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Maggie Herbst
Jenna Evans Welch will sign copies of her new book "Love & Luck," on Tuesday, May 8 at The King's English Bookshop and on Saturday, May 12 Costco in Sandy.

"LOVE & LUCK," by Jenna Evans Welch, Simon & Schuster, 320 pages (f) (ages 12 and up)

Utah author Jenna Evans Welch's best-selling 2016 novel, "Love & Gelato," featured teenage Lina's discovery of Italy through her deceased mother's journal. It's companion novel, "Love & Luck" is now out and tells the story of Lina's best friend, Addie, and her tour of the dramatic green landscapes of Ireland.

Addie and her family are visiting the Emerald Isle for her HGTV-star aunt's third destination wedding. Addie is struggling to enjoy the scenic views when she knows once she goes back home, her social life at high school will be over. Tension is high between her and her once-favorite brother, Ian, who keeps trying to convince Addie to tell their mom about the traumatic event involving her ex-boyfriend Cubby, which caused Addie's turmoil.

But the last thing Addie wants to do is tell anyone — including the reader, unfortunately — what exactly happened that is making her so upset. It remains a mystery throughout almost the entire book.

Simon & Schuster
Jenna Evans Welch will sign copies of her new book "Love & Luck," on Tuesday, May 8 at The King's English Bookshop and on Saturday, May 12 Costco in Sandy.

After her aunt's wedding, unexpected events prevent Addie from visiting Lina in Italy as she planned. She instead ends up touring Ireland in a beat-up car with Ian and his cute Irish friend, Rowan, while following the advice of an old guidebook Addie finds at the hotel, titled "Ireland for the Heartbroken."

Though "Love & Luck" feels forced into the same formulaic plotline as its predecessor — a teenager healing her emotional wounds while touring Europe at the whims of a written guide — the story has a lighthearted, humorous charm that makes it hard to criticize. Readers beware: It's also likely to increase your desire to visit Ireland, whether or not your wallet and calendar comply.

The romance between Addie and Rowan is sweet but lacks spark. The book focuses mainly on Addie recovering from her relationship with Cubby and resolving her conflict with Ian — all while trying not to get caught by her mother, who still thinks both she and Ian are in Italy.

Despite a thin, stretched-out plot that sometimes feels more like a self-help manual than a novel, "Love & Luck" is an enjoyable story, which is likely to satisfy Welch's fans who are ready for more. Welch is not only a Salt Lake City resident but also the daughter of the popular author Richard Paul Evans.

Content advisory: "Love & Luck" contains mild swearing and references to sexual harassment.

If you go …

What: Jenna Evans Welch book signing

When: Tuesday, May 8, 6 p.m.

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Where: The King's English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East

Web: kingsenglish.com

Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of the featured book from The King's English.

Also …

What: Jenna Evans Welch and Richard Paul Evans book signing

When: Thursday, May 10, 6 p.m.

Where: Barnes & Noble, 330 E. 1300 South, Orem

Web: barnesandnoble.com

Also …

What: Jenna Evans Welch and Richard Paul Evans book signing

When: Saturday, May 12, 12 p.m.

Where: Costco, 1100 Auto Mall Drive, Sandy

Web: simonsandschuster.com