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High up there is a meeting place: Book Review

What We Find Book Cover What We Find
(Sullivan’s Crossing, Book 1)
Robyn Carr
Fiction
HarperCollins UK, Mills and boon
April 1, 2016
384

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF VIRGIN RIVER SULLIVANS’ CROSSING: BOOK ONE 

Is leaving her life behind the only way for Maggie to find happiness – and love?

Neurosurgeon Maggie Sullivan knows she needs to slow down before she burns out completely, and the best place she can do that is by heading home to Sullivan’s Crossing.

Indulging in the simple life should be the perfect escape. But Maggie’s world is rocked and she must take responsibility for the Crossing.

When quiet and serious Cal Jones, offers to lend a hand, Maggie is suspicious of his motive. Though as Cal and Maggie spend more time together it gives Maggie hope for something brighter just on the horizon…

This is a book based in Sulllivan’s Crossing, a camp site, high up in the mountains, and it is a really nice long read.  It is a story of second chances.

I remember reading about these really long mountain trails in the United States in actual biographies of people who have undertaken these trails, so the setting was immediately less strange to me.

 In these stories of how people undertook these extreme long walks they mentioned the crossing places where people met up, left packages in the post office, left messages for other travellers in diaries, and so on. But this is Colorado and to own a crossing place in Colorado, high up in the mountains, is an extreme undertaking. There is such a long cold winter and such a short summer.

 I thought that the background stories of Cole and Maggie were told wonderfully.

 I specially empathised with Cal – California – and his wife with scleroderma. Our daughter has it, although not so aggressively as in his wife’s case.  It can be very nasty indeed, especially in the world of autoimmune diseases as it tends to be – see one add one.  

To some extent the ending was inevitable, but the way we got there was very nicely told. This may not be great literature but it is satisfying reading. Good storytelling, well described characters, and some good plotting, as the author herself tells us – there should always be possibilities in a good story  – believable ones have a complex process in plotting, and the greats of literature she says, got their characters up a tree and then threw rocks at them (see location 2478 in the eBook).

A solid 4 stars.

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Yet more secrets

Falling For The Secret Prince Book Cover Falling For The Secret Prince
(Royal Christmas at Seattle General, Book 1)
Alison Roberts
Fiction
HarperCollins UK, (Mills & Boon Medical)
October 29, 2020
192

Revealing his past... is a risk worth taking! Dr. Dom Di Rossi’s world literally crashes through the ER doors when his father, the King of Isola Verde, is involved in a car crash. Until now, Dom’s royal connection has been carefully guarded. But when Dr. Emilia Featherstone, his old medical school rival, recognizes a previously unseen vulnerability behind his delicious eyes, she unintentionally becomes the keeper of his secret – and his heart!

Secret Princes are all the rage at the moment – at least this one isn’t a RockStar but a very successful ER Consultant and chief of Seattle’s main hospital.

Prestigious as his work is, and however hard he worked to achieve this role and his success, he has always known that at some time it would come to an end, and he would have to go back home, to Isola Verde and become King. Absolute Monarchy rather than Constitutional it seems.  And this time arrives. And he is needs more .. so his old rival in medical school is seen as that more..

In many ways this draws on the typical medical drama – a successful male and a female in his department – except that this female is a genius and completed her medical trauma training at a very young age. And is not a nurse!

We have drama and plenty of opportunity for further books to become pat of a series as to how it all works out and what about his sister and his best friend?

Nicely written in its genre but little that is unexpected once you know he is a Prince in disguise. Will appeal to the core audience for medical dramas.

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Dates can be comical or dire..

The Twelve Dates of Christmas
Jennifer Bayliss-Jennings
Pan Romance
Pan Macmillan
November 12, 2020
352

On the first day of Christmas, a dating app offered me Twelve tailored chances for perfect harmony . . . Kate Turner is happily single – a bit too happily, in fact. Since returning to her hometown of Blexford, a sleepy village where everybody knows each other, and between catching up with her oldest friends Laura and Matt, a flourishing career as a fabric designer, and taking care of her beloved dad, love hasn’t really had a look in. But Kate does love Christmas. So when Laura insists she signs up to the Twelve Dates of Christmas, a brand new dating app service, she doesn’t need too much persuading. Twelve perfect festive dates with the area’s most eligible men – who could say no? Amongst the twinkling lights and over hot chocolates and glasses of red wine, romance is easy to find. But with each date, Kate learns more about the men, and even more about herself. As the big day approaches, Kate’s left wondering – is it really the season for true love, or will this Christmas be the coldest yet?

