Tag: Catherine Alliott

Guest Review: A Rural Affair by Catherine Alliott

Posted June 27, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

15940292Tracy’s review of A Rural Affair by Catherine Alliott

Warning: This review contains spoilers.

When Poppy Shilling’s bike-besotted, Lycra-clad husband is killed in a freak accident, she can’t help feeling a guilty sense of relief. For at long last she’s released from a controlling and loveless marriage.

Throwing herself wholeheartedly into village life, she’s determined to start over. And sure enough, everyone from Luke the sexy church organist to Bob the resident oddball, is taking note. Yet the one man Poppy can’t take her eyes off seems tantalizingly out of reach – why won’t he let go of his glamorous ex-wife?

But just as she’s ready to dip her toes in the water, the discovery of a dark secret about her late husband shatters Poppy’s confidence. Does she really have the courage to risk her heart again? Because Poppy wants a lot more than just a rural affair . . .

Poppy Shilling is in a loveless marriage. Her husband Phil works all the time and then goes out and rides his bicycle. He’s constantly Lycra-clad which, is not necessarily a good look for him. He’s never home to help take care of their two children and gets more and more irritated with them all the time. Poppy wonders how he’ll die. Will he be walking under scaffolding and get hit by a rogue falling hammer? Or will it be something simpler. What it ends up being is completely freaky and a bit shocking. She’s not exactly sure how to feel about his death at first but shock is definitely one of those feelings.

Not long after the funeral she’s visited by a woman who tells her that her husband was having an affair with her – for four freaking years! To say that Poppy went into a bit of a depression was putting it mildly. She figured there was something wrong with her that made her husband stray for so long but she finally realizes, with the help of her friends, that it wasn’t her that had the issues, it was Phil!

Poppy is soon introduced to her solicitor who is new in town but his father always worked for Phil. Sam Hetherington is wonderful and Poppy is infatuated. It may seem too soon to some people but Poppy had been practically a single parent for years so it didn’t seem all that wrong. As much as she likes Sam he gives off varied signals and as a reader I was so confused by them. He was distant, then he wasn’t, then he was distant again and it went on and on. Poppy made a complete fool of herself because of Sam on more than one occasion and I felt sorry for her as she wasn’t the only one who thought she looked like a fool, most of the town did too.

The story is about Poppy finding her way through all of the ins and outs of her life now that Phil is gone. She dates a guy but she’s not sure she likes him all that well. Her and her friends start a book club but that soon ends. She’s not sure how she’s supposed to feel most of the time and I found myself understanding her confusion but yet wanting her to stop floundering around and get her head on straight. On one hand I liked her close friends, Peggy, Angie and Jennie very well but yet at times found them to be pretty rude. (Jennie, her husband Dan and their family was especially entertaining.) This just didn’t sit well with me. Peggy was always wonderful but Angie and Jennie seemed to tear Poppy down to make themselves look good and I didn’t like that at all.

Poppy is a misfit and in her town everyone knows everyone’s business. I got a bit tired of it even though I usually love small town stories. I was very near the end of the book when I realized the author was going to try to stick a “romance” in there and have Poppy have her HEA. I wanted it to happen earlier in the book, yet when it did I was disappointed in the suddenness and the fact that this person was professing their love and they’d hardly spent any time together at all. I guess being a reader of romance novels I expected more and this didn’t hit the mark.

Overall it was an relatively entertaining read but a bit long for my liking. It felt like it meandered when it should have been doing a fast walk. lol. I might try other book by this author in the future but I would have to get a glowing recommendation from a friend before I did.

Rating: 3 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Michael Joseph-Penguin. You can buy it here  in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.


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What I Read Last Week

Posted June 25, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 1 Comment

Howdy !

Whatcha all up to? Anything fun?

My week was pretty normal – work, home, kids, hubby – you know…normal.

So what did I read this past week? 

