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Reviewed by Tina Gibbons for Readers' Favorite
Jeep Tour by Gail Ward Olmsted is aptly named. A jeep tour turns Jackie Sullivan's dreams to moving far from home and starting over in Sedona, Arizona, after an enjoyable trip and a chemistry filled encounter with a handsome tour guide. When she is denied tenure at her teaching job, it seems she has nothing to lose. She's financially set, even temporarily without an income, from an inheritance and the sale of her home. Rick, the hunky tour guide, took an interest in her and gave her his number while she was on the trip to Sedona. She never calls him, just shows up at his place of employment when she transplants herself to his city. He doesn't seem to remember her, but she persists in building a friendship with him. Rick helps her find a place to live. Jackie and her ex-husband, Rob, are on extremely friendly terms, and the distance makes her miss him more than she expected.
Gail Ward Olmsted succeeds in making Jackie a humorous and likable character. Her impulsive move to Sedona brought thoughts of 'what if?' Isn't it a popular dream to move away and start afresh in a beautiful place? The aesthetic scenery and landscapes were described like paint to canvas, a vision formed as I read. The notion she would up and move to Arizona because of a man she spent so little time with and hadn't spoken to since was a bit wacky, but Jeep Tour was about something deeper than that. It was about taking chances, moving on, and finally appreciating what's right in front of you. The tour guide may seem like a focal point for the novel, but his character didn't entice me nearly as much as Rob. I enjoyed this book and recommend you read it for yourself to see if after having her “happy,” Jackie will find her “ever after.”