The lovely Jo Lambert is becoming quite a regular on Being Anne, and that’s something that gives me great pleasure. Her first visit, back in August 2015, was for a Brook Cottage Books blog tour too – that time with a lovely guest post to mark the publication of Summer Moved On, the South Devon Duo Book One. I then reviewed the book in November, and found I really enjoyed Jo’s “romantic drama driven fiction” – a great story, easy to read, flowing, perfect to escape into. I’ve since read and enjoyed The Other Side Of Morning too – you’ll find the review here – but I was really looking forward to spending more time with Jess, Talún and the rest of the wonderful characters who had become my friends. And, at last, that moment has come – Watercolours in the Rain, the South Devon Duo Book 2, was published for Kindle on 5th October (paperback to follow soon), and is available via Amazon in the UK and US. And I’m delighted to report that it was really worth waiting for – absolutely everything I’d hoped it would be!
Let me share the story;
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. Now a teacher, Jess returns from holiday to an unexpected phone call and life changing news which will eventually bring her back home once more.
TALUN: 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 once more, she realises despite the risks involved, the night they spent together six years ago may 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, Talun finds himself in an impossible situation. Still in love with Jess he is tied into to 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…
This really was an excellent story, with strong, vividly drawn characters – and it was a real page-turner. There is a new maturity to Jo Lambert’s writing that it was a joy to see – I was incredibly impressed by the way she creates and maintains three quite distinct voices (Jess, Talún and Lily) and their separate points of view, moving between them comfortably, seamlessly and with total ease. And I loved this book’s pacing – I looked forward to returning to it each time I had to put it down, with a real eagerness to discover where the story was going.
I was maybe a tad surprised initially at where the story started from – I’d rather expected an immediate continuation of the first book. But picking up the story in this way – after everyone’s lives have moved on a little – worked really well. If the writing has matured, so have the characters – although some (like the appalling Zac, who was as obnoxious as ever) seemed barely to have changed at all. Lily is a quite wonderful creation – any inkling that she has suddenly become all sweetness and light soon dispelled. And the separate stories of Talún and Jess – with a constant hope that this will become their joint story, however impossible it may seem – are every bit as engaging as was their youthful romance and betrayal.
There are some welcome new characters in this book, while others have taken a step back. I really liked Anna, the kind of strong, slightly more mature, female character I always enjoy: and, although I’m often not a great fan of children in books, young Josh was just wonderfully drawn, a young individual even I could love.
And I really must mention, please don’t get the impression that this book is only “part two” of something. There’s absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t be read as a stand-alone, with a strong and engaging story that has a clear start, middle and end. The past is very much part of the present story, but any gaps are filled really effectively for a first-time reader. A really lovely read – and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
With thanks to the author and tour organiser Brook Cottage Books, I’m delighted to be able to offer a giveaway. The first prize is a simply gorgeous dreamcatcher necklace (UK only):
And the second prize is two e-copies of Watercolours in the Rain, and open internationally. Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
About the author
Born and raised in rural Wiltshire, Jo Lambert grew up with a love of books and a vivid imagination. As a child she enjoyed creating her own adventure stories similar to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. Writing always stayed with her, but college, work and eventually marriage found it was kept very much in the background. However in 2009 she finally had her first novel – When Tomorrow Comes – published. 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 fully on her writing. Two other books have been written since – The Other Side of Morning which is the final book of the Little Court Series and Summer Moved On, a love story set in South Devon. Jo has now published Watercolours in the Rain, and plans to begin work on her new book in early November 2016. She describes her writing style as drama driven romance.
Jo is married and 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, rock music and has a passion for dark chocolate…