I don't know what's wrong with me - a bit of bitterness in my personal life and suddenly I' overflowing with the high ratings!
So I started this a few days/weeks ago and dropped it after only reading a chapter. I thought it was yet another YA/NA book about a girl who has a terrible tragedy in life which she hides behind a veneer of conformity until she meets the bad-boy rocker with tattoos and bad language who shows her how to feel, and they both have stupid names and it's written in the first person POV.
But anyway, I started reading this again, from the beginning, and it is NOTHING like I imagined, indeed it isn't even NA/YA.
So, Bailey posts a daily photo to her blog. On her way to having a major operation on her back she takes a picture of a man sitting by the beach early one morning – a picture of devastation and loss. Feeling that she has intruded on something private she never uses the picture but files it away with all her other rejects.
Aidan is a hot-shot in advertising. His young wife has died tragically and he is struggling to do anything other than work. His home is a pit and he is unable to enter certain rooms.
Aidan's best friend Blake (OK, they have stupid NA/YA names but I forgive them because they are Australian) is also in advertising. He is married to Aiden's wife's best friend. Blake has a whole lot of ambition but lacks the talent to deliver. He is also an old colleague and friend of Bailey's.
Blake's plans draw Aiden and Bailey together. So, it's a fairly typical contemporary romance. What makes it different is the way that Ms Paton weaves her story, the details of trying to win business, the Big Brother scheme that Aidan has been roped into by his dead wife and a delightfully obtuse social worker. There are no larger than life villains here, the only person who is too good to be true is Blake's wife Olivia. Everyone else comes in delightful shades of grey – most of the time I loathed Blake and couldn't see why either Aidan or Bailey could be his friends, but he had redeeming qualities – and he was still an arrogant, self-obsessed twit at times. Light and shade all the way.
There were a few great lines – and more than a few typos – I have checked and I paid £2.66 for this so I am surprised to see so many silly typos (she'd for she's etc) but it didn't detract from the sheer joy of reading this novel. It was different, adult and yet, despite the circumstances, light-hearted.
I will look out for more of Ms Paton's books.