Fashion designer Thérèse D’Alesandro has recently moved into Higher Padbury Manor with daughter Felica and stepson Marco. Joining forces with Ella Benedict’s exclusive functions venue Lawns at Little Court, she is about to open a bridal boutique.
Working in London where he manages his father’s European restaurant chain, Marco has both the looks and charm to guarantee him any woman; any woman, that is, except the one he wants: Ella’s niece Charlotte. Marco knows he should walk away as she’s already involved with rock star Christian Rosetti and is the most rude and argumentative female he has ever encountered, but Charlotte has sparked strong feelings within him; feelings which despite her attitude, he senses she is also experiencing.
Recently returned from abroad and now working for her father’s record company, Lucy Benedict has discovered Christian’s guilty secrets – ones he has been keeping safely hidden from her cousin Charlotte. Determined to cause mischief and at the same time settle her own score with the arrogant star, she sets in motion a chain of events which sees Charlotte eventually beginning a relationship with Marco.
Rossana Caravello, the D’Alesandros’s newly-arrived house guest, is due to inherit the one of Italy’s premier vineyards on her eighteenth birthday. Aware they would make an excellent addition to her husband Gianlucca’s international business portfolio and eager to bring them into his possession, Thérèse sets about engineering a match between Rossana and Marco, determined nothing will stand in her way… including Charlotte.
From rural West Somerset to the glorious rolling landscape of Tuscany and the Italian Lakes The Other Side Of Morning is a story of love, betrayal, deception and ultimate sacrifice.
I so enjoyed Summer Moved On by Jo Lambert – you’ll find my review here – and today I’m really delighted to be part of the blog tour for another of her books and to have the opportunity to try her writing again. The Other Side Of Morning was published under the name Joanna Lambert in March 2014, and kindle and paperback editions are available via Amazon in the UK and US. You can view the book trailer here.
In my 20s and 30s, when I used to take beach holidays and lie toasting myself all day (stick with me – there is a point to this…!), I used to have a very heavy suitcase as I loved to take with me the big blockbuster novels by the likes of Barbara Taylor Bradford, Judith Kranz and Shirley Conran. This book reminded me really strongly of those books – very much about the lives of the rich and famous, with a whole range of exotic settings, but without the raunchiness of some of those authors I remember, and a really pleasing Britishness in the Lawns at Little Court and the surrounding village community that the author writes about so well.
I must admit though, I did struggle a little at first – there were just so many characters and locations, and I couldn’t quite work out the connections between them. It didn’t help that I read the book in short bursts to begin with – emphatically not the book or author’s fault – and every time I picked up the book I found myself flipping back to remind myself who everyone was. This is a book that lends itself to longer reading sessions, and once I managed to do that I was totally hooked.
Charlotte is eminently likeable, Marco the handsome, loaded and thoroughly gorgeous love interest. They’re a couple just waiting to happen, but the course of love doesn’t run smooth when complicated by a rock star who badly needs to change his ways, a young heiress in need of a husband, a step mother intent on her own version of a perfect outcome, and a silly young girl who mistakenly sees Marco as her destiny. While Charlotte and Marco are always the story’s primary focus, we slowly get to know all those other characters that surround them, many with their own intriguing stories.
Jo Lambert writes quite beautifully – her style is flowing and easy to read, her dialogue natural, her descriptions vivid. The characterisation is excellent too – wicked stepmother Thérèse is quite a piece of work, and you just know Kayte is trouble from the moment you meet her. I particularly liked Lucy – the spoilt heiress who actually has considerably more depth to her than it first appeared.
I very much enjoyed The Other Side Of Morning – a twisting and turning story set against a wonderful large canvas, and a totally engrossing world to disappear into for a few hours.
With thanks to the author and tour organiser Brook Cottage Books, I’m pleased to be able to offer the chance to win your own copy – two paperback copies on offer as first prizes (open internationally), two ecopies as second prizes. Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
Meet the author
Born and raised in rural Wiltshire, Jo grew up with a love of books and a vivid imagination. As a child she enjoyed creating her own stories and reading them to her friends. College, work and eventually marriage meant writing was kept very much as a hobby. Her career as a board level PA eventually moved into management and it wasn’t until 2009 that she finally realised her long term goal of publishing her first novel – When Tomorrow Comes.
Juggling work and writing, three other connected books – Love Lies and Promises, The Ghost of You and Me and Between Today and Yesterday – followed. They became collectively known as the Little Court Series. In 2013 she decided to give up full time work to concentrate on her writing. Two books have been written since – The Other Side of Morning, which finally wrapped up the Little Court Series and Summer Moved On, book one of a two-part love story set in South Devon. Although you can find her characters in glamorous locations like Italy, Grand Cayman, Bali and Australia, the core of her writing remains with village life, an environment she knows and loves.
When she isn’t writing, she reviews for Hodder and Stoughton, Brook Cottage Books and NetGalley. Jo lives in a village on the eastern edge of Bath with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. She loves travel, red wine and rock music.
Jo can be found on Twitter, has a Facebook author page, a website and a blog.