Coming Home to Winter Island by Jo Thomas / Blog Tour

Coming Home to Winter Island by Jo Thomas

 

Publisher: Headline 513xdmsnetl._sx323_bo1204203200_

Publishing Date: 12th December 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 336

Genre: General Fiction (Adults), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle (available now) | Paperback (out on 12.12.2019)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Wrap up warm and prepare to explore the breath-taking beauty of a remote Scottish island and an old house waiting to unlock enchanting family secrets.

Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this irresistible new winter novel from Jo Thomas.

Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought.

There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon …

Rating:  four-stars

 

In “Coming Home to Winter Island” we are introduced to Ruby, who is about to get her big break in music business when her voice suddenly disappears. Having arranged a therapeutic break in Tenerife, she gets a mysterious phone call that changes her plans and finds her travelling to a remote Scottish Island to deal with some issues regarding Hector, the grandfather she has never met before. What is going to happen when you put yourself into a mix of remote island, an unknown grandfather, a sitting tenant that is set on disrupting your plans, and gin?

This novel was atmospheric, touching and also light – hearted. There were moments that I would have liked it to be more demanding because some things happened very conventionally and felt a bit too forced for my liking but still, it didn’t spoil the reading at all. I’m also not sure why but it felt a bit different to Jo’s previous books, I can’t put my finger on it, can’t explain why I felt like this, although of course this book had all the things that I was expecting from Thomas’s book. She has – again – easily transported me into characters’ worlds with the gorgeous descriptions and storylines.

 The author touches upon many different issues, such like dementia, local community, family bonds to name only a few, and wonderfully ties them all together, creating a colourful, immersing story. There was never a single moment flat but also the story didn’t feel too full or overwhelming. The descriptions of the Island, and also of some of the past Christmases and all the memories added tons of feelings and emotions and were beautifully interwoven and written in a gentle, subtle way. And I loved the chase after the gin recipe, it was brilliant, I couldn’t wait to get to know all of the ingredients – I had my own favorite for the last ingredient, although it turned out that I was wrong. Oh well.

Ruby’s story was warm and uplifting. It was touching to see her getting to know her grandfather and learn about her family. She was the kind of character that you really quickly fell for, seeing how much she has to deal with, seeing her struggling between what she thinks would be best for a man that she truly doesn’t know, and her consciousness. Throughout the story Ruby grows so much, develops, reassesses her life and what it is she wants to do, and it includes also her relationship with a boyfriend who, to be honest, was awfully controlling and egoistic, seeing Ruby probably as a ticket to a better life and fortune. Then she’s confronted with a huge house that has for sure seen better days, grandfather with dementia and Lachlan, the sitting tenant who refuses to move out. The characters were really well developed, had depth to them and I kept everything crossed for them.

I so liked the interaction and banter between Ruby and Lachlan. They often don’t agree on things and butt heads but deep deep inside Hector’s safety is their main concern. Hector’s subplot was so moving, and as much as I understood Ruby, I was still surprised to see how much time it took her to realise what’s really good for him. The visit in the Home was really heart – breaking.

 “Coming Home to Winter Island” was full of feel – good factor, brilliant characters, wonderful setting and full of surprises. Jo Thomas didn’t disappoint, delivering another book that feels like a warm hug and is going to be a perfect read for a wintry evening. Highly recommended!

 

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The Accidental Love Letter by Olivia Beirne / Blog Tour

The Accidental Love Letter by Olivia Beirne

 

Publisher: Headline Review 48142997._sy475_

Publishing Date: 17th October 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 288

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback (out on 16.04.2020)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The funny, uplifting second novel from Olivia Beirne for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Katie Marsh, Zoë Folbigg and Marian Keyes.

What would you do if you received a love letter that wasn’t meant for you?

Bea used to feel confident, outgoing and fun, but she’s not sure where that person went.

Over the last few months, she’s found herself becoming reclusive and withdrawn. And despite living with her two best friends, she’s never felt lonelier. To make things worse, she’s become so dependent on her daily routine, she’s started to slip out of everyone else’s.

But when a mysterious battered envelope covered in stars lands on her doormat, Bea wonders if she could find the courage to open it.

