17 June 2013

Book Review: Me and Mr Jones by Lucy Diamond

"Meet the women in love with three very different brothers . . . Izzy’s determined to escape her troubled past with a new start by the sea – but flirtatious Charlie Jones is causing complications. Alicia’s been happily married to loyal Hugh for years but secretly craves excitement. Maybe it’s time to spice things up? Emma’s relationship with David was once fun and romantic but trying for a baby has taken its toll. Then temptation comes along . . . As the future of the family’s B&B becomes uncertain, Izzy, Alicia and Emma are thrown together unexpectedly. It seems that keeping up with the Joneses is harder than anyone thought..."

Rating: 5/5

You can buy Me and Mr Jones as a paperback or an eBook now.

I am a big fan of Lucy Diamond's books, and the release of her new book usually means summer is around the corner! The cover of her new book Me and Mr Jones looks so bright and colourful, it certainly shouts out that it's a summer read, and I was really looking forward to getting stuck in and reading the book. Luckily for me, Lucy didn't disappoint and I have to say I really did enjoy reading every page of this book. It's also a book that I think can span a broad readership - there's something in here for anyone to enjoy, and to me that's the sign of a pretty perfect book.

The Jones' brothers are all very different men, but so are the women in their lives. There's eldest brother Hugh, married to Alicia who is about to turn forty and is determined to change her life for the better when she hits that milestone. How will she shake up her life and her marriage? Middle son David is married to Emma, but the fact they are struggling to conceive is gnawing away at their happiness every day. When David has to go away for a while, will Emma be tempted elsewhere through desperation? Finally, the youngest son Charlie isn't with anyone but has his eyes on dance teacher Izzy. But she and her daughters are hiding a secret past they want to put behind them - will it jeopardise Charlie's chances of a happy ever after? Then there's the Jones' parents, living and working hard in their B&B but for how much longer...?

The book focuses on the one family, and I loved this because it meant a small and focused cast of characters, and I wasn't left trying to remember far too many names and different stories. Instead, we're introduced to them all one son at a time, and as well as that we meet their lovely parents who run Mulberry House, a quaint B&B. They're struggling though, and it's clear Eddie, their dad, has more problems that anyone will let on. I loved how close the family was as I was reading actually, the sons would do anything for their parents, and it was nice to see how they all pull together as things chop and change throughout the book. I really loved the idea of the B&B, it sounded perfect and Diamond wrote it so beautifully, you can picture it and its setting so easily. I didn't like Lilian, the Jones' boy mum and owner of the B&B at first, she came across as harsh and a bit uncaring but as the book went on, I did warm to her.

The Jones' men were fantastic to read about, and each very different. Their wives though, are the focus of the book and I loved reading their different stories and how they tolerated each other and the family dynamic that was going on. Alicia was probably my favourite, a put-upon mum trying to make her life a bit more exciting but nothing really goes to plan... I'm sure a lot of mums will sympathise with that one! She's very likeable, and I was hoping she'd get her happiness in the end. Emma, too, was good to read about - it was hard reading how desperate she was to have a baby and how it wasn't happening for her, and you're left wondering if she's going to do something very silly, and I found myself whizzing through the book to see what she is going to do next, I was really hooked! Finally, there's Izzy, and her story was a bit of a mystery for a while but as things come together, it's quite a shocking storyline and had me surprised as it exploded in the book. It was brilliantly handled by Diamond though, she has a talent for making you feel like you're right in the middle of the action, feeling everything along with these characters.

One thing I really enjoyed about the book was how realistic it all was. There was nothing too out of the ordinary or too dramatic that happened that took it that step further, instead it was a believable story with a cast of realistic people going through realistic things - and I loved it. I loved the drama that was created just through the people in it, up against the odds, handling tough situations - it also highlights the importance of family and pulling together when times are tough. I find Diamond's writing is a joy to read - it flows so well and the pages fly by, because you're left wanting more every time you tell yourself "just one more chapter!". For me, this is probably one of my favourite books by Lucy Diamond, up there with her last release 'Summer With My Sister' which was also a superb book. I can honestly say I really loved this book, and it simply MUST make it onto your summer reading list this year! Brilliant.

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