#Review – Watercolours in the Rain by Jo Lambert (@Jolambertwriter) #romance #bookboost

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Blurb.

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.

Buy from Amazon

Book Review of ‘How to find your (first) husband’ by Rosie Blake.

How To Find Your (first) Husband by Rosie Blake.
Published: 2nd June 2016 by Corvus.
Paperback: ISBN-10: 1782398627
ISBN-13: 978-1782398622
Available to buy on Amazon UK/Amazon US.

‘Isobel Graves moved to LA determined to be the Next Big Thing. Instead, she is dressed as a giant prawn handing out fliers promoting a fish market. Rather than attending glamorous parties and dating exciting men, her evenings consist of watching box sets with her sort-of boyfriend, whose idea of romance is a late-night drunken text. Where did it all go wrong? When Isobel catches sight of Andrew Parker, her childhood sweetheart, in the background of a TV news story she feels it’s a sign. If she’d stuck with Andrew everything would have turned out better. Now she just needs to find him…Join Isobel as she travels from LA to Devon and to a remote Malaysian island in search of true love.’

I would like to start off by saying a massive thank you to Corvus and of course Rosie Blake, for giving me the opportunity to review the book before it is released!

As soon as the book came through my letterbox, I squealed and danced, much to the amusement of my two year old. To be fair, look at the cover, how can you not squeal and dance at it? Now add the title to the equation and it’s highly intriguing!
Have you ever had to dress up for work? No, I don’t mean by wearing something a different colour, or tartan or even dress down day. I mean dress up to look completely different. Yes? What did you dress up as? I dressed up as Betty from the Flintstones for work once, in a busy supermarket, on a Saturday….I still cringe now. Although, ha, after reading that Isobel had to dress up a prawn for her job in LA, my embarrassment soon faded!
Isobel moved to LA to land a career in Television, after all it was LA, what could wrong? Instead of living the high life as she had dreamt about, she was handing out fliers dressed as a prawn and a tomato. Not at the same time of course. But in the back of Isobel’s mind, she has always thought about her the guy that just disappeared from her life. The guy she has had a soft spot for, for many years. I mean, he shared his lunch with her at school, how could you not love a guy for that? Isobel is determined to pick up where they left off, if only she knew where he was….
Ah young love with the tales of the playground. Kiss chase, ‘marriages’, arguments because you didn’t wait for someone at lunch time; remember those days? Isobel does! I read the prologue, frowned in confusion, thought ‘what the’ once or twice, and then laughed like a hyena. That was my response after reading two pages. I had high hopes for the rest of the book and I was looking forward to delving into it with that sort of humour. The book didn’t disappoint at all. The flashbacks that happen frequently within the book are a work of art, pure genius on Rosie Blake’s part. Not only do you have the grown up Isobel trying to find her way in life, you read about the younger side to her in the flashbacks and it is brilliant. The lengths that Isobel goes to find the answer to her ‘what if’ is absolutely bonkers, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if many women (or men) had done that! Do you take the chance, or not? Despite it being bonkers (in a good way I must add), the obstacles that Isobel is faced with, alongside the sticky situations that she puts herself in makes hilarious reading. Don’t get me wrong, I did feel a bit sorry for Isobel on multiple occasions, especially when the sticky situations turned into incredibly cringy situations. Rosie Blake has managed to turn embarrassing situations into ‘brush it off’ situations. Imagine that you had a bad first date, and then turned it into a positive thing and ended up laughing and happier than before. Done? That’s how Rosie Blake has written this.
Each situation is completely realistic, every character is unique with realistic tendencies as well. Instead of a book having the ‘typical’ ‘handsome and rugged’ man aka Mr Darcy, it has a man who isn’t out of anyone’s reach because you’ll see someone like that walking down the street.
Isobel’s mum is absolutely crackers and she is one of my favourite characters in the story because she doesn’t give a rat’s tail about anything, and she comes across as ‘being at one’ with herself. But the other side of her shows that she does and says what she wants and couldn’t care less what anyone thinks of it, including her husband! I found that every character in the book had their own story to tell, and Rosie Blake had them tell it in their own special way.
‘How to find you (first) husband’ is such a fun, hilarious and wonderful read. I did not want to put it down at all. I just wanted to stay with Isobel and see what else she could get up to as she is fascinatingly bonkers. This was the very first book of Rosie’s that I have read, and it definitely won’t be the last. Everything is on point with this book, the storyline, characters, humour; just everything. The only downside to this book, in my opinion, was that it had to end. I cannot recommend this book enough and it is definitely one of my favourite books that I have read so far this year (& I have read over 30)!
Rosie Blake, you are a genius.