It isn’t addressed to her, but it could be… if you squinted…

Rating:   four-stars

 

Bea Smyth works for a local newspaper writing adverts, even though she really wants to write something more important. She lives in a house that she shares with her two best friends, Emma and Priya. She lives her days according to lists and plans, which, of course, leaves little room for anything new and spontaneous. While Emma and Priya have interesting social lives that they share with girlfriend and boyfriend, Bea is quite the opposite – rather withdrawn and happy on her own but constantly worrying that she’s not good enough and feeling that it’s much easier just to agree with everyone than to put herself above others’ needs. One day a letter addressed to “B” arrives. Even though it’s not directed to her, Bea replies that she never intends to sent but it’s somehow posted to Nathan – and so Bea’s double life begins, life that is going to push her into uncomfortable situations but also brings her joy and new people.

I absolutely adored the way the author has written Bea. She felt so real and true to life, with all her angst and uncertainty, and seeing her being pushed out of her comfort zones made me want to give her a standing ovation. She simply feels like a real person, sitting next to you, chatting with you and it’s impossible not to like her. She is quite timid and hates confrontations, but it sounds quite well – known, no? And I wasn’t blaming Bea for being the way she was, because I could see where she was coming from, I was blaming people surrounding her for being so pushy and taking advantage of her. I couldn’t stand Priya who was supposed to be a friend but was so self – absorbed and selfish, expecting Bea to drop everything to be there for her when she needed her but not giving a second thought for Bea’s needs.  

The unexpected letter was for Bea like a lifebelt. I really liked that she followed her instincts, and I admired her for this, knowing how much it must have cost her. The characters she has met forced life into her and, a bit unintentionally, showed her there is world outside, that there is much more to life. She almost immediately fell in love with the nursing home and the three remaining people there, Nina, Gus and Sylvie, and the carer Jakub. Why only three people, I hear you asking. Well, because the home was supposed to be closing in the New Year and other residents have already found different accommodations. At first Bea only sensed a story that she could sell to her boss Duncan but it quickly turned into a real friendship, into much more for Bea, into a thing that she started to care about so much.

 I only had the feeling that the “accidental love letters” were, I don’t know, an afterthought? I was thinking they’re going to be a prominent part of the book, and I thought this part of the story is going to probably be light – hearted and funny, while it turned out that actually they added much more seriousness to the story. They were poignant and actually this what arose from those letters was much more serious in tone. Nevertheless, I was hoping for more when it comes to the letters, and for something different, but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t like them, oh no. And it wouldn’t be possible for Bea to change, to find herself without them, so it’s a win – win situation. 

There was quite a number of threads to follow but they were all so very well written and they kept me alerted all the time. I also adored the way the author has captured Bea’s feelings and emotions, her anxiety, getting straight to the core of it, putting into words for us how it really feels. The scenes where Bea was calling her mum, leaving a message and asking to call her back soon made me realised what has happened and broke my heart. She was so lost, felt so alone, her roommates wanted to move out and on and now she was also supposed to lose the new friends from nursing home, where she felt needed, comfortable.

Altogether, it was a fairly light and warm read with a deeper side to it. An uplifting, funny and moving story, very well written, bringing the characters to life, a gentle, charming tale about life altogether, relationships, hope and coming out of your shell. Truly recommended!

 

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Love, Unscripted byOwen Nicholls / Blog Tour

Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls

 

Publisher: Headline Review 44590494._sy475_

Publishing Date: 22nd August 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 4384

Genre: Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 06.02.2020)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Owen Nicholls’ Love, Unscripted is an uplifting love story, following film projectionist Nick as he tries to understand the difference between love on the silver screen and love in real life. Perfect for fans of David Nicholls, Nick Hornby and Laura Barnett.

For film projectionist Nick, love should mirror what he sees on the big screen. And when he falls for Ellie on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, it finally does.

For four blissful years, Nick loved Ellie as much as he loved his job splicing film reels together in the local cinema. Life seemed… picture-perfect.

But now it’s 2012, Ellie has moved out and Nick’s trying to figure out where it all went wrong.

With Ellie gone and his life far from the happy ending he imagined, Nick wonders if their romance could ever again be as perfect as the night they met.

Can love really be as it is in the movies?

my-review

 

Nick loves movies. He’s a film projectionist in a London cinema and he also loves his job that is just at the cusp of becoming unavailable to him because of the upcoming digital projection changes. When he meets Ellie at a party for the 2008 presidential election in the USA, Nick is sure that he finally found the One, love like in the movies. But is life like that? Following a narrative, always having a happy end?
Fast forward four years and Nick faces a redundancy, his family life is falling apart and Ellie moved out, leaving him trying to figure out why, and where, did the script go wrong.

