Author: R. K. Lilley
Publisher/Year: R. K. Lilley 3/11/13
Length: 102 Pages
Series: Up In the Air #3.5 (a novella)
Lana can’t remember a time when she wasn’t hopelessly in love with Akira. Even knowing that he viewed her as a kid sister had never helped to dampen her feelings. One night together only made it worse. After seducing Akira, it became apparent that their love affair was hopelessly one-sided, and heartbroken, Lana fled her beloved island paradise.
Eight years later, Lana finally returns home, planning to stay briefly, and only for business, but her plans go quickly awry when she runs into the man she could never get over.
What a nice addition to the series. I love when we get novellas or side stories of characters that you want the best for and Lana is exactly that. When we meet her in the series, we are instantly drawn to her not only because she’s one of James’ best friends, but because there’s an instant friendship with Bianca and there’s no jealousy there.
In the earlier installments, we learned that Lana is single partly because she’s a workaholic but mostly because she was in love with a man from her past (Akira) who didn’t seem to have the same feelings for her. That’s always a bad path to go down, and you wish that it wasn’t the case with her.
Towards the end of Grounded, we see that James is going to take it upon himself to intervene and during a quick stop on their way to Japan, Bianca and James pay Akira a visit to find out what’s really going on in his head since what Lana thinks of his relationship situation isn’t quite the case. they learn that he actually does share similar feelings as Lana and they do what they can to help orchestrate that reunion.
Where we start off in Lana’s story is upon her first trip back to Maui in 8 years (since she fled rejection from Akira) and she finally feels like she’s back home. She meets up quickly with Akira’s sister and mother who are like her own family which of course makes things harder. While she’s trying to make her way back to the resort that her family owns to do some work, she literally runs right into Akira. This is where her plans all fall to the wayside and we see that she’s grown up quite a bit and tries to take things into her own hands.
it’s a nice transition in this story to see the woman take the lead, although knowing what we do of Akira, it’s not control that she’s going to have for a long time. This story instead takes us on a bit of a ride with these 2 while they try to figure out what they have for each other and try to figure out how to deal with the outside factors that try to break them apart.
One thing that i noticed here is that we get a completely different side of steam and passion than what we saw in the rest of the Up in the Air series. With James, it was all about power and that was where the sexual tension came from. in this story, we get it from a much deeper and emotional direction where we really see that there’s a connection and want to sop up the real romance between these 2.
I think that we get exactly what we’re hoping for from an ‘in the moment’ type story without having to dive too deep in to the ‘what’s in the future for them bit’ .