This is the first book I’ve read by Dinah Jefferies, and it won’t be the last. I didn’t know what to expect but the story hooked me straight away.
Ceylon, 1935. Louisa Reed, the daughter of a successful British gem trader, and her husband Elliot, a charming, thrill seeking businessman, seem like the couple who have it all. Expect what they long for more than anything: a child. When Louisa struggles with miscarriages, Elliot is increasingly absent, spending much of his time at a nearby cinnamon plantation, overlooking the Indian Ocean. After his sudden death, Louisa is left alone to solve the mystery he left behind. Revisiting the plantation at Cinnamon Hills, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn towards the owner Leo, a rugged outdoors man with a chequered past. The plantation casts a spell, but all is not as it seems. And when Elliot’s shocking betrayal is revealed, Louisa only has Leo to turn to…
“As they walked through the cobbled streets, passing low-built bungalows with gorgeous ornamental lintels over the main doorways and terracotta roofs held up by rows of columns providing shade the verandas…’
This book really took me by surprise as I didn’t know what to expect but it was excellent. The plot was fascinating and moved along at a good pace with enough going on to keep me guessing until the end. I just had to know what happened. There’s betrayal, love, heartache and intrigue throughout this whole book.
I have to say Dinah is truly a fantastic writer. Her descriptions of the place, the architecture, the smells and the weather truly make you feel like you’re there in Ceylon, as you can tell from the quote above. The main character, Louisa, is extremely well written and you become instantly involved with her story and wanting her to succeed (I won’t give a spoiler to if she does or not).
So if you’re a fan of historical fiction or somebody that loves there books set in a different place, I can’t recommend this book enough. It will truly keep you entertained till the end. Have you read this book? Comment and let me know…
This is the first book I’ve read by Sally Malcolm, and it will not be the last. I read this book in a couple of days, couldn’t put it down and still wanted more. A lovely story.
Theo Wishart has given up on finding love. Luca Moretti doesn’t want to find it. A handful of summer days may change their lives forever – if they’re brave enough to read between the lines. Eyes might be windows to the soul, but for Theo Wishart they’re all shuttered. His dyspraxia makes it hard to read people. He doesn’t do relationships and he certainly doesn’t do the great outdoors. Two weeks spent “embracing beach life” while he tries to close the deal on a once great, now fading seaside hotel is a special kind of hell. Until Luca. Gorgeous, unreachable Luca. Luca Moretti travels light, avoiding all the romantic entanglements. Estranged from his parents, he vows this will be his last trip home to New Milton. His family’s hotel is on the verge of ruin and there’s nothing Luca can do to save it. He’s given up on the Majestic, he’s given up on his family and he’s given up on his future. Until Theo. Prickly, captivating Theo. No mushy feelings, no expectations, and no drama – that’s the deal. A simple summer fling. And it suits them both just fine. But as the summer wanes and their feelings deepen, its clear to everyone around them that Theo and Luca are falling in love. What will it take for them to admit it to themselves- and each other?
“And its so easy to make mistakes, to think you know what someone wants when the truth is they don’t want you at all.”
This is a sweet, charming, classic yet modern love story. The two main characters begin a slow-burn romance that is a pleasure to read. The love story is beautifully written, it’s filled with sweetness, laughs and passion. Also, the family dynamics are really well written, you get just as involved with the tumultuous relationships each main characters has with their parents, as they do with each other, which makes it an interesting read.
Now, when it comes to the plot I have to say, it’s pretty predictable. You can guess from the beginning what story is going to unfold. This doesn’t make the book any less enjoyable, it’s just means there aren’t many surprises to come. I loved the ending though, it was cinematic and I could easily see it on the big screen. I didn’t want their love story to end.
I will always enjoy a book that has great representation of the LGBT community and this book does just that. I believe it will give young teens reading it hope for the future to read a love story like this. It also has great presentation of dyspraxia, which I had never heard of, it handles it in a delicate and truthful way.
So if you like a good LGBT romance, love story, or a light read with a lot of heart then this is the book for you. I hope there’s more from Sally Malcolm to follow.
This book was given to me by Netgalley and Carina Press in return for an honest review.