Book review: ‘Candy’s Man’

I have just finished reading ‘Candy’s Man’ by Jeanette Hornby. From the start, I was taken by the cover – which I thought just gorgeous glam. So it’s been on my TBR list for some time. I must also say that romance is not generally my genre, but I know there are millions who love it – and that’s why I can say with confidence that those millions will love this book. ‘Candy’s Man’ has all the bells and whistles: snappy, slick, with a well-planned plot laden with passion, twists and thwarted desire.

There are beautiful people, beautiful cars, beautiful houses and beautiful clothes. Not to mention the shoes. And enough emotion, tension and unhappy confusions to keep you glued to the story. Will Candy get her man? Rather ask, will Candy’s Man get her? The twists and turns are so adroitly planned, I could not stop reading – I had to know the answers to these questions. I fell in love with all the men, admired all the women’s clothes, and identified totally with Candy’s roller-coaster turmoil of feelings.

This is a book for a glass of wine or a good slab of chocolate, and a self-indulgent afternoon on the couch, away from all working demands. Well-written, well-paced, it is both heart-warming and heated, intriguing and satisfying. If you’re a lover of traditional romance novels, then this one’s for you.

Find ‘Candy’s Man’ on Amazon here

Indie writing: Review ‘Heart’s Promise’

‘Heart’s Promise’ by Jeanette Hornby is a deceptively gentle book about pre-adolescent and early teenage romance.

Through a series of frames of ordinary life, we meet Milly when she is only eleven years old and already feeling the pangs of attraction and shyness with regard to the boy next door. The reader is taken on that old, familiar roller-coaster ride of first love awakening, and reminds us how these experiences are often the fundamental lessons in honesty, integrity and family values.

Set in Australia in the early seventies, this is a story of a small community, migrant labour, broken families, religious differences and racial prejudices, friendship and loyalty; and children struggling to find their own identity in the see-saw of adult relationships. We see everything through Milly’s eyes, becoming involved in her growing infatuation with the handsome Flynn – a seemingly insignificant and everyday scenario when played out against the broader backdrop of domestic dramas and winds of social change; but for Milly, in the tender teenage years, this is the driving focus in her life.

The novel skilfully portrays a young girl on the brink of sexual awareness and adult emotions; her conflicting feelings, her first kiss, the tumult of jealousy and betrayal, the reality of loss and grief.

What I liked about this book was the quiet, easy style of writing, cleverly introducing the more serious underlying issues of class, dysfunctional families, and the dangers faced when growing up – all within the framework of ordinary life. At the end of the book, I was loath to leave Milly and Flynn, they had built so strongly in my mind. This is a story for young and old, universal in appeal. A real trip down memory lane