Have I mentioned before how much I enjoy being a tour host for Brook Cottage Books? Every so often, when I think I can’t possibly fit in another book, JB waves yet another one under my nose that I can’t resist. Mind you, this is one I might just have picked up anyway – I really so enjoyed Jenny Harper’s last book Between Friends, and you’ll find my review here. Mistakes We Make was published by Accent Press on 28th July and is available via Amazon in the UK and US. As well as my review – you’ll find it below – I’m delighted to offer the chance to win a copy, Shall we start with the blurb?
Sometimes you have to dig deep to discover what you really need.
Marketing events manager Molly Keir doesn’t realise how much she still cares for her ex until she meets him with another woman. Her answer is to seize the chance of a glittering job in London – even though this will mean leaving behind her aging father and pregnant best friend Lexie Gordon.
Adam Blair is in the wrong job. Pressured by his father to join the family law firm, the stress of work helped break his marriage. Now Molly is moving to London, and he knows he needs to move on – but events soon overtake his best intentions.
A year ago, Caitlyn Murray quit her well-paid job to avoid becoming a whistle-blower. Now she is stuck at home with her overworked mother and four needy step-siblings. Tempted by the offer of a good wage, she returns to her old firm – where her nightmare comes back to haunt her.
Molly and Adam seem to have gone too far to recover the love they once had, and when Caitlyn finds the courage to speak out, she brings all their worlds tumbling down.
And let’s take a look at a great extract too…
Molly Keir rummaged in her handbag and extracted her glasses. ‘Yum, this looks amazing. Scallops, black pudding, Gravadlax, sole paupiettes. Wow. I didn’t realise how ravenous I was till I started reading!’
Lexie whispered, ‘Molly.’
‘Mmm? What do you think about beef?’
Molly looked up at the note of urgency. ‘What?’
Lexie’s face had turned an odd shade, and her brown eyes had a panicky look about them. She was staring over Molly’s shoulder at the doorway.
Molly shoved her glasses back onto the top of her head and swung round. A woman was walking into the room. She was Asian – Indian perhaps? – and classically beautiful. Her hair fell in thick, shiny tresses halfway down her back, her eyes were dark as treacle and dramatically outlined in black. She was wearing scarlet. Afterwards, that was what Molly remembered most – the stunning silky dress, hugging a perfect figure.
For now, the dress and the woman faded improbably into the background because there was a man behind her. Not just any man – Adam Blair.
Looking good? Let me tell you what I thought…
This book is the fifth in the Heartlands series, but don’t worry about that for an instant – characters do sometimes reappear in minor roles, but the books are complete in themselves and can be read perfectly as stand-alones. What it really means though is that if you read and enjoy this one as much as I did, you have four more to catch up on. Jenny Harper has a real talent for creating three-dimensional characters who become your friends, and a deft touch in capturing friendships and relationships you can really believe in.
I loved the three main characters in this one. Molly’s marriage has fallen apart – partly because of her actions, partly through neglect – and the high-powered job offer in London gives her a chance to move on, should she decide to take it. I fell for her husband Adam just a little bit – despite the trophy girlfriend and the job with the family firm, the rough time he’s having rapidly gets far worse. And then there’s Caitlyn – totally loveable, strongly principled, caring for everyone, but actually needing a bit of love of her own. Not only are the central characters wonderful, but every supporting character too – the family members, friends, co-workers, and even those who make very brief appearances (like Molly’s horrendous blind date – I swear I’ve met him!). And a special mention for Malkie – I think I’d say yes! – and for Caitlyn’s family and their personal enterprise.
This is much more than a story about relationships though – there’s an engrossing central storyline about greedy people, their lies and the serious impact on others. And there are lots of themes and subplots – around finding out that what you think you want might not be what you really want, families and the nature of friendship, and the consequences of not communicating. There’s a really strong sense of place – whether that’s the fictional Hailesbank and the Heartlands (a wonderful creation), Loch Melfort or London. And the author writes like a dream – wonderful easy reading, where you enter the books pages and sink into the story, and nothing disturbs you until you set the book aside. And it’s also a book that really touches your heart – a really enjoyable read.
With thanks to the author, publisher, and tour host Brook Cottage Books, I’m delighted to be able to offer the chance to win a copy – first prize a paperback, second prize two e-copies. Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
I’ve been a writer for most of my life. I’ve written and co-authored a number of books on Scotland, a history of childbirth, a children’s novel and a romantic novel, all published some years ago. I’ve now turned my attention to writing the kind of novels I like to read – well written and with some depth, but not literary or too demanding. I like to tackle issues, but also to incorporate the complicated emotional challenges of day-to-day living.
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15692421-jenny-harper