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Tuesday 5 February 2013

Midnight Sky by Jan Ruth

This is the first book I have read by this author, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a romance, and although it doesn’t take too long to realise who is going to get together with whom, the predictability that is inseparable from romances ends there. This novel has a Welsh and equestrian setting.

Laura, a talented interior designer, loves her boyfriend, Simon, (who has an ex-wife and two children). James is still in love with his wife, who has been dead for two years. Apart from being ruggedly handsome, (of course), he is also a skilled horse whisperer. When Laura becomes pregnant, Simon is none too happy—he’s been there, done that. The situation rocks the stability of their relationship. A commission to renovate cottages, owned by James and his sister, leads to James’s and Laura’s paths to cross... 

What I loved about this story was…well, just about everything: the Welsh setting, the horses (I’m an animal lover), but most particularly, I loved the characters. The cast of this story was extremely well put together and each character conceived either colourfully, sympathetically, thoughtfully, but always credibly: Maggie is Laura’s hapless, patient, tolerant married sister with a middle-aged husband and three very, very different children. Jess is the middle one of these: brilliantly portrayed as the petulant, parents-are-oh-so-gross teenager. Then there was Carla, the sex-hungry man-eater; Alice, the bitter, revengeful ex-wife; Liz, James’s domineering sister, who must surely have been a headmistress in her former life! But Laura and James were conceived with skill: each with their own demons to deal with, they were never pathetic or irritating but utterly likeable, and they have you on their side from start to finish. 

A lovely, gentle romance packed with emotion and twists and turns, leaving you wondering how they cannot possibly end in a cul-de-sac. Not so much an-edge-of-your-seat romance, but one that keeps you reading with your hand on your heart.

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