Monday, February 2, 2015

It Started as Sunset Cottage by Bella Osborne

  • Print Length: 390 pages
  • Publisher: HarperImpulse (February 12, 2015)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

What They Say....
Kate Marshall is slowly getting her life back on track after losing her fiancĂ©. As an author she has been able to hide herself away from the world and its expectations – but now one of her books has been optioned for a film and Hollywood suddenly comes knocking on her door!

When Kate is given the opportunity to stay at a beautiful country retreat and concentrate on the screenplay, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. Encouraged by her best friend, sharp-tongued single mum Sarah, Kate sees it’s finally time to stop letting life pass her by.

Looking for confidence and inspiration in the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, the last thing Kate expects is for Timothy Calder, A-list actor and leading man in the movie adaptation of her book, to turn up on her doorstep, hoping to lie low after his latest tabloid scandal! But after a rocky start, with Tim narrowly avoiding death by watering can, they find they have a few things in common: a liking for Lady Grey tea, walnut whips and bad ‘knock knock’ jokes. Actually, the bad jokes are just Tim.

As an unlikely friendship begins to blossom, and with circumstances repeatedly throwing them together, is Sunset Cottage where both Kate and Tim’s lives will really start?

What I Say....This debut novel was pretty enjoyable. Kate and Sarah are best friends, both of them have been burned by love.  Sarah by an undesirable ex-husband, and Kate's husband passed away two year before.

Kate's husband's brother, Andy, is a good friend to both Kate and Sarah, and a well loved friend of Sarah's young daughter, Amy.  Also hanging around is Kate's friends, Marcus and Didi, both of who are great supporting characters.

Kate is trying to rebuild her life after losing her husband, so Marcus helps get her a job working on the set of the movie they are making based on her book,  Kate meets the star, Timothy Calder, and sparks fly.

Meanwhile, Sarah is experiencing her own sparking romance with Andy.

I liked the characters, I was rooting for Sarah and Kate to find their happy ending.  The subplot with Sarah's ex-husband and his shrewish mother, were interesting and added to the story.

There where a few things that I didn't like.  The way Marcus called Kate, "darling girl" and Tim, "dear boy" every single time he spoke to them made my skin crawl after a few chapters.  We get the point, he's posh.

Tim's reticence to show any interest in Kate.  Honestly, it got a little tiresome.  I wish there had been more action in their story.  By the end, I didn't really care if they got together, and for me, the spark was dying.  I think the author could have shaved off about 50 pages and made their story move faster.

The sex scene with Andy and Sarah - I could not understand why so much detail was being given, when you normally don't see that in English chick lit.  Then it made sense (not really), when it was because Andy made love exactly the way his brother (Kate's dead husband) had.  Umm, okay, gross.  It's not like there are 7065 different ways to have sex, and nothing they did was that unique (or I'm way more worldly than I think).

When they confronted Andy and he said he wrote down instructions from his brother and memorized and followed them, I just thought "ick".  But that explanation made it all forgiven, as long as he figured out another routine!  So weird.

All in all, this was a satisfying debut, and I would read the author again.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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