It was such a pleasure last year to discover the lovely writing of Ellie Holmes. I so enjoyed The Flower Seller – you can read my review and a conversation with Ellie here – and mentioned the little frisson of excitement I experienced from finding a new author and knowing that I’d discovered something rather special. I was so delighted to find that White Lies – published on 27th June, and available for kindle and in paperback – was going to take me back to Abbeyleigh and Stebbingsford, Spike’s Bar and the Northey. And the story looked every bit as intriguing as I’d hoped it would be.
Have you ever told a white lie?
Sam Davenport is a woman who lives her life by the rules. When her husband Neil breaks those rules too many times, Sam is left wondering not only if he is still the man for her but also if it’s time to break a few rules of her own.
Actions, however, have consequences as Sam soon discovers when what starts out as an innocent white lie threatens to send her world spiralling out of control.
White Lies is a warm, engaging read about love, deceit, betrayal and hope.
And, do you know, I think I can confirm that Ellie has done it again – this was such an excellent read. It’s really one of those books that you want to read through your fingers (which is always a tad difficult…!), because you can see things steadily moving from bad to worse as the characters make dreadful decisions at every turn, and you just know there’s a disaster (or several) waiting to happen.
As far as characters go, I can’t say I really took to any of them (except maybe Sam’s business partner Connor – oh, and recently bereaved Daphne in the rather lovely side story) – they really did rather deserve each other. The deception (maybe a little more than the white lies of the title) that both Sam and Neil (and others) are capable of quite takes your breath away. But the characterisation is really excellent – while you may find yourself taking the moral high ground over some developments in this story, the characters themselves are never less than believable, real, people you might know, caught up in a situation of their own making that spirals wildly out of control. And I loved some of the shocks and surprises that put the story into a realm all of its own – not entirely a romance in the conventional sense, and not quite a psychological thriller but with many of the elements you might expect to find in that genre.
The writing, as before, is excellent – sparkling and natural dialogue, excellent descriptions of those places already familiar, and making Sam an interior designer gave a nice insight into those little designer touches that make a house a home. And it’s a real page turner – you can’t entirely believe the situation that’s playing out before you, but you also can’t tear your eyes away.
When I reviewed The Flower Seller, I said I’d discovered an author who’s found her own voice and totally defies comparison – and I’m delighted she’s again proved me right. This book was such a great read – and confirmation that Ellie Holmes is here to stay.
My thanks to Ellie Holmes for giving me an e-copy of this book for the purposes of review.
About the author
Ellie Holmes writes commercial women’s fiction and romantic cosy mysteries. If you like your books to have heart and soul with a dash of danger then you’ve come to the right place.
Ellie takes her inspiration from the beautiful Essex countryside and the sublime Cornish coast. Romantic and engaging, Ellie’s style of writing will draw you in and keep you turning the pages. Heart-warming stories and compelling characters will stay with you long after you close her books.
In her commercial women’s fiction, Ellie writes about relationships, love and trust, deceit and betrayal. In her novellas, Ellie creates a love story at the centre of each book but adds in elements of mystery and intrigue to keep her readers gripped to the last page.