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Sunny Sundays at Primrose Hall by Jill Steeples #Review

  I am delighted to be on the tour to celebrate a return to Primrose Hall. Sunny Sundays at Primrose Hall by Jill Steeple was published by Boldwood Books on April 15th.   Primrose Hall is more than Jackson Moody and his fiancée Pia’s home – it’s the heart of the community. The Sunday craft fairs in the renovated stables are a popular draw for the locals and tourists alike, enticed by the beautiful surroundings of Primrose Woods as well as the irresistible goodies on display. But for Sophie Wright they’re a chance to forge a new life and a new business. After leaving behind a turbulent relationship, Sophie is starting again – and romance is the last thing on her mind. Drop dead gorgeous Tom Moody, Lord of the Manor Jackson’s newly-discovered older brother, is loving being a member of the Primrose Hall community. Content to muck in where he can be helpful, he’s just happy to be part of the family. But when tragedy strikes, Pia needs Tom more than he ever expected. And when Tom ne

Ideal Love by Alice Burnett **Blog Tour Review and Giveaway

    I am delighted to be the next stop on the Blog Tour to celebrate the publication of Ideal Love by Alice Burnett. You also have the opportunity to win a paperback copy of the book (UK only) Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post.

After an argument with her husband, Gilles, Venus Rees is left devastated by his sudden death. But when she discovers that he died of a treatable genetic condition she knew nothing about, she is haunted by the thought that he didn't love her enough to save himself. As time passes, Venus looks set to be trapped between grief and distrust forever. Until she meets the shy, good-looking and seemingly ideal Alex. 

Intertwining Venus's compelling attraction to Alex in the present with Gilles' enraptured pursuit of her in the past, Ideal Love is an intimate and life-affirming novel about love, from its incandescent beginnings to its final breath and back again.

Can love survive death? Can you love two people at once? 

My Thoughts

This is such an impressive debut novel with a distinctive style and author voice.  The story is told through the eyes of Venus, her husband, Gilles and Alex and is a reflective and searching exploration of love and loss, ecstasy and grief. In effect there are two love stories, Venus and Gilles, and then Venus and Alex. Unbeknown to Venus, the three are linked together. Venus deals with her grief at Gilles' death and her anger that he might have known of his potentially fatal heart condition and chosen to ignore it. Her anger is palpable and something she has to come to terms with. Hers is a touching and emotional journey. 

    This is a book which slowly uncovers for the reader, layer upon layer of the characters' feelings and emotions. In terms of the plot, most of the 'action' takes place in uncovering the nuances of the relationships. It is a clever and thought provoking read which draws you in, so that you really want to know how it all turns out. It certainly isn't a book which you can speed read your way through. It has to be taken more slowly and thought about. It is a lovely touch how each chapter is named with a song which is relevant and music is part of Venus's personality. It is a thread which runs through the story and you are aware that Venus' singing voice has an effect on Gilles and Alex which is sensual and evocative. At one time, she is unable to sing and you can gauge her mental state through her music, linked as it is to key moments.

    In short: an exploration of grief and the enduring quality of love.


About the Author
Alice Burnett grew up on a farm in Devon, England. She studied Maths at Cambridge University, followed by a degree in philosophy, a subject she is still passionate about. She qualified as a lawyer in the City and worked in London and Paris before leaving law to write full-time. 

Alice lives in London with her husband and three sons. Ideal Love is her first novel. 

You can follow Alice here: Twitter  |  Website 

Amazon UK 

Thanks to Imogen Harries at Legend Press and Alice Burnett for a copy of the book and a place on the tour!

Giveaway (UK only)

I'm able to offer a paperback copy of Ideal Love to one lucky winner.  For your chance to win, either leave a comment below or go over to Twitter to Follow and Retweet the pinned tweet on @bookslifethings. (Or for 2 chances, do both!) Let me know what you think!   
Closing date 31st August 2017.

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