When I chatted with author Faith Mortimer back in July – you can read the interview here – I was quite surprised, considering how long we’ve been in contact, that I’ve never reviewed one of her books on Being Anne. Time to put that right, I thought – and I’ve just read the latest novel in her Affair series, A Very Distant Affair, published on 1st July for kindle and in paperback. And yes, I really rather enjoyed it.
Let me share the cover information:
Cheryl Taylor, a landscape artist appears to have it all. Apart from fame and fortune, her attentive husband Daniel is brilliant at managing her business matters. Cheryl has allowed him full rule of her affairs from the day they were married…but twenty years later, she wonders whether she shouldn’t be quite so naive. Daniel is controlling and as she learns from one friend during an intimate conversation. “Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend you know. They are a man’s best friend. They’re great at getting men off the hook, and keeping their women quiet.”
Feeling uncomfortable and troubled over her friend’s warning, Cheryl decides there is more to life than being successful and at the beck and call of a manipulative husband. She sets out to find what she really wants from life, and to her horror, discovers one earth-shattering secret after the next.
Her life in turmoil she visits Australia, where on a previous trip, she found contentment from an unexpected quarter. Michel, a widower, owns a winery and boutique hotel in New South Wales, and is as different from Daniel as chalk is to cheese.
Cheryl is drawn to this gentle Australian of French descent and feels her new-found strong will wavering. She returns to London to offer Daniel an ultimatum, only to discover the final shock which threatens all their lives.
There was a lot I really liked about this book. Cheryl was very well drawn, and eminently likeable – I enjoyed the fact that the book was set in the world of the rich and famous, and miles apart from my own, and I enjoyed the insights into the art world. Her husband Daniel was less easy to love. as he made demands on her and apparently used and manipulated until she made a stand. The twists and turns of the story really made him no more sympathetic. Michel though – that was a quite different story, he was thoroughly lovely and a perfect romantic hero. There were other relationships I enjoyed in this book too, particularly the female friendship. But the daughter – sadly she seems to have taken more traits from her father than her mother, and I found her a really spoilt little madam with few redeeming features.
The settings were excellent – I really enjoyed the descriptions of Cornwall and Australia, the vividly described preparations for the party at Cheryl and Daniel’s home, and I’m almost ready to book a flight to stay in the boutique hotel at Michel’s Australian winery. The writing was strong too – excellent dialogue, well paced, emotionally engaging, and a story well told. But – and I’m always sorry when there’s a “but” – I’ll be honest and say that the story, despite its dramatic moments, maybe just lacked a little “oomph” for my personal taste. As an introduction to Faith’s excellent writing though, it was perfect – I enjoyed what I read, and I’d really like to read more. But I think it maybe needs to be one of the Dark Minds books… maybe your next one, Faith?
Faith Mortimer is a British author dividing her time between Hampshire and Cyprus. Since 2005 she turned her hobby of writing into a career. During childhood, she dreamt of writing novels which readers would love, and spent many hours writing short stories which she read to her sisters. Faith was born in Manchester, and educated in Singapore, Malaya & Hampshire, England.
Faith is always delighted to talk to readers and can be contacted through her Facebook author page, her website, Twitter and Goodreads. And if you’d like to check out her books, you can do so on Amazon in the UK and US.