30 September 2013

Book Review: Since You've Been Gone by Anouska Knight

"How do you learn to love again?

In one tragic moment, Holly Jefferson s life as she knows it changes for ever. Now to the external world, at least she s finally getting back on her feet, running her business, Cake. Then she meets Ciaran Argyll.

His rich and charmed life feels a million miles from her own. However, there s more to Ciaran than the superficial world that surrounds him, and he too is wrestling with his own ghosts. Will Holly find the missing ingredient that allows her to live again and embrace an unknown and unexpected tomorrow?"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy Since You've Been Gone as a paperback or an eBook now.

I'll be honest and say that I hadn't heard of author Anouska Knight until I saw this book on Netgalley whilst I was browsing one evening. Apparently, she was the winner of a writing competition held by TV presenter Lorraine Kelly on her show, and has since gone on to publish this book through publishers Mills and Book. I loved the cover when I first saw it, it's really eye-catching and I was drawn into the idea of the story. I was hoping it would be a positive and I was really enjoying it when my Kindle managed to get broken halfway through, I was gutted! I was so desperate to finish it I ended up reading it on the Kindle app on my iPhone 5 (not a good experience for my eyesight!), but I was pleased to finish what was a lovely story.

Holly's life is changed in a moment when her husband dies, and she is left a young widow. Holly is struggling to get over his death, and has lived her life in her cake shop, working hard and being quite alone the rest of the time. When she has to make a cake for a society party, she meets society play boy Ciaran Argyll. Ciaran has a lot of money, women attracting his attention and a sprawling mansion and an Aston Martin to drive around in - Holly is sure he wouldn't be interested in her. But when he starts to pursue her, she's scared to let her guard down and allow herself to love again. Will Ciaran be able to break Holly down and show her that is more to him than the playboy image she knows about?

I did find the first few chapters of this book quite confusing, and I did wonder in a few parts whether or not to keep going. It kept jumping about with the narrative, I didn't really know what was going on and I didn't know whether to bear with it. Luckily I did because things are soon revealed and it settles down, but it's a shame to have such a strange beginning as I worry some people may be put off by that more than I was. I really liked the character of Holly. You can see how badly she is affected by husband's death, being very closed off and almost obsessed with work. Her colleague Jay was fantastic, a really light-hearted character but close to Holly, and I enjoyed reading about those two in the cake shop too.

Ciaran was a pretty perfect male lead, of course! He's rich but nice with it. He knows that attracts the wrong sort of women, those who only want him for his money and not for the kind person he is underneath. When he meets Holly, he realises she is one of those women who has a bit of substance, but there's something about her that is holding her back from her feelings. He's very romantic, and I enjoyed reading about the bubbling love story between these two, and was hoping a lot that Holly would really give him a chance, he deserved it! As well as the two main characters, I really enjoyed the relationship between Holly and her heavily pregnant sister, it added a new angle and relationship to the book, and it gave Holly a chance to be a bit more relaxed in the story.

I found the book to be well written, and I really enjoyed the way the character of Holly works through her grief to try and open up her heart again, it's a theme I am sure a lot of women out there will be able to relate to, and the addition of her cake shop with its delicious cakes makes it even more readable! Apart from the slow start, there wasn't a lot for me to criticise in the book as I enjoyed the pace of the story, the setting and the way it all unfolds slowly and carefully. With a loveable leading lady that you will be wishing a happy ending for, I would definitely reading Since You've Been Gone for some cosy winter evening reading. It's a good debut novel, a sweet romance as you'd expect from publishers Mills and Boon, and I look forward to reading more from Anouska Knight.

No comments:

Post a Comment