It was a light – hearted story with characters that were full of flaws, which only made me like them better. It’s always nice to see that I’m not the only one in the world making wrong decisions and regretting being stubborn but not giving up, even though I know I’m in the wrong – hello Nick (waving here). Honestly, if things didn’t go according to him and his plans, he immediately backed down into his shell, offended. But there was also this second side to him, he was self – doubting and vulnerable, and actually a third side as well, when he was eventually able to see his ways and tried better. So really, not many characters were able to make me feel so frustrated about them and also keep everything crossed for them, willing them to succeed, like Nick. And he went through so much of personal growth in this story, and it’s always my favourite part of the novels.

The writing style was easy and chatty and the pace was only right, though personally I liked the chapters set in present better than those in the past. Sure, they introduced us to Nick and Ellie and their relationship, and there wouldn’t be a story without them but still, not sure why but the present was for me much more interesting than the past. It is also (the writing) full of the best kind of humour, the one hidden between the lines that I like so much.

So really, “Love, Unscripted” was a real, realistic and raw glance at love, love that is anything like in the movies, all smooth sailing and happy ends, but is full of ups and downs and this is what makes it so exciting. It was full of references to films that even I, the one that doesn’t go to the cinema (well, only if it is a movie for children, *eye – rolling*), have heard about or even – yes! – seen them, and music that made me smile in recognition. So really, I am not sure why this book didn’t work for me as I hoped it’s going to be – either you connect with the story or not and we didn’t click this time. And the end made me feel a bit confused. Nevertheless, I think you are going to adore this romantic, humorous and true to life debut, with a lot of deep meaning.

 

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Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop

Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop

 

43884245Publisher: Headline

Publishing Date: 30th May 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via Pigeonhole in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 480

Genre: Historical Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover (out on 05.09.2019)| Paperback (out on 20.02.2020)

 

Synopsis:

The gripping new novel by Sunday Times Number One bestseller Victoria Hislop is set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece, the subsequent civil war and a military dictatorship, all of which left deep scars.

Athens 1941. After decades of political uncertainty, Greece is polarised between Right- and Left-wing views when the Germans invade.
Fifteen-year-old Themis comes from a family divided by these political differences. The Nazi occupation deepens the fault-lines between those she loves just as it reduces Greece to destitution. She watches friends die in the ensuing famine and is moved to commit acts of resistance.

In the civil war that follows the end of the occupation, Themis joins the Communist army, where she experiences the extremes of love and hatred and the paradoxes presented by a war in which Greek fights Greek.

Eventually imprisoned on the infamous islands of exile, Makronisos and then Trikeri, Themis encounters another prisoner whose life will entwine with her own in ways neither can foresee. And finds she must weigh her principles against her desire to escape and live.

As she looks back on her life, Themis realises how tightly the personal and political can become entangled. While some wounds heal, others deepen.

Rating: four-stars

 

“Those Who Are Loved” follows the life of Themis, from childhood up to an old age. It was life full of events, love, loss and grief. Raised by her matriarch grandmother, Themis grows in a family that is full of disharmony, especially when it comes to politics. First living under Nazi occupation in Athens and then, when the war was over and everybody thought the worst is already behind them, the communist start to rule Greece, there are civil wars and there are many, many challenges to be faced by Themis and her family. You are going to learn that for sure she was not an ordinary woman.

I must admit, for a long time I had a feeling that it is simply a random read, that the author simply wanted to bring us closer to historical period that I, personally, didn’t know about. I didn’t feel engaged too much in the story, and I think that this time reading with Pigeonhole didn’t help – you need to get into the heart of the story in your own tempo, you need to have the possibility to read as much as you want to understand where the story is taking us. It took me a long time to finally start to appreciate the novel and to “get” it, and when I’ve eventually hit this point, there was nothing holding me back and there was probably nothing that could mend my broken heart. And in the end I can say that it was a powerful, incredibly important book.

The story was so immaculately researched and there was so much love to Greece and its history. The author has painted here a real, raw, genuine and fascinating picture, an motional journey full of pain and tears but also small acts of joy. There were many historical facts intertwined into the plot but it never felt like reading a history book – because the author has an incredible talent to mix them with so many personal touches and making the characters feel human and real.

