Tess Simpson needs a break!
Under appreciated at home, overlooked at work and now her beloved dog Bella has died. Tess has simply had enough!
So in a spur of the moment act, Tess books a holiday of a lifetime for her, her two grown up kids and useless husband Dave. Maybe they can use the break to reconnect with each other?
But when the kids refuse to go, and Dave breaks his leg, Tess’s dream holiday looks seriously in doubt. And then there’s River Romero, the glamourous LA screen writer who is supposed to be house-sitting for Tess whilst she’s away….
Everything about River sounds so much more exciting than Tess’s boring life in Stratford Upon Avon. From her beautiful LA condo and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Tess wonders whether a bit of River’s LA life might be exactly what she needs? So when River suggests a house swap, Tess jumps at the chance!
With Dave happily ensconced in the summer house at the bottom of the garden, the kids not needing mum anymore, Tess packs her bags and heads off for the adventure of a lifetime.
But real life isn’t like the movies, and when Tess arrives in LA, things aren’t exactly as they seem.
Will Tess find what’s she’s looking for or is getting away from it all isn’t all perhaps not all it’s cracked up to be?
Tess has finally reached breaking point, so when she books a spur of the moment holiday for herself and her family she hopes it will be just what they need to reconnect with one another. However, things don’t go as planned, and she finds herself embarking on the family holiday on her own.
Tess and River Romero – a screenwriter from LA – make the arrangement to house-swap for the duration of Tess’ holiday, and it is certainly something that both women are in need of. Tess is feeling unappreciated by her family, and River is in need of some inspiration for her work.
As both women spend time away from the lives that have worn them down of late, they are able to recharge and re-evaluate what – and who is important in their lives. The story is told from the alternating viewpoints of both women and allowed us to get to know them much better as individuals.
There is an added depth to this story though as we get to hear from Alex, Tess’s grown up son. He is struggling with his mental health, and the way in which his story is explored throughout this book in such a sensitive, thought provoking way really captured my heart. It is such an important subject to raise, and I truly feel as though the author has portrayed this beautifully.
This is a story that is full of humour and deep emotion which, when combined, makes for a remarkable story of self discovery and acceptance of others and the struggles they too may be facing. A fantastic read that I thoroughly enjoyed.
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About the Author
Carmen Reid is the bestselling author of numerous woman’s fiction titles including the Personal Shopper series starring Annie Valentine. After taking a break from writing she is back, introducing her hallmark feisty women characters to a new generation of readers. Her first title for Boldwood will be published in July 2021. She lives in Glasgow with her husband and children.
Social Media Links
Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carmen-reid
*Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources, Boldwood Books and Carmen Reid for providing me with a gifted copy of this book in return for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.*