It’s a real pleasure today to be sharing my review of Belonging by Liz Martinson – published by Next Chapter on 8th October, this lovely book is now available for kindle, in paperback and in hardcover. Paperback copies are also available direct from the author at the discounted price of £7.50, including signing and P&P (UK only) – you’ll find her contact details at the end of the post. The e-copy I read was my own, purchased via Amazon.
Liz has become a Facebook friend – we share a love of Yorkshire, and I really enjoy seeing her photography and sharing the details of her day-to-day life. When this book was published – and it’s one I know she’s particularly pleased with – I really did want to read it and share a review, help spread the word a little, but just couldn’t find space to fit it in. But I’m rather delighted that a small window opened up, and this was the first book I thought of to fill it. It’s a contemporary romance, and that’s something I unfailingly enjoy – I could tell it might be a little different from the romcoms that make up the bulk of my reading, but there’s sometimes treasure to be found in trying something a little less predictable.
Let’s take a closer look…
After top journalist and soon-to-be single mother Liz meets Marc, a reclusive star of stage and screen, they find themselves deeply attracted to one another.
When tragedy hits Liz’s estranged husband and her small daughter, Liz will need to learn to trust Marc not only with her heart, but with the life of her child.
But will they ever belong to each other and find happiness?
This was a totally compelling story, quite wonderfully told – just a tad over 200 pages long, but packed with drama, a romance I entirely believed in, and more than a few unexpected twists and turns that had me reading into the early hours.
Liz Graham is a journalist and mother trapped in a loveless marriage – the time has come to accept the situation and walk away, however difficult that might be. But first, there’s an assignment she must complete – an exclusive interview with reclusive film star Marc Weston, but with conditions attached. She must travel from her London home in the depths of winter to meet him near his home in the Highlands, and her journey proves every bit as difficult as she fears. But when the couple meet – in rather dramatic circumstances – there’s an instant spark of attraction. And when Liz’s decisions about the future of her marriage are taken out of her hands, there’s a possibility that the spark can become something more – except that Liz, despite the wise counsel of those closest to her, is fearful of repeating the mistakes of the past.
Goodness, she makes some decisions it might be difficult to understand – but then again, they aren’t, because her primary concern has to be five year old daughter Sasha, and however supportive and loving Marc proves to be, the damage done by her marriage makes trusting him difficult. But the story moves on – in a particularly satisfying way – and the book then turns into something quite different, filled with suspense and menace, as their future happiness is threatened by a figure from the past who has an agenda all of her own.
One of the real strengths of this book is its characters – they’re all exceptionally well drawn, and I was absolutely convinced by the romance that developed and the obstacles in its way. Liz herself is a wholly sympathetic character, finding herself uncomfortably caught up in a world of media attention and the ever-present paparazzi as their relationship and its twists and turns begin to hit the headlines. And Marc happily steps into the spotlight he’s always avoided as far as his private life’s concerned – with enough sharing of his viewpoint to understand his emotions and make him equally likeable and sympathetic. I enjoyed the support provided by Liz’s mother Ruth and her friend Cleo – minor characters maybe, but I did like that focus on friends and family. And young Sasha is simply wonderful – I’m rarely a fan of small children in the books I read, but she entirely won my heart.
And then there’s the strength of the writing itself – there’s nothing fancy like complicated timelines, it’s a story told straight, starting at the beginning and finishing at the story’s end, and I’ve rarely seen it done much better. The pacing is perfect – it lingers over some of the well-handled emotional content (as it should), but the gear changes are totally smooth as the story ramps up towards its explosive and unexpected climax. I’d expected a fairly gentle romance – instead, I found a read that really made me feel, and that had me on the edge of my seat through the story’s later twists and turns with the hope of a happy ending.
Such an enjoyable read – and one I’d most definitely recommend to others.
And if that review makes you want to read it, you might like to take a look at Liz’s other books too… I certainly plan to try another. To access the Amazon page for purchase, just click on the book’s title…
Kate finds her dream job at an upmarket Scottish castle hotel, after silencing her doubts about the owner, the new Earl of Ullandale. Bitter experience has taught her to distrust the privileged elite.
However, her career plans are compromised by Euan, the estate’s good-looking factor. He seems to be everywhere, helpful and hardworking.
But what is Euan’s relationship with the late Earl’s daughter? And where is the mysterious new Earl?
A retro romance set in 1979 – The story of a disillusioned rock star looking for what seems to be the impossible – a woman who doesn’t know who he is – and a shy classical pianist who has little idea of what the rock world is about except it’s all bad.
A chance meeting and their worlds collide.
He doesn’t intend to fall in love, but she’s a lovable person and he feels protective.
She distrusts his secretiveness, seeing it as a cover for possibly criminal activities.
There comes a time when he desperately needs her comfort and help and their tentative love becomes stronger.
Each realises their own worlds aren’t that far apart and the most important aspect is their love for each other.
A beautiful CEO turns an ailing computer firm into a resounding success and is shocked when she’s sacked – by email. The new owner has reservations about the firm, where in the past he was frequently humiliated by his father.
He’s also angry with the CEO because for three years he’s had reports telling him she’d been his father’s mistress. And yet, both feel an attraction.
Are the reports true or are they all lies? Can they solve their problems and forge a future together?
About the author
Liz Martinson is an author of several novels, short stories and poetry, who uses research and her own extensive experiences to fuel her writing. With a romantic thread running through all her novels, Liz includes life events and adventure to make them page-turning, enjoyable and engrossing. Readers often say they haven’t been able to put them down.
Recently taken on by Next Chapter, Liz has one book, Belonging, out under their label. Her other three, Ullandale, Counterpoint and Takeover, are at present only available as ebooks, as they are being revised and re-issued. Belonging and Ullandale are receiving very good reviews.
In her spare time, Liz enjoys a wide range of activities which include cycling, reading and landscape photography, as well as cooking, music and travel. She has also had extensive experience as a hill-walker and has kayaked on rivers, lakes and sea. Living in the Yorkshire Dales, Liz spends her spare time with her husband and two cats, her twin sons having long flown the nest.
Having taken part in a Creative Writing course at the University of Lancaster, Liz completed it with a Distinction. In the past she has also been a runner-up in the Good Housekeeping Short Story competition, and has had several short stories accepted and published in anthologies.
Liz hopes you enjoy reading her books, and reviews are very welcome, because feedback is always very valuable to an author. She is always more than happy to answer queries about her life and work: you can find out more about Liz and her books, or contact her, here: