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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Finally Florida: A Love Story by Lynn C Monahan follows Victoria Bench as she uproots herself for love and family. Victoria was 19 years old when she first lived in Miami and fell in love with the place. Now at 52, she finally has the chance to live her dream. The opportunity comes thanks to her boyfriend Peter, who lives there. The two fall in love online, and she moves to his place in Tampa. Victoria loves Peter, but she loves him for his family. Peter has four children, and this is what attracts her to him. However, the reality of the picture-perfect family becomes evident when she moves in. Peter’s relationship with his children is almost dead. But Victoria wants that big family and is ready to do whatever it takes to reconnect the family, to become a stepmom, even if it means she feels isolated from her own family, 1000 miles away.
Finally Florida is written in a memoir-style blog and had my attention due to its conversational tone. I initially felt terrible for Victoria, but my perspective changed as the story continued. She chases after her dream regardless of how outrageous it is and then tries her best to make it work. Lynn C Monahan doesn’t try to hide that Victoria will find trouble sooner or later, regardless of how hard she tries to make things work. I loved her moments of realization and the moments she stood up for herself, which were fewer than I anticipated. However, her development is realistic and fantastic. I didn’t like Peter; he wasn’t precisely shady, but his lifestyle was unsuitable for Victoria. The pace is fast without being overwhelming. I was caught up in Victoria’s emotions but loved her reactions. This is a love story, but perhaps not how you would expect it.