First for the week was a book that I’ve had for more than a while and finally picked up called A Rural Affair by Catherine Alliott. The story was based on Poppy who’s husband dies in a freak accident and though it wasn’t a close marriage at all she’s still shocked to find out he’d been having an affair for the past 4 years. The story follows Poppy as she tries to go on with her life – bumbling along – and then shoves a romance at us in the last few pages. Not a great book imho but at times entertaining. 3 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

Next up was Tangled by Emma Chase. I know a lot of people didn’t like this book because they thought the first person POV from the “hero” (I use the term loosely) sucked. I personally loved it. I didn’t love him but I thought he had a great sense of humor though he could be an ass at times. You can read my quickie review here on Goodreads. 4 out of 5 

Next was Temptation by Lee Brazil. The story is about Lake, a male model who has a bit of a hook-up with a guy named Solomon at a party. When Solomon doesn’t call, and they always call, Lake decides to seek him out at his office. He is introduced to Sol’s partner – in all things – and they end up having a threesome. Sol and Adonis want more but Lake has severe anxiety and insecurities about being a third wheel in an already established relationship. It was a good read though Lake got to be a bit annoying at times. 🙂 3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

Next up was Awakening by Serena Grey. This was a very short story about an 18 year old girl who is basically swept off her feet by an older guy. They share a night together and then get married. There’s more to it than that but that was the gist. I’m curious to see what’s next because you could tell the guy wasn’t in love with Sophie by any means so why get married on the spur of the moment? The series is called A Dangerous Man so there’s definitely more. I have to say was saying WTF a couple of times during the story and was kind of stunned at the end when it was done. 2.5 out of 5 

Rift by Andrea Cremer is a prequel to the Nightshade series. The story takes place in the 1400’s but involves demons and wraiths and all the paranormal stuff. It was a good read but it had honestly been so long since I’d read the first two Nightshade books that I was kind of confused about the relationship. I have to go back and read those first two books again before I pick up the last in the trilogy. 3.75 out of 5 

Anybody But Him by Claire Baxter is about Nicola who house swaps with her sister and ends up back in her hometown to help take care of her aging and eccentric parents. She runs into Blair who she had a crush on in school but was also the bane of her existence. She wants nothing to do with him until she sees that they’ve both changed over the years. I really enjoyed this one. The humor took a little getting used to at first but the story was easy to read and quite enjoyable. 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

How to Marry a Highlander by Katharine Ashe doesn’t come out til the end of July but I sat down to read it early. This was a great novella. It has Teresa approaching a destitute Scottish Earl and asking him to marry her. She saw him a year and a half earlier and hadn’t stopped thinking of him. When her parents want her to marry a stick in the mud vicar she gets desperate. She makes a deal with the Earl even though he has no plans to marry her. The relationship grows and only happens within a months time but this was oh, so good. I really liked just about everything about it and definitely recommend it. 4.5 out of 5 

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid is the story of Janie who finds out her boyfriend cheated on her and then goes to work and gets “downsized.” She then meets Quinn Sullivan who she kind of starts dating, but kind of not and he helps her get a job at his security company. The story is odd and humorous at the same time as it’s awkward and sometimes frustrating. I really enjoyed the writing though and definitely want to read more from this author. 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

Wicked as She Wants by Delilah S. Dawson is a steampunk fantasy novel that mixes the contemporary with the historical and I really, really liked this one. The story focuses on Casper who is trying to help a princess get back to her homeland after she’s abducted. The world they live in is wonderful and it was just really good. You can read my full review here at Book Binge. 4 out of 5 

Last for the week was Werecat: The Rearing by Andrew J. Peters. This is a short story about a guy meeting a man who he thinks might be “the one” and having it go all wrong when the guy transforms him into a werecat. I’ll post my review of this one later this week. 

My Book Binge reviews that posted since last Monday:
The Secret of Mia Danvers by Robyn DeHart
Wicked as She Wants by Delilah S. Dawson 

Happy Reading!


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