I have read a couple of Hazel Osmond books recently (Who’s Afraid of Mr Wolfe / The Mysterious Miss Mayhew) and thoroughly enjoyed them, so started this with high hopes.
Here is the Amazon blurb:
“Grace Surtees has everything carefully under control – her work life, her home life and her love life – especially her love life. But then her boss hires Tate Saunders, a brash American, to spice up the gallery tours his company provides. Messy and fond of breaking rules, Tate explodes into her tidy existence like a paintball, and Grace hates everything about him… doesn’t she? Because, for Grace, the alternative would be simply too terrifying to contemplate: to love Tate rather than hate him would mean leaping out of her comfort zone, and Grace’s devotion to order hides some long-kept secrets… secrets she’s sure someone like Tate Saunders could never accept or understand.”
However, I must confess that when I started this I really didn’t like it. I found it really hard to get into (whether that’s the subject matter – which is art, and not really my bag) or the character (I found Grace really pathetic and annoying) and I just couldn’t get into it. This may also have been because I’d just read THE BEST BOOK EVER that I am not allowed to blog about yet as it’s not out until 2017 – but I think anything after that would have been a let down (keep your eyes peeled for ‘Eleanor Oliphant’ next year is all I can say!)
Anyway – I kept reading a bit and then putting it down and just not getting my teeth into it all. But, I don’t like to be beaten by anything (I persevered with The Goldfinch for goodness sake!) and so kept going back to it. In the end it was ok – and I did want to know what would happen to Grace and the other characters.
I guessed fairly early on what her boss’s secret was and felt that element of the storyline was really dragged out. I liked the change in the relationship between Grace and Tate and how that concluded.
But overall, definitely not my favourite Hazel Osmond book at all.
“Tom doesn’t need any more women in his life. He already has a five-year-old daughter, an estranged wife who keeps blocking his efforts to get divorced and a mother who might be having an affair with the vicar. So when Fran Mayhew turns up – years younger and with all the tact of a dinosaur with its backside on fire – she’s just another tricky person to deal with . . . And what’s she doing in his remote part of Northumberland crawling around in graveyards anyway?
But soon Tom discovers that there’s more to the mysterious Miss Mayhew than meets the eye – and that it’s not just his heart he’s in danger of losing.”
I read my first Hazel Osmond book a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it (and very excitedly got a tweet from the author – I am easily excited!!) and so I started my second of her books with high hopes and was not disappointed!!
It was completely different to the Mr Wolfe book – but that’s definitely not a bad thing. There are an eclectic mix of characters – but they all fit together really well. I loved Hattie – Tom’s 5 year old daughter – and with a 4 and a 6 year old myself empathised quite a lot with some of her escapades!
The intertwining of stories also works really well – with a mixture of intrigue, romance, suspense etc. A couple of times it felt like the story had concluded – and then there was a further development!
As well as the traditional romances – between numerous pairs of characters, it also looks at extended family relationships – and the one between Tom and his brother is particularly lovely.
It’s not quite as rammed full of sex as Mr Wolfe is – but there’s still enough, and again, it’s very realistically written – we’re not talking 50 Shades here at all!
I particularly liked the fast forwarded ending, so you could see how things had panned on a year down the line – I often finish a book wanting to know what’s happened – so I LOVED that we found out about everyone.
I will definitely be downloading more of Hazel Osmond’s back catalogue soon!
This book was recommended to me by the same friend who recommended Please Don’t Stop The Music – so I guessed I was on to a good thing. She also said it was FULL of sex – but clearly that had no influence on me downloading, no, not at all.
Here’s the Amazon blurb:
“Ellie Somerset’s high-flying job as an advertising copywriter is hard work, but she’s got it under control. Her sexy, devil-may-care new boss, on the other hand? She’ll try her best…A perfect romantic comedy for fans of Holly Martin and Cathy Bramley.
Ellie Somerset loves her career-obsessed boyfriend Sam and she loves her job as an advertising copywriter. But Sam is always at work and her fresh ideas keep being overlooked. Her life gets more complicated when new boss Jack Wolfe – Heathcliff in jeans – arrives at the agency. With his brooding good looks, trademark scowl and plans for change, he challenges Ellie to smarten up and prove herself. To Ellie’s horror, she finds herself both repelled and attracted to the sexy and dangerous Jack. But this particular wolf has an awful lot to hide . . .”
I really enjoyed it. There are twists and turns that I can’t reveal without giving too much away – but one in particular was very close to my heart – I’ll leave you to work out which!
Ellie is a great heroine and someone you’d want to be mates with – which always helps me get in to a book. I also loved her Great Aunt Edith who was a real character – and reminded me a lot of my best friend’s Grandma – who also doesn’t take herself too seriously in her late 80s (she recently tried Jagerbombs, and listed to the Fifty Shades of Grey audio book to help her go to sleep as it was so boring!!)
Now this isn’t Fifty Shades – but there is a lot of sex in it – however it’s written really well and not in a squirmy way, and fits into the story – rather than a dodgy scene, shoe horned in for the sake of it which is how I sometimes feel about raunchy bits in romance books.
I also really liked the end. Whilst I still want to know what happens to all of the characters in the future – it felt like you were given proper closure at the end of the book, which is always a winner for me. I feel short changed if lots of loose ends aren’t tied up!
I will definitely be checking out other books by Hazel Osmond.