Themis’s voice is distinctive and gentle, and even though she has experienced so much loss, pain and suffering she still finds it in her heart to be as objective as possible. The author was able to get into her character’s head so intensively that I had a feeling I was living and breathing with Themis. You don’t have to agree with her but you are still going to keep everything crossed for her. It was great to accompany her on her journey to adulthood, seeing how she grows up, how feisty and determined and full of passion she becomes in her life that was so full of turmoil and disharmony.
Actually, the author brings all the characters to life, and you could either agree with them or not, you could warm to them or not but they were very well drawn and significant and all them played a role in this story.

It was not only a historical fiction but an engrossing and rich family saga, a great picture of family dynamics, going deep into the feelings and emotions of all the characters, making you suffer and experience everything with them. I personally can’t imagine my family torn so heavily because of politics but the author has made it very believable in the story, showing how much and how badly it has affected the characters. It was also done so realistically, the real struggle of Themis to find her own way and her own beliefs. It was fascinating read with a difference about standing for yourself, fighting for your beliefs, not giving up but also knowing when it’s time to surrender, to realise your priorities, about bravery and determination, story about life versus death. A compelling novel about heartbreak, loss, regret and hope, full of significant moments that stay with you till the end. Victoria Hislop brings back the trauma of not only the repercussions of WWII in Greece, but she digs deeper and further, shedding light on the community divided by politics, on the cruelty and difficulties that Greek had to face after the war. Recommended!

 

Her Husband’s Mistake by Sheila O’Flanagan / Blog Tour

Her Husband’s Mistake by Sheila O’Flanagan

 

43204746Publisher: Headline

Publishing Date: 30th May 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 448

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 05.03. 2020)

 

Synopsis:

Dave’s made a BIG mistake. What’s Roxy going to do about it? The riveting new novel from No. 1 bestselling author Sheila O’Flanagan. Perfect for readers of Marian Keyes and Amanda Prowse.

Roxy’s marriage has always been rock solid.

After twenty years, and with two carefree kids, she and Dave are still the perfect couple.

Until the day she comes home unexpectedly, and finds Dave in bed with their attractive, single neighbour.

Suddenly Roxy isn’t sure about anything – her past, the business she’s taken over from her dad, or what her family’s future might be. She’s spent so long caring about everyone else that she’s forgotten what she actually wants. But something has changed. And Roxy has a decision to make.

Whether it’s with Dave, or without him, it’s time for Roxy to start living for herself…

‘One of my favourite authors’ Marian Keyes

Rating: four-stars

 

Roxy has recently lost her father and has been spending more time at her mother’s house. The day after the funeral she comes home to surprise her husband, however what she sees when she walks in to their bedroom is going to change their lives. Roxy immediately moves out with the children and stays with her mother to work out what to do next. She has started to run her father’s chauffer business when he was taken ill, and now she feels it is only right to continue it, especially as he left her his Mercedes to do with it what she wants. She starts to feel confident again, loves meeting the clients and enjoys the driving, but also she needs to decide what to do with her marriage – forgive and forget? Come back to Dave? Trust him again?

Now, Roxy. Yes, there were moments that I felt desperate with her, or more likely I felt desperate with her husband, because I really rooted for her and kept everything crossed for her. I think the author has so brilliantly captured her indecisions, uncertainty, being torn between the feeling that she has to stay loyal and putting all others before herself – this is the way we work, we dream of things but we still don’t find the courage to reach for them, and in my opinion Sheila O’Flanagan has done a great job with picturing Roxy like this, making her a living and breathing character. I might have not always agreed with her decisions but I respected them because it’s so easy to say something but much more difficult to do it when you’re not sure what’s good – and Roxy felt so true that all she did or didn’t do simply felt realistic, and her problems and struggles will for sure resonate with many women.
Dave is another story. I wanted to bang his head on the wall every time he tried to get his own way and carry on making Roxy feel as though she’s the one in the wrong, as though everything was her fault, and as he was doing it instantly, this wall would get a nice hollow in it really quickly. It’s one thing when married people are not always able to settle their differences but Dave took it to another level and I hated how he made Roxy feel.

I had a feeling that the pace is rather on the slow side, and I could have lived without some of the passages, and I’ve missed some more action but altogether I enjoyed this novel and I find that it was incredibly easy to read – you know this kind of books when you start to read, five minutes later look at the clock and see that actually it is more than few hours but you simply didn’t notice it, so engrossed you are in the story. “Her Husband’s Mistake” was such a book, I really liked the writing style, it was so natural and easy to follow.

