Delighted today to be sharing my review of No Way Back, the second novel from Kelly Florentia, published tomorrow (21st September) by Urbane Publications in paperback and for kindle. I really did mean to read Kelly’s debut novel, The Magic Touch, until life intervened, so I’m very pleased I’ve been able to get to this one. Here’s the story:
When two eligible and attractive men are vying for your heart, it should be the perfect dilemma…
Audrey Fox has been dumped by her unreliable fiancé Nick Byrne just days before the wedding. Heartbroken and confused, the last thing she expects when she jumps on a plane to convalesce in Cyprus is romance. But a chance meeting with handsome entrepreneur and father-of-one Daniel Taylor weaves her into a dating game she’s not sure she’s ready for.
Audrey’s life is thrown into further turmoil when she discovers on her return to London that Nick has been involved in a serious motorcycle accident that’s left him in intensive care. Distraught yet determined to look to the future, Audrey must make a decision – follow her heart or listen to well-meaning advice from family and friends? Because sometimes, no matter what, it’s the people that we love who can hurt us the most…
This was one of those times when I picked up a book and dived straight in without reading the blurb first. The striking cover – which really does match the story perfectly – rather made me think it might be a thriller, but instead I found I was reading “intelligent, grown-up romance” (a quote from author Louise Douglas), and enjoying it very much. I took to Audrey straight away – in Cyprus, heartbroken and hungover on what should have been her wedding day, her hopes and plans in tatters. What follows is a really engaging story where Audrey teeters on the edge of reconciliation with ex-fiance Nick, finds a rather enticing alternative in Daniel, and uncovers layers of secrets and lies as she lives her life in her rather chaotic way, surrounded by friends and family.
Audrey really is a great character, wonderfully warm and funny, and there are others. I particularly loved her mother – beautifully described, totally real, with moments that make you cringe. The female friendships are very well drawn too – in their positives and negatives. If I have any criticism (and it’s only a minor one) there might just have been a few too many characters: sometimes a name would crop up and I couldn’t place the relationship – friend, someone’s partner, or work colleague.
The writing is excellent, very readable with perfect pace, all the story’s convoluted twists and turns handled very well – there were real surprises, people behaving badly, and this was a book I read with real involvement, hoping Audrey would take the right advice and that her decisions would be the right ones. I very much enjoyed this one – and I look forward to reading more from Kelly Florentia.
My thanks to Matthew at Urbane Publications for my e-copy for review.
About the author
Kelly Florentia was born and bred in north London, where she continues to live with her husband Joe. No Way Back is her second novel. Her debut novel, The Magic Touch, was released in March 2016. Kelly has always enjoyed writing and was a bit of a poet when she was younger. Before penning her first novel, she wrote contemporary short fiction for women’s magazines. To Tell a Tale or Two is a collection of some of her short stories. As well as writing, Kelly loves reading, running, yoga, necking coffee and scoffing cakes. She’s currently working on her third novel.