When bestselling romance author Chloe Piper’s marriage implodes a week before Christmas, she flees her cheating ex and the village gossips for the solitude of the newly built Sunny Meadow Farm and the company of her hapless dog, Ronnie.
But Chloe is soon pushed out of her comfort zone. Because with a lively development building crew – headed up by charming Alex – and a larger-than-life neighbour determined to make Chloe’s love life her pet project, Chloe finds herself in a whole new world of chaos…
I picked the book because it was about a character with social anxiety disorder who’s coming to terms with living on her own after her husband cheats on her. It was the social anxiety disorder bit that intrigued me. I was hoping for the author to execute it well. She did not.
There’s not enough focus on the important bits. Rather, I felt that the author meandered a lot along with a meaningless course of events which worked against what could have been some solid story telling. There are more secondary characters than needed, and none of them sparked my interest. I also did not feel the main romance with the neighbor Alex. I was hoping for her to end up with another guy – bookshop owner. They had more chemistry, in my opinion. Also, Alex just did not appear enough in the book to garner my interest.
I found the main character Chloe to be inconsistent. For someone with supposedly a severe case of social anxiety disorder, she is successfully able to overcome through a lot of social situations without much struggle. While I cherish stories where the protagonist emerges to defeat all odds in the end, I also like seeing them go through the worst, to be able to enjoy their triumph. We do not really see Chloe suffer through the worst for me to be able to appreciate her overcome triumph.
I think the author could have done a lot more with the plot, especially by delving deep into the issue of social anxiety disorder. The execution just came off as too lazy.
Publication Date: 8th April, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)