Audiobook review: Jana Goes Wild by Farah Heron
Five years ago, Jana thought Anil was her forever after they fell hard in a span of two weeks. However, when she found out that he was married, she walked away, only to discover she was pregnant. For five years, the pair have successfully co-parented their daughter, but Jana never got past the hurt and anger. Traveling together on an African safari for friends’ wedding, Anil presses Jana to make some changes in their relationship. Adding to her stress is the fact that her potential future boss is on the trip and thinks Jana and Anil were once married.
Jana Goes Wild is an emotional second-chance romance. Jana is content with the current arrangements because digging any deeper with Anil brings up not only the pain, but the feelings of contentment and longing. Anil would like the pair to do more than coldly communicate via texts and their co-parenting app, for the sake of their daughter. But also, he is tired of walking on eggshells around Jana, wondering if she’ll be warm or icy to him.
At first, I appreciated that Anil wants to be friends and pushes Jana. I also like that Jana recognizes she would like to be a little more outgoing and social. She creates a reasonable to do list, and participating in those activities actually brings her joy. She wants to work on herself without drastically changing who she is. I also loved the detailed descriptions of the food and scenery.
While I was rooting for the couple and enjoyed seeing them grow close again, I felt like Jana and Anil rehash their issues repeatedly, and there is bit too much drama as the story goes on. I accept that in the romance genre, there is always something that breaks up the couple before they get to their HEA. However, I was disappointed that the author chose to use something painful from the couple’s past to do this. Since we only have Jana’s POV throughout the story, we don’t know the reasons for Anil’s actions in the past or as the trip progresses, and I think if I had his POV, I may have been more sympathetic. I also struggled with Jana’s mom who lies to everyone about her daughter’s past relationship with Anil.
Narration: The story is shared via Jana’s third person POV. Soneela Nankani, a classically-trained actress of Indian and Ghanaian descent, performs each character fabulously. I fell in love with her work listening to the Rajas series by Sonali Dev. Nankani covers a multitude of dialects and accents. She successfully portrays a wide range of ages. Each character is unique and distinguishable from the others. She pulls off male voices that sound masculine. And she infuses emotion into each character, bringing them to life and making the story come alive.
Jana Goes Wild is a solid romance that takes the listener on an emotional journey to an HEA.
About the Book:
Jana Suleiman has never really fit in—everyone always sees her as too aloof, too cool, too perfect. The one time she stepped out of her comfort zone she ended up with a broken heart and a baby on the way. Aaaand lesson learned . Now she’s a bridesmaid for a destination wedding in Serengeti National Park, and almost everyone she knows will be there. Her five-year-old daughter. Her mom. Her friends. Even her potential new boss. And of course (because who doesn’t love surprises!) her gorgeous-but-not-to-be-trusted ex.
Fortunately, Anil Malek is a great dad, even if Jana hasn’t quite forgiven him for lying to her all those years ago. Determined to show he has no effect on her whatsoever, she and the bridesmaids concoct a go-wild list to get Jana through the week. Sing karaoke? Sure. Perform their high school dance routine in front of strangers? Okay. But the more she lets down her guard, the less protection she has against her attraction to Anil. And Jana soon realizes it’s one thing to walk on the wild side . . . and quite another to fall for her ex all over again.
Author: Farah Heron
Narrator: Soneela Nankani
Series: Unnamed #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Audiobook Release Date: May 2, 2023
Publisher: Forever Audio
Length: 11 hrs and 38 mins
Audio Speed: 1.35x
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)