What happens to the future when past and present collide?
JESS: Six years ago Jess’s relationship with Talún Hansen was torn apart by one night of deception. He disappeared from Lynbrook village and she headed for university vowing never to let anyone break her heart again. Currently teaching in Oxford, Jess returns from holiday to an unexpected phone call and life changing news which eventually sees her returning home.
TALÚN: Six years on Talún Hawkeswood, as he is now known, is heir to his grandfather’s Norfolk farming empire. When he hears of trouble in the village due to Lynbrook Hall being put up for sale, going back is the last thing on his mind. But staying away is not an option either, not when someone he owes so much to is about to lose their home and their livelihood.
LILY: Splitting with her husband after her son Josh’s birth, Lily now works as part of an estate agency sales team. She has always held onto her dream of finding a wealthy husband and a life of self-indulgence. When the sale of an important property brings her face to face with Talún, she realises despite the risks involved, the night they spent together six years ago could be the key to making those dreams come true.
As Jess, Talún and Lily return to Lynbrook and the truth about what happened that summer is gradually revealed, Talún finds himself in an impossible situation. Still in love with Jess he is tied into a trade off with Lily: his name and the lifestyle she craves in exchange for his son. And when a child is involved there is only one choice he can make…
What does TWG think?
‘Watercolours in the Rain’ caught me off guard on more than one occasion. There I was, laying on my sofa with the calm and serene looking book cover imprinted in my mind, trying to work out the storyline that was unravelling before my very own eyes. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, the storyline proved itself to be anything other than calm and serene. To say that I was surprised by the unexpected direction that the storyline took, would be an understatement! I’m just glad that did my usual trick of not reading the blurb beforehand as I don’t think I would have enjoyed the storyline as much because of it. For me, the blurb takes away the surprise element and I feel that Jo Lambert has done an impressive job with the rollercoaster elements as it is, without the outline of them being given away before the reader has had a chance to find them out.
I hadn’t read the first book in the series before I began this one, so I was a little bit concerned about keeping up with everything that had gone on previously. To begin with, I did get a little confused but that soon subsided as each character’s past got spoken about in their new lives, making the dots easier to connect. Overall, the storyline flips between three characters; Talún, Jess and Lily, all three most certainly being one of a kind. I am going to be really blunt; I DETESTED Lily. I actually felt sorry for her to begin with but in no time at all, she outed herself as such a vindictive, evil, manipulative liar – yes, I got angry. Really angry in fact as Lily had a little boy who got dragged into her way of thinking, and well, lets just say my own mumma bear instincts tried to claw their way out of me. Truthfully, I am quite surprised that Jo Lambert didn’t turn the storyline into a crime novel and put Lily’s character somewhere else! I actually don’t think I have despised a character in a book, as much as I did Lily.
All the way through the novel, the storyline kept changing direction. There was always something amiss, a character stirring the pot, and even A LOT of ‘he said she said’. ‘Watercolours in the Rain’ didn’t strike me (based on cover & title) as the sort of book to contain multiple levels of depth and nitty-gritty circumstances, but it really does. I was pleasantly surprised and loved being a fly on the wall as it were, to the drama filled moments; even if I did want to grab a couple of the characters by the shoulders and shake them, telling them to grow a pair.
For a book that turned out to be the complete opposite of what I expected, I am amazed by how Jo Lambert managed to write about many overlapping circumstances and firework situations, whilst still keeping the reader’s interest and the storyline flowing. To write in a character that is utterly vile is a brave but extremely clever move as even though Lily was not my favourite person, she is still a character that unleashed different emotions within me and got me talking.
If a book wasn’t well written, it wouldn’t have had those clever moments, surprising elements and multiple rollercoaster rides; which is why I can safely say that ‘Watercolours in the Rain’ IS extremely well written and such a dark horse.