Monday, 20 June 2016

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

**I kindly received a copy from Headline Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinions on the book.

Victoria Walters' debut novel is a powerful tale of love, grief and survival, perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern, Lucy Dillon and Miranda Dickinson. 'Brilliant and superior women's fiction'Heat

In the Cornish town of Talting, everyone is famous for something.

Until recently Rose was known for many things: her infectious positivity; her unique artistic talent; and her devotion to childhood sweetheart Lucas.

But two years ago that changed in one unthinkable moment. Now, Rose is known for being the young woman who became a widow aged just twenty-four.

Though Rose knows that life must go on, the thought of carving out a new future for herself is one she can barely entertain. Until a newcomer, Robert, arrives in Talting for the summer...

Can Rose allow herself the chance to love again?

Putting together my feelings of this book was actually quite hard because this love story was pretty much faultless with the "struggles" and "twists" feeling contrived. And you either love this kind of stuff or you really do not. It'd probably be a solid 4/5 if you don't read a lot of romances and aren't tired of certain tropes.

We meet Rose, a young widower is mourning the death of her husband. What struck me was that even though he's dead, we can tell that this was a really intense and rich love. Her grief was so deftly portrayed - it felt palpable at times, making it one hell of an emotional read.

This aside,  Rose didn't seem to have real flaws and that eventually bored me. She's experienced a lot of grief which had the potential to give her some dimension but I didn't feel it was used. I mean it forms her character yes, but she was still a sickly perfect. Call me crazy but I like my protagonists to either have some issues or feel REAL. And neither could be said of Rose.

Title = TMI
The title gives away the fact that she's going to fall in love with the "newcomer" Robert so the element of surprise there was lost even though this "romance" is brewing for a while. I felt like I was waiting for the inevitable union of two dull individuals.

The big "twist" is no twist at all
In this book is this huge mystery surrounding why Robert has arrived in this town and taken a sudden interest in Rose and her paintings. Not only will you clock the gist of the reason he's there pretty early on before the reveal, the actual reason is such a cop out. Why he's there, what he did is not as big of a deal as everyone in this book is making it out to be. This was the opportunity to give Robert an edge and he still ends up without guilt. SIGH.

Location Location LocationIf you read this book for one reason and one reason alone, read it for the location. This setting just made my heart so warm and fuzzy :') It's set in a fictional village in Cornwall and everything about this community is so cute and quaint. Victoria Walters revealed that it was inspired by Stars Hollow, the fictional town in the Gilmore Girls - YES. I totally got that vibe when reading this: a close knit community, quirky characters and lots of established friendships.

The Second Love of My Life is a broad romance that hits all the right notes for a beach read- there's a cute romance, a big secret threatening this and it's all set in the perfect little neighbourhood.

Rating: 2/5 Stars

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