I love it when books are bought for me, because I love seeing what other people think I might enjoy. The addition of Goodreads over the past few years has also meant that people can look at my ‘Read’ bookshelves and see what not to get because I’ve already devoured it. This is one of those books that was chosen for me, and I loved it. This was the first book by Jemma Forte that I had read as well so I had no prior expectations as to what her style would be like and what to expect…

This book is about family. At the centre of the family (in the beginning of the book) is Marianne. She’s thirty one years old, living at home, harbouring her dream of becoming a violinist but not doing much towards achieving that goal until… One stormy evening (yes really), her long lost Dad rocks up (you know, the one that went to Australia when she and her sister were little) and spills the beans on where he’s really been. The centre of the family shifts throughout with little incidents and episodes that bring other members to the foreground, such as Hayley (Marianne’s sister), Andy (the holiday fling turned horror) and of course, Ray, Marianne’s father. Marianne’s dabbles at romance are also hinted at but don’t take over the whole book and definitely don’t make the ‘happy ending’ that a stereotypical book would do. Which is one of the things I loved. It’s not a fairytale, it’s more like real life, and that’s just fine for me.

My only criticism…(slight spoiler)… Andy (the holiday romance fling gone sour) lodges with Marianne and her family for a short while and everytime Marianne comes across him in the house she has some comment about his weight, insulting him or calling him names (even if only to us the reader). It gets a bit exhausting after a while, Andy didn’t actually do anything wrong except for appear after a holiday romance with more weight than she remembered and no tan…

If you enjoyed: It’s hard to say really as Forte has a style of her own. This is sort of a cupcake cafe/beach cafe type book with the underlying romance but so much more when you get into it. Samantha Tonge and Dorothy Koomson mixed together if you had to put a ‘similar to’ label on it..

Date Published: 15th January 2015

Published by: Mira – Mira Books is a book publishing imprint of Harlequin Enterprises that focuses on mainstream fiction. It was launched in 1994.

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