It’s a real pleasure today to share my review of A Cornish Affair by Jo Lambert, published today by Ruby Fiction, available for kindle and as an audiobook via Amazon, and in all other major e-book formats. My thanks to Liz at Ruby Fiction/Choc Lit for my advance reading e-copy.
When Jo signed with Choc Lit/Ruby Fiction, there was a little cheer up here in Yorkshire too – I’ve been reading her lovely books for quite a long time, and I was so delighted to hear she’d been spotted by one of my favourite publishers. Jo first visited Being Anne back in August 2015, with a lovely guest post to mark the publication of Summer Moved On, the first of her linked contemporary romances. I reviewed the book that November, really enjoying Jo’s “romantic drama driven fiction” – and went on to review (and thoroughly enjoy) Watercolours in the Rain too (you’ll find the review here). It was then a delight to share my review of Wicked Game when it was re-published in January this year. And I’ve been really looking forward to this new one…
Even in your hometown, you can feel like an outsider…
In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family.
The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging.
But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core…
What a lovely read – and perhaps my favourite yet of the author’s books. There’s been something of a proliferation of books set in Cornish hotels recently, and I was a little afraid this book might turn out to be just one more – but it most certainly isn’t. The sense of place is excellent, the hotel and its Cornish beach backdrop vividly drawn, but the book’s real strength is perhaps in its well-developed characters and the original twists and turns of the plot.
At their first unfortunate encounter, there’s little in the way of attraction between Cat and Luke – she’s a little stiff and frosty, a tad obsessed with work, he’s the hunk lusted over by most females in the area – and when they first meet sparks fly a little. But both characters have considerably more depth, and Luke has a particularly poignant and complex back story. I really enjoyed the way their relationship progressed, despite the many obstacles in its way – and I think I might have fallen for Luke a little myself too.
But there’s a lot more to this book than the developing romance at its centre – there’s also a fascinating story of long-hidden family secrets, a whole slew of unexpected revelations, and a thriller edge that comes as a real surprise, its outcome convincing and particularly well handled.
The supporting cast in this book is every bit as well-drawn as the central pair: I particularly liked Aunt Emilia (“call me Em…”) and the Gossip Girls, and there’s a particularly special touch in the way the author portrays family relationships, both the warm and supportive and the rather more difficult.
A lovely summer read, but with considerably more to it than you’ll be expecting – written with confidence, sometimes taking you by surprise, and I very much enjoyed it.
About the author
Jo Lambert lives on the eastern edge of Bath with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. She is the author of seven novels. The first five collectively known as the Little Court Series are saga/romances set in West Somerset. For book number six she ‘moved’ over the border into South Devon. Summer Moved On became the first of two linked contemporary romances. The second, Watercolours in the Rain was published in October 2016. In June 2018 Jo signed to Choc Lit, and A Cornish Affair, her eighth novel, is published today under their Ruby imprint.
Jo is currently working on another coastal romance, this time set in South Cornwall. When she isn’t writing she reads and reviews. She also has an active blog. Jo loves travel, red wine and rock music and she often takes the odd photograph or two.