Saturday, 22 December 2018

๐ŸŽ„ Review ~ Love in the Dales Series~ Mary Jayne Baker

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Mirror Books

A Bicycle Made for Two ( Love in the Dales #1 -  5 April, 2018)

In a lost corner of the Yorkshire Dales, Lana Donati runs a medieval theme restaurant, Here Be Flagons, with her brother. When she hatches a plan to boost business by getting the Grand Dรฉpart route to pass through their village, the small community must work together to convince the decision-makers they’re Tour material. Not easy when the cast of characters involved includes Lana’s shy, unlucky-in-love brother Tom, man-eating WI chair Yolanda, bickering spouses Gerry and Sue, arrogant TV star Harper Brady, and Lana’s arch-nemesis, former pro-cyclist turned bike shop owner Stewart McLean, whose offbeat ideas might just cost them everything.

My thoughts about it..

This was just the most delightful story and a great introduction to the Love in the Dales series. From the deliciously quirky medieval themed restaurant run by brother and sister duo, Tom and Lana Donati, so aptly named 'Here be Flagons', to the  uncertainty surrounding the proposed route of the Grand Dรฉpart, there is such a sense of warmth and good humour that I found myself smiling and laughing at some of the village antics. To have the prestigious cycle race pass through this small Yorkshire village would give the area such an enormous economic boost and in the quest to be chosen, the villagers must do all they can to raise their profile and it is the shenanigans along the way which make for a lively and entertaining read.

The characters are delightful, they're such an eclectic mixture of the quirky, bizarre and heart warmingly gorgeous that you can't help but bond with them all. I loved Bicycle Made for Two, it made me cry a little but laugh a whole lot more.

Perfect Fit ( Love in the Dales #2 - 21 September, 2018)

After years living in London, costume shop owner Becky Finn is trying to build a new life for herself and fiancรฉ Cole in her old home of Egglethwaite, a sleepy village in the Yorkshire Dales.

Keen to raise funds for the struggling village hall she loved as a child, Becky soon finds herself at the head of a colourful group intent on resurrecting Egglethwaites Christmas pantomime. But, as she quickly discovers, there's more to panto than innuendo and slapped thighs.

As opening night grows closer, Becky starts to wonder if her embattled panto will ever make it to the stage and, with handsome co-star Marcus on the scene, if she's picked the right man for her after all.

My thoughts about it..

If you've read Bicycle Made for Two then The Perfect Fit will be a welcome return to some of the characters, however, it's not essential to have read the first book in the Love in the Dales series as this story works equally well as a stand alone.

Becky Finn has returned to her home village of  Egglethwaite to try and make a new life with her fiancรฉ, Cole. Becky fits into village life much easier than Cole, and when Becky volunteers to help to organise the village pantomime, Cole, always an outsider, really struggles to find his comfort zone and Becky's cheeky little relationship with the handsome, Marcus, doesn't help !

The Perfect Fit continues the village theme which started in book one of the series and it is a delightful mix of showcasing the best of village life with all of its petty squabbles and warm companionship, and yet, it also highlights just how difficult it can be to settle somewhere different in a place where everyone knows each other. There's a lovely seasonal aspect to this story, and the run up to the Pantomime, with all of its many problems, makes it all such a perfect fit for this time of year.

This series has such potential to run and run and I really look forward to seeing where the characters in these delightful stories will take us to next.

Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontรซ country . . . and she's still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature she dallied with living in cities including London, Nottingham and Cambridge, but eventually came back, with her own romantic hero in tow, to her beloved Dales, where she first started telling stories about heroines with flaws and the men who love them.

Twitter @MaryJayneBaker #LoveintheDales


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