I’m delighted today to be joining the blog tour for Foxtrot in Freshby by Awen Thornber, and sharing my review. Published in December 2017 by Crooked Cat Books, available for kindle and in paperback from Amazon in the UK and US, the description of this book immediately made me want to add it to my reading list – and it’s rather lovely to see that it’s also on the shortlist for the RNA’s 2018 Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers. Let’s take a closer look…
When dance teacher Gina Pendleton throws her cheating boyfriend out of her house, she must find a way of earning extra money to pay the bills. The obvious answer is to offer dance classes at her home, even though she knows this will incur the wrath of the owner of the local well-established dance school.
Her life becomes even more fraught when she is targeted by vandals and intruders.
After she meets Chris Jackson, it doesn’t take her long to realise he is the man of her dreams, especially as he’s also a wonderful dancing partner. But can she trust him when it appears he is hiding something from her?
And an extract? My pleasure…
Gina hurled the Christmas ornament at the wall. It was the first she and Tony had bought together. The sound of the glass shattering on impact, and the sight of the coloured shards that were once a snowy village scene flying through the air to rain down on her oak floor, was surprisingly satisfying.
She looked around the room for some other object on which to vent her anger, and her glance reached the twinkling tree in the corner of the bay window.
“Don’t look so smug,” she muttered. “You’re next. Christmas is officially over, and you’re going in the loft.”
Without the gentle touch she had used to decorate the tree three weeks previously, she pulled and tugged at the ornaments. The sound of banging on the glass at her side made her jump. She looked around to see Tony, standing by the window nearest to the front door, holding his key in front of him. He glared at her.
“Let me in. You’ve put the lock on!”
She shook her head.
My press kit for this tour called this book “romance with intrigue” – what a perfect description, and what a lovely read this was. The romance element is just beautifully done. I’ve always been quite partial to a man in uniform, and Chris – with his initial shyness and hidden depths – is just perfect. And I loved Gina – after a horrendous time with her ex, I really enjoyed the whole storyline about the setting up of her dance studio, and her opposition from the established dance teacher. The people in this book are just wonderful, a whole range of colourful and well-drawn characters all drawn to Gina’s warm personality – I just loved the flamboyant Darren and his young-at-heart partner Doreen, the lovely Richard (and his dog) encountered in the dunes, her wonderful friends at the corner shop.
There’s a nice edge of darkness in the vandalism thread, with a well-handled mystery around its instigator, with a few red herrings strategically placed along the way. And I just loved the dance elements – particularly the competition itself, the search for a suitable place to practice, and Chris’ reasons for wanting to do well. The writing is excellent – I sat down at 4, emerged again at 6.30, and my first thought was “I really enjoyed this one”. I’m sure others who read it will love it too – I’ll look forward to reading more from Awen Thornber.
With thanks to the author and tour organiser Brook Cottage Books, I’m really pleased to offer the chance to win a paperback copy of this lovely book (open internationally). Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
About the author
Formerly a textile artist and design consultant for a craft company, Awen Thornber produced craft projects and articles for magazines, and had a regular craft column in Northern Life magazine. She is always looking for inspiration to spark her creative mind and currently devotes her time to writing novels. Born and bred in Lancashire, Awen also loves walking, painting, ballroom and ballet dancing.