From wedding days to special anniversaries, steamy one night encounters to everlasting loves; Truly, Madly, Deeply takes you on an exciting romantic adventure where love really is all you need.
First all of, Happy Publication Day to all the ladies who have worked extremely hard on this book. I’m delighted to have read all of your wonderful short stories. Secondly, thank you to Mills & Boon for kindly sending me a review copy.
Before I begin; I do apologise because there are twenty-four stories in this collection and I plan on reviewing every single one of them. Please respect the fact that it’s taken me quite a while to write this review and I didn’t want to leave any author out.
1. A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet by Adele Parks
– Katie, a happily married Mum, arranges to host a Valentines Day party for her single sister Jane. It is left with an open ending which made me want more! It’s a very romantic and sweet way to begin the collection.
2. A Sensible Proposal by Anna Jacobs
– Set in Lancashire, 1863. Sarah, a widow is a frail woman who is given a working chance to go to Australia. Ellis is also a widow but he has a responsibility of two sons. This short story shows how different love and relationships are different nowadays and how easy it was to trust someone in the 18th Century.
3. The Corporate Wife by Carole Matthews
– A once successful model called Lydia is now yesterday’s news. She left it all behind for her husband Ethan. At first Lydia came across as too big for her boots, a know-it-all, an attention seeker but at the end of the story, I felt deeply sorry for her. It was a very powerful ending with no loose ties.
4. The Art Of Travel by Elizabeth Buchan
– Polly is alone, heartbroken and devastated. She has a unique and unusual relationship with Nico and his wife, Helena. Not a lot of information is shared at the beginning and middle, but it fits in perfectly with the ending. I was trying to guess how they came about the relationship, thinking of the obvious but it’s not as simple as that.
5. The Rough With The Smooth by Elizabeth Chadwick
– Set in 1164, Isabel and the King’s half-brother Hamelin have been married for seven weeks. They come across as a lot more powerful than they actually are. For me, the story lacked purpose.
6. Living The Dream by Katie Fforde
– Isobel, a woman of sixty years, dreams about living in a beautiful Cornwall house. She enjoys pleasing herself as well as her family – two birds, one stone. She came across as disrespected by her family and I felt really sorry for her. It was lovely, heartwarming short story about an old friend and funny enough – her family’s attitude seems to dramatically change as if they know something…
7. True Love by Maureen Lee
– Moira and Robert are a happily married couple in their late years. The use of flashbacks allow readers to learn how they met. But for me, it was a tiny bit confusing because they supposedly met at Moira’s family home but then it says they met at a dance… Fear not, because it does become crystal clear at the end. It was very clever of Maureen!
8. Love On Wheels by Miranda Dickinson
– Emily loves her job. Within a couple of pages, the plot thickens and it’s clear as to what will happen but the way in which Miranda carefully reveals it is beautiful. The open ending left me wanting more and I’m hoping she’ll tell me as there are a lot of possibilities.
9. Clarion Call by Catherine King
– Set in 1905, Meg looks after her Father but she feels trapped. For me, when she met Jacob, there was no spark or initial love interest. They seemed rather distant.
10. Puppy Love by Chrissie Manby
– The first page is dramatic and quite amusing in certain senses. Fiona, the main character, comes across as laid back and not fazed by much. The plot progresses very nicely and despite the time gap, it remains in tact. The ending was mystical and this could very easily be turned into a lovely novel.
11. Third Act by Fanny Blake
– Beth visits a play which her daughter is starring in. Amongst the desperation to spend quality time with her offspring, Beth spots a familiar face. My heart was beating wildly for her and I hoped she wouldn’t be let down as she came across as a very friendly and loving person. The pace was at a nice, slow level and I wanted to know more each time I turned the page but then it sadly ended.
12. A Real Prince by Fiona Harper
– This is was genius! It’s an amusing take on a certain Royal couple with a lot of spice added. Fiona thought of the unexpected and it was just brilliant. That’s all I can say.
13. The Fundamental Things by Heidi Rice
– Liz, a business woman is in a lift with a man who used to give her butterflies. My god, he gave ME butterflies – he was that yummy! Over the lift journey, their history is revealed and it was just magical. This could make a brilliant novel – I’d definitely read it.
14. Summer ’43 by India Grey
– The title links in very well with the plot and I was quite surprised about the ending as it wasn’t obvious, at all. It took quite a while to know of the name of the main character and for me, I wanted that at the beginning so I could imagine their face.
Twitter: @india grey
15. How To Get A Pill Into A Cat by Judy Astley
– Firstly, brilliant title! It was an unusual bond between the new neighbour Nick and his female neighbour, whose name I do not know… It was a brilliant ending with a lot of humour.
16. Life Of Pies by Kate Harrison
– Falling in love with food makes a brilliant short story! My stomach was rumbling all the way through. Damn you Kate! Haha. Rachel travelled the world before settling down and her love of food is stronger than ever. I loved how well written this short story was, it was almost effortless.
17. Head Over Heart by Louise Allen
– Set in 1809, this was about finding a man within a home – a very clever piece in fact. For a historical short story, the description was just right and it was extremely visual.
18. The Marriage Bargain by Nicola Cornick
– Set in 1814, this is the first short story in the collection which begins with a male’s perspective. It was a refreshing and dramatic read which made me think and that’s what I loved about it – it made me think. The author didn’t give anything away, readers have to figure it out for themselves which was brilliant.
19. Shocking Behaviour by Sue Moorcroft
– Lizzie and Jason, or Jax as he likes to be called, meet outside her flat. Their attractive is very quick and heartwarming. I did, however, thought Lizzie was over reacting but like most short stories, all is to be revealed at the end.
20. Feel The Fear by Alison May
– The main character, whose name I do not know, is having trouble with a rodent. When Adam *major swoon alert* helps, it’s love at first sight or is it? For me, it came across as more of a friendship but whose to say what will happen?
21. The Eighth Promise by Jenny Harper
– Cecelia, the main character, enjoys having her voice heard and tends to exaggerate. The plot was very descriptive and is a short story to be enjoyed by all the family.
22. A Night To Remember by Nikki Moore
– Wow. This is an emotional short story with a lot of powerful adjectives and descriptions. It was quite confusing at the beginning with the main character but towards the end, all the missing pieces came together and made perfect sense. It’s an emotional story, so beware!
23. The Truth About The Other Guy by Rhoda Baxter
– This is the only short story which is part of a novel and I’m desperate to read it. Aasha is about to attend a New Year’s Eve party with her parents. She’s a very strong individual character who knows her own mind and exactly what she wants out of life. It’s beautifully descriptive. Now, can I read the novel?
24. The Fairy-Tale Way by Sophie Pembroke
– This was such a lovely and magical ending to the collection. Whether you do or don’t believe in fairy tales, this is a must read about friendship and finding your Prince.
This collection is a real mixture of love. It’s not the obvious kind of love though. There are reunions, first loves, food and animals. I absolutely loved this collection. I’m sure it’s going to be a HUGE success.