Emily Reed is a confident career driven young woman chasing her next promotion when her parents drop a bombshell on her…the father she has known for twenty-five years isn’t her real dad. Reeling from the discovery she decides the only thing to do is travel from her home city of Glasgow to the small Yorkshire coastal village of Luna Bay in search of her biological father. If that personal quest wasn’t enough her boss sets her a challenge, to sign the small independent B&B Sunflower Cottage up to their hotel chain.
I so wanted to love this book, but I didn’t. The premise is good and the main character is well developed and likeable but there were some of things I couldn’t overlook which took away any enjoyment. At the start of the book a big thing is made of Emily’s long lost biological father, the letters he wrote to her, her need to go and meet him and yet once she arrives in Luna Bay it very quickly takes second place to the romance. The story of her connecting with her father becomes a sub-plot lost within the book, I couldn’t help but think its only purpose was to give Emily a reason to go to Luna Bay rather than being something the author wanted to explore and develop.
My main issue however is with the crux of the story, the romance. I can’t quite put my finger on what is wrong with the interaction between Emily and Noah but I felt uncomfortable reading it. The banter didn’t quite ring true and the pace of their relationship going from dislike and annoyance to flirtation and near on love was too quick in my opinion. I know people have whirlwind romances but this just didn’t see realistic. I also didn’t like the narrative style, taken from Emily’s viewpoint there are too many cliché teen romance phrasings that made me cringe as I read them.
“…leaving me to wonder how such a beautiful moment could’ve happened in a life like mine”.
Whilst perfectly pitched for some I had hoped for something a bit more sophisticated and subtle.
Once Emily and Noah get past the bickering, the blowing hot and cold with each other and just get on with the romance I found the book a bit easier to read but if I’m honest there isn’t much substance left to the book by that point. The twist in the signing over of Sunflower Cottage to the hotel chain Emily works for was all too predictable. And, whilst I’m all for suspending reality in books I have to say I’m unconvinced that her grand plan to save the B&B would work in the real corporate world!
I’m sure many people will read, enjoy and love this and the other books by Lynsey James; and I wish I could have as I really liked the concept but sadly this book just wasn’t for me.