Altogether, it was a down – to – earth, realistic novel about family relationships and dynamics, about second chances and taking things in your hands. I really liked seeing the main character growing in confidence, becoming self – confident, knowing her value and strength. Story that is relatable on many levels, that I really enjoyed and highly recommend.

 

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Just My Type by Hannah Doyle / Blog Tour

Just My Type by Hannah Doyle

 

44413874Publisher: Headline

Publishing Date: 18th April  2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages:

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

JUST MY TYPE is the second novel from Hannah Doyle, author of the laugh-out-loud hit rom-com THE YEAR OF SAYING YES, perfect for fans of Love Island, What Fresh Hell by Lucy Vine and Anna Bell.

Meet Jasmine.
– The quirky/cool photographer to a superstar blogger
– She’s going on a date with a SUPER hot guy on the London Eye tonight
– Best friend Mila is her wifey for life
– This millennial is #LivingHerBestLife

But fast-forward a few hours, and the reality isn’t quite so picture perfect. Jasmine hates her stuck-up blogger boss. She can barely afford rent in her stupid London flat. Her best friend seems to have all her sh*t together. Oh, and that date she was so excited about? She got dumped. On the London Eye. In the middle of a thunderstorm. With a bunch of tourists watching…

Best friend Mila decides that Jasmine needs a new ‘type on paper’, because Jasmine’s current criteria is so off that her dating history is one long line-up of fools. So Mila challenges Jasmine to look once, if not twice, at the guys who wouldn’t normally fit her ‘type’. With nothing to lose, Jasmine accepts. Maybe, just maybe, she’ll surprise herself.

Rating: four-stars

 

Jasmine is in a relationship and right now she’s expecting that her boyfriend is going to propose on the next date. However, this date goes belly – up and unfortunately for our heroine, she finds herself single again. Jasmine’s best friend Mila claims it’s because she dates only “her type” guys, and maybe she should simply go for one that, on paper at least, is not her type at all? So she sets Jasmine on a 7 date challenge – dating out of her comfort zones and maybe, probably finding The One?

Jasmine’s job was really interesting – she was a photographer to a superstar blogger so on one hand it was such a brilliant, glamorous job, visiting different countries and providing so many possibilities. On the other hand, she had a real boss from hell, guys, who was belittling her and expecting wonders or burdened Jasmine with tasks almost impossible to accomplish. I think the author has really well captured the feelings of Jasmine here, when she didn’t know what to do, when she didn’t pluck up the courage to take matters in her hands, and as much as I wanted her to tell her boss to go to hell, I also understood that she was scared, that she was afraid what the future is going to bring. It was nice to see Jasmine’s journey here, the change in her, her growing in confidence, of course with some help here and there – but who helped her and why and how? *you must read for yourself* *wink*

This book, just like Hannah Doyle’s debut novel, started very, very promising, then went a bit downhill and then came back to being hilarious and warm. By downhill I don’t mean that it was flat or not hooking, because it was, I just had a feeling that the story lost its impact in the middle, that’s all. I also had problems with the main character at the beginning, and I swear guys, I’ve already started to panic because, Hannah Doyle’s book, right, and what is happening? I don’t know, Jasmine was somehow too shallow, too obsessed with finding the right boyfriend, too focused on her “type” – probably this is why I had this feeling of her being too shallow. But then it changed, she changed, and I’ve finished this book feeling like Jasmine’s best friend, so there.

There are so many different books with characters going on dates, and so it is a real trial for the author to write a unique, hilarious blind date that hasn’t been written yet! “Just My Type” provides us with series of such (unfortunate) dates and ridiculous situations but they were much more original and better I could have expected, so hats off to Hannah Doyle for this! The guys were so different, and the dates were so different, and it wasn’t too cheesy, too meh, too schmaltzy, no, the dates were so enjoyable, the guys hilarious and I enjoyed every single moment of them. But oh my, how glad am I that I don’t have to go on dates anymore…

I had a feeling that the book is aimed rather at younger audience than yours truly writing this review but nevertheless I simply loved this story. It was my kind of humour and I liked how light – hearted and easy it was. Perhaps there weren’t many life changing turns and twists but still, little things happened here and there that were surprising and often made me go “oh no!” There was actually much more to this story than meet the eye. I really, really like Hannah Doyle’s writing style. It is light – hearted, chatty, flows effortlessly, and it’s full of humour and great one – liners. The way she describes her characters and events allows you to immediately feel drawn in, to feel comfortable with the book and the storyline. Altogether, “Just My Type” was a funny, sharp and very up – to – date story about learning things about yourself, pushing your boundaries, about facing challenges and finding love where we don’t expect to find it. Recommended!

 

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Maybe This Time by Jill Mansell

Maybe This Time by Jill Mansell

 

38203743Publisher: Headline

Publishing Date: 24th January 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 432

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

(out on 13.06.2019)

 

Synopsis:

The deliciously uplifting new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of MEET ME AT BEACHCOMBER BAY. Not to be missed by readers of Lucy Diamond and Katie Fforde.

When Mimi first visits her dad’s new home in the Cotswolds, she quickly falls in love with Goosebrook and its inhabitants. (Well, maybe not rude Henrietta, who lets Mimi walk miles in the rain rather than give her a lift.) There’s Paddy, with his flashing eyes and seductive charm. Friendly and funny Lois makes her laugh. And seriously gorgeous Cal is welcoming and charismatic. Mimi would be more than happy to return to Goosebrook if it means bumping into him again…

Time passes and Mimi comes and goes, and concentrates on her career. Yet as their lives continue to intersect over the years and emotions (or relationships) become tangled, it’s Cal who makes her feel most welcome whenever she does return to Goosebrook. But if he’s The One, will it ever be the right time for them both?

Rating: four-stars

 

In “Maybe This Time” we are introduced to Mimi, who’s just leaving London for a few days to visit her Dad in Goosebrook in the Cotswolds. Already the first visit there is very adventurous and includes rescuing a sheep and being totally drenched. But people in Goosebrook – with one exception – are really, really friendly and so Mimi soon finds herself on the way again. However, she doesn’t know that totally different circumstances are awaiting her this time… Fast forward some time and Mimi, after being betrayed by her best friend and her boyfriend, moves in her Dad and Marcus’s house, hoping to start a new chapter in her life. Perhaps with an extremely handsome neighbour at her side?

I loved the characters in this book. Jill Mansell has talent to create relatable, warm and full of life characters that she so easily brings to life and the dynamics between them is captured in such a realistic, true to life way. There are plenty of characters in this novel but they’re all so distinctive and different, and I never had a problem to know who is who and why, and I enjoyed all of them and their own stories. Mimi is so full of life, even though this life likes to challenge her, but she never gives up and I wanted to give her a standing ovation more than once. Even her crush on Cal was so charming – I know some may say, woman, get a grip, you’re old enough, but it involved so many embarrassing moments and jumping to conclusions and I simply loved it. The short period of time when she was working in Puerto Pollensa in Mallorca was hilariously entertaining and I truly enjoyed this bossy side of her. Heck, she was a real renaissance woman, our Mimi, she could do anything she was asked for, and she always did it with a passion. There are of course many other brilliant characters, the already mentioned Cal and his daughter Cora, Mimi’s Dad and Marcus and her new friends Lois, Paddy and Felix, and oh, of course, we can’t forget Henrietta – you can’t help but fell for them all, and you quickly become invested in their lives.

This book has it all what I know I can expect from Jill Mansell: it was light – hearted but with a depth, it was funny but also poignant, it was fast – paced and with brilliantly developed and fleshed out characters. I know that it’s also a bit predictable, but firstly I haven’t read it for its unpredictability, and secondly it was this kind of novel when predictable is good and comfortable. Although guys the author didn’t make it so obvious for the character and the majority of the book I spent wondering, rolling my eyes at “not again!”, wanting to bang my head on the wall – all of this I mean in a positive way! Because it was so obvious that those two should be together but the timing was never right, either there was another relationship, or they weren’t in the same place, mostly in different country. It was simply brilliant!

This is a fast – paced story, sometimes too fast I would say, especially at the beginning when so many things happens, but I was immediately at the heart of this book, drawn in. It took me on a brilliant, entertaining and also thought – provoking ride, with all the ups and down and highs and lows, through some gorgeous settings. Goosebrooks has all what a perfect place needs – it’s idyllic, there is of course this brilliant local pub and people who make this place so exceptional. As usual, the book dealt with a great range of topics and issues but there was not a single moment that it was too much or that I felt confused. It won’t be a surprise to you then when I tell you that Jill Mansell is my auto – buy author, will it. Her books are really worth dropping anything you do and spending some relaxing me – time. I always finished reading her books with a grin on my face, and it was the same with “Maybe This Time”. It was entertaining, funny and sometimes sad and I found myself engrossed in the story. Highly recommended!