It’s a real pleasure today to be joining the blog tour and sharing my review of The Greatest Of Enemies by BR Maycock, the second novella in the Abbeyglen series, published for kindle on 3rd June. Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to both Rachel and Berni for my advance reading copy.
I’ve been wanting to read something from Berni for a little while now, so I was delighted when I spotted this tour and knew I could fit in the reading. I know Berni better as a book blogger and reviewer – we do tend to rather like the same kinds of books. Her reviews are always overflowing with joy and enthusiasm, and I thought that her writing might well be the same. And do you know what? It was!
Get ready for fireworks as two women with very different personalities become housemates!
Bex has settled in well into the small town of Abbeyglen. Yes, she misses her housemate Holly, but she has plenty to do what with the setup of the new Caulfield’s café, her blogging and of course her work in Blackwater Financial Services.
Louise is shocked when she arrives in the town of Abbeyglen to find it has changed, everything looks too new and shiny, and who is this person in Holly’s apartment?!
With Bex’s bff heading for domestic bliss, some unwelcome changes in work, and now the arrival of eternally negative Louise, can Bex remain her usual chirpy self or will handbags at dawn, daytime and night-time too bring out a side to her she never knew existed?
For fans of Sophie Kinsella, Christie Barlow and Rosie Green.
(This is book 2 of a series but can be read on its own if you are so inclined!)
Despite the author’s reassurance that this novella could “be read on its own”, I’m always a little bit wary of starting with the second in a series: but she makes it wonderfully easy by stepping in front of her characters at outset to do a quick catch up. I really liked that – although I’ll admit it really made me wish that I hadn’t missed out by not finding time to read the first book.
So, Holly’s “saved” Abbeyglen after her lottery win, and headed off on the trip of a lifetime – and left friend Bex looking after her flat. She’s a character I really loved from the moment I met her – upbeat, enthusiastic, bouncy, with a lovely self-deprecating sense of humour and a constant smile on her face. And I didn’t feel quite the same way about Louise – a close friend of Holly, she’s back in Abbeyglen with her tail between her legs, and makes it impossible for Bex not to agree to her moving into Holly’s vacant room. Frankly, she’s something of a nightmare – prickly, hostile, difficult, radiating negativity – and there are times when Bex struggles to keep that smile.
As well as the problems at home, Bex is having some changes forced on her at work too – instead of the job she enjoys, working among friends, she unexpectedly becomes PA to the manager, and the support network she’s always enjoyed begins to slip away. Goodness, even the dog seems to have gone off her…
She has a few challenges on the romantic front too – Sam’s an interesting prospect, and distinctly “hot”, but perhaps there’s more (or maybe that should be “less”) to him than meets the eye. But there are romantic possibilities elsewhere too – perhaps too close to home for her to be fully aware of them.
There’s nothing over-complicated about this story, but I really enjoyed it – the characters all developed really well with a few surprises along the way, the dialogue is full of sparkle and fizz, and the story-telling has a real confidence about it. I really liked the supporting cast too, especially the residents of Abbeyglen – I particularly liked Louise’s mother, although had Louise had her way she’d wouldn’t have been on the scene at all. Above all, this book was real fun – a nice balance of laughs and moments of real poignancy, with a lot of heart.
I should mention, I think, that the ending is a little open – although the core story is complete – to lead into the next book in the series, which will focus on different characters. I thought that was just fine – and if it wasn’t for my humungous reading list, I’d be more than happy to read another book by this rather lovely author. I really enjoyed this one.
The third book in the Abbeyglen series, The Next Step, will be published on 4th November and is available for pre-order here.
About the author
When B R Maycock (Berni to all you lovely people!) isn’t dreaming up vibrant leads for romantic comedies, she’s ingesting books for her blog, in particular chick lit (her first love!) books, romantic comedies and thrillers. She can also be found playing footie or watching Marvel, DC or Star Wars movies and cartoons in Co. Westmeath, Ireland with her brilliantly out there husband, Keith, and their four epic little men.
Her debut It Started With A Snub and Christmas romantic comedy Snowday are available now on Amazon, as is Pushing Her Luck, the first of a series about Abbeyglen Village, whose luck is about to change…
She has one goal and that’s simply to make readers smile and/ or laugh (a splutter rates highest😁).