  • This was a light and fun story about someone who signed up with a dating app for 12 experience dates. Each experience was designed such that she would get a different partner. Sometimes this worked well. Sometimes it didn’t… and sometimes it was best to swap with your gay friend as he was a better dancer!
    • It all sounded very hard work as the 12 dates took place in a very few days but also was a way to experience a lot of potential partners and decide what makes a good one. Of course, sometimes that didn’t work out. But as this was a romance, a happy end was experienced.
Liberty London Advent Calendar 2020 ON SALE TODAY and here's what's inside  the legendary calendar

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Trace a new Arc

The Summer Job Book Cover The Summer Job
Lizzy Dent
Women's fiction, Contemporary fiction
Viking
April 29, 2021
352

Have you ever imagined running away from your life? Well Birdy Finch didn't just imagine it. She did it. Which might've been an error. And the life she's run into? Her best friend, Heather's. The only problem is, she hasn't told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems... Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)? And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she's ever actually liked (but who thinks she's someone else)? If you're looking to replace that Fleabag sized hole in your life, look no further: you'll laugh at her, you'll cringe with her but ultimately you'll fall in love with Birdy Finch. For fans of The Flat Share, this is a rom com like you've never seen before, The Summer Job is the hottest read this summer.

A light hearted story about a somewhat chaotic character.

Our heroine, Birdy, has never managed to keep herself in their job – or any kind of training for enough length of time to become skilled at it.  She had a chaotic upbringing with an alcoholic father and a mother who was his facilitator –  so much so that when he sold items eg her clarinet when she was seven years old, her mother told Birdy she had lost it herself, rather than admitting that her father had sold it to pay off a debt.  As a result she found it difficult to maintain any emotional attachment to people except for her best friend Heather.

Heather had also had a difficult upbringing but in a very different way. Heather’s father had been a successful wine merchant and when he died and left her a small amount of money she used it to train as a sommelier and had become very well known in her particular field, and very experienced, but because her relationship with her father again was difficult she sought out love from men who were unsuitable in different ways .

This story begins late spring when Birdy is unemployed (again) and Heather decides to go to Italy with her current boyfriend. There is a problem with Heather’s current boyfriend in that he already has another girlfriend, but he promises to break up with her. Birdy has her own problems in being not only being unemployed but having nowhere to live. She had been sharing Heather’s flat but Heather had leased it out for the summer. Birdy then wonders what she’s going to do.. .What she does do is to pretend, as she has often pretended, to be Heather  – but before for small occasions but this time she was attending a an event for British wines.  And she meets a delightful lady called Irene there, who says oh you are Heather and chats to her, and they have a very nice time whilst Birdy’s very unreliable boyfriend Tim gets very drunk .What Birdy doesn’t know about Irene comes back to bite her later .

I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed Birdy trying for the first time in her life to learn a skill and failing miserably initially. I enjoyed her character arc and how she developed and learned to be more than she had been before. I recommend that if you are having a struggle learning who you are meant to be, what your job should be, what your place in life is, what you could become, that you read this book and see what Birdy’s trajectory was and ponder.

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And it snows..

Adventures of an Urban Homesteader Book Cover Adventures of an Urban Homesteader
Brooke L. Davis
Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Humour
Gallatin River Press
June 30, 2020
294

After three years under the thumb of a cretinous boss who’s sucked all the joy out of working a 9-to-5 job, twenty-eight-year-old Kendall Whitney has had enough. She flees San Francisco, her annoying roommates, and her overbearing mother, and takes refuge in Bozeman, Montana, where it feels like the big sky’s the limit. Safely ensconced in her best friend’s guest room, she promptly launches a three-pronged plan: to live alone for the first time in her life, develop a successful graphic design career, and figure out what she wants in a relationship. She embarks upon Operation Kendall Independence, only to realize that she doesn’t know the first thing about adulting. Hangovers, homemaking, freelancing, friendships, and modern cowboys bent on monogamy . . . it’s enough to send a single girl running for the gin & tonics. With self-deprecating charm and endearing humor, Adventures of an Urban Homesteader is the raucous and heartwarming diary of a young woman who’s determined to seek stability and security on her own terms, and to make her own safety net in case she fails.

Ah Montana – the mountains, the cows and cowboys that you need for them, and then there is the cold! Lots of cold.  Bozeman where our heroine moves to, is noted for being trendy – and snow can fall for 3/4 or more of the year! So coming from San Francisco was surely quite a shock to her. Clearly hadn’t invested in the correct undergarments – try Uniqlo in future… they even have self-heating jeans.

I liked the format of the book and the writing style was engaging and fun. Her ‘adventures’ with cows and cowpats and ‘wild’ creatures were amusing and I liked her friends and her boyfriends.

This was a lively book to read and enjoy in the less than freezing temperatures of Southern UK where you can giggle at our current 17 degree c in mid November and all the flowers blooming – and no need to put on woollies – wellies yes though as it has rained a lot! See La Sevillan rose and our LiquidAmbar in full glory in our garden late October 2020.

Oh and do look up the blog from High Country News which gives 10 reasons not to move to Bozeman – funny. The author is debunking all the people who say move to Bozeman for the laid back life etc. A small paradise it is often said.

https://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/top-10-reasons-not-to-move-to-bozeman

So number 1 reason is the Name – lame.. and number 2 is the weather… it has been known to snow heavily in June. That said, snow in the UK comes later – or earlier – in the year, depending on how you look at it, in the South rather than the North, and has frequently snowed on our son’s birthday late April – but only a sprinkling.

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