Accidental Tryst
by Natasha Boyd

Review by
Robert Wilfred Franson

Natasha Boyd: 2018
ebook & quality paperback
358 pages

December 2019


Accidental Tryst - Natasha Boyd Accidental Tryst is a fine combination of witty comedy, fated romance, and nuanced contemporary novel. The two antagonist-protagonists are Emmaline Angelique Dubois, of Charleston, South Carolina, with family ties in New York City; and Trystan Montgomery of New York City, with family ties in Charleston. The pair meet glancingly at the Charleston airport where Trystan has just arrived from New York to attend the funeral of his grandfather with the family who threw him and his mother out when he was a boy. Emmy is about to leave for New York to visit her only surviving relative in a nursing home. They exchange only brief glares during their brief proximity, no words.

But there has been a crucial exchange. Natasha Boyd begins this cascade of tangled lives and events with the simplest of accidents: two travelers plug their cell phones side-by-side into a charging station at the Charleston airport, and after Emmy is flying north, realize that each had walked off with the iPhone of a total stranger.

Is this phone-exchange accident reasonable? Well, I'm not a very frequent traveler, but I've noticed a charging but forgotten iPad during a ship's disembarkation; and just between my latest reading of Accidental Tryst and writing this review, in an airport I heard an announcement that a laptop could be claimed at Lost-and-Found. So, a once-in-a-million likelihood? Sure, but with millions of travelers with phones crlss-crossing on millions of trips, it's probably happened.

How bad is this involuntary phone swap? Phone numbers, street addresses, email addresses, calendars, apps, everything — Emmy and Trystan are far apart, each now holding the wrong set. Personally, I use my desktop computer for much more time than my phone, but my contact list has 800 entries precisely because I cannot remember even a fraction of that personal, social, and business information. So many activities depend on communication with people and businesses not physically present, that it's quite difficult even for the intelligent and competent Emmy and Trystan to cope with vital, ongoing activities which can't be postponed. Their only solution is to open long-distance contact with each other, and try to get along using each other's phone until they can swap them back. And then there's the annoyance and embarrassment of seeing so much of another's private life, and vice versa.

The characters' psychology is nicely delineated: not only the excellent main characters, but clear secondary and tertiary characters as well come to life, each with his or her distinctive place in New York or Charleston, each distinctly interacting with Emmy and/or Trystan. The complementary family balance plays an important part, with Trystan having spent his adult life having nothing to do with his family, while Emmy has been trying to hang on to the remnant of her own.

The novel presents serious life issues hammering both Emmy and Trystan. Romance tries to achieve its potential. There are frantic calls with a plenitude of misunderstandings and unexpected empathies, witty conversation sliding into hesitant flirtation which may develop into explicitly described sex. Surprising turns and counter-turns keep Emmy and Trystan — and the reader — wondering what may happen next.

A tale of two cities, two cell phones, and two lifestyles: two strangers drawn by accident into increasingly helpful, witty, and intimate communication. This is a deftly plotted, well-rounded novel, serious and romantic and funny. I predict you'll be as inevitably swept into the delightful long-distance tangle of Accidental Tryst as are Emmy and Trystan. I've read the novel several times with enjoyment each time.


Adults Only.

© 2019 Robert Wilfred Franson

ComWeb at Troynovant
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Natasha Boyd — author's site

Notes to a Proofreader (ebook):

  • a knight of Author's roundtable =>
    a knight of Arthur's Round Table
  • my small toe-headed cousin =>
    my small tow-headed cousin
  • a place to put ones loved ones out to pasture =>
    a place to put one's loved ones out to pasture
    [or, better]
    a place to put loved ones out to pasture

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