedy flies in for her high school reunion. Since her classmates are as cruel to her as when she last saw them on graduation day, she has no difficulty bailing on the event for the hotel bar. Only it’s there she comes face-to-face with the most painful part of her past.
And he doesn’t recognize her.
Taking full advantage of her anonymity, Kelsey gives herself one night with Rierson Perrault, the boy from her childhood dreams. Being no one’s fool, she makes sure she’s gone the next morning before he can ask any questions.
Ry didn’t realize the woman he spent the night with was Kelsey. But when he puts it together, he’s sick at heart. He’s lost his chance to reconcile with her; the only reason he went to the reunion to begin with. Kicking himself for not figuring it out sooner, he returns home embittered.
When Kelsey and Ry meet again in the heart of New Orleans, will another fifteen years need to pass before they find the right words to say? Or will they finally listen to each other’s hearts so their easy reunion can begin?
Easy Reunion is a difficult read dealing with the trauma bullying can create and the long-lasting effects it has on a persons identity and self-esteem. The topic is dealt with tactfully with a beautiful writing style whilst straightforward. Easy Reunion will resonate with anyone who has experienced bullying for whatever reason.
Kelsey was a very overweight teenager, her dependence on food as a coping mechanism only exasperated the problem. Verbal and physical bullying in extreme forms added to Kelsey’s vicious cycle and increasing unhealthy relationship with both food and her bod. The fat-shaming was ferocious leading to question the emotional capacity of Kelsey’s tormentors; the lack of empathy and compassion was utterly repulsive.
Rierson, was a jock in high school but one of the only people to defend Kelsey to her tormentors. Especially after he is able to get to know her on a personal level when she is assigned to tutor him in creative writing. Their blossoming friendship develops much to the distaste of the ‘in’ crowd. Bringing about Rierson’s ultimate and very public betrayal.
15 years later and a lot in Kelsey’s life has changed, she has a thriving career as an author, she has taken control of her body and her relationship with food all with the help of a wonderful friend. However, she still holds onto the emotional pain and damage to her self-esteem that was inflicted in high school. The class reunion provides an opportunity for Kelsey to exorcise her emotional demons.
Rierson has regretted his actions and the pain he caused Kelsey from the moment it occurred, he has been looking for a way to apologise ever since. Unfortunately, Rierson does not recognise Kelsey when he sits next to her at the hotel bar, adding to the damage already inflicted. Although Kelsey takes the opportunity to indulge in her fantasies for the night.
Believing they will never see each other again, it comes as a shock to both of them when they discover they are living in the same location. There is no denying the chemistry between Kelsey and Rierson but with the barrier of their shared past between them can they be anything more tahn the one night they ahred.
There are a lot of mistakes and miscommunication between Kelsey and Rierson, especially as Rierson tends to develop a terrible case of foot-in-mouth disease whenever he is around Kelsey.
The key to a future relationship between Kelsey and Rierson is complete honesty about their respective past, allowing each to be at their most vulnerable in order to create a strong foundation.
There are additional elements within the narrative which show that the trials and tribulations we endure throughout our lives shape the person we ultimately become. Having experienced a situation gives the ability to offer help and support to others.