Many thanks to the publishers Michael J Books for sending me a proof copy of this book back in May. A new author for me and a story I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Here’s my review.
Sara Tempest has been alone since her husband died and daughters left home.
But over the course of one summer she falls in love with the charming Bernard – years of heartache and loneliness finally behind her – and moves into his beautiful home on the wind-battered cliffs of Hastings.
But soon she begins to wonder if Bernard is all he seems . . .
He’s barely in touch with his children. Stifling reminders of his wife appear everywhere Sara looks.
And then comes Bernard’s confession.
All too quickly, Sara’s newfound happiness starts to crumble around her . . .
Sarah is 58 years old and lives in Lewes near Brighton. A widow of 6 years, she lives alone and works as a nutritionist. Sarah hadn’t felt ready to start dating before but gentle persuaded by her two daughters to give it a try, she’s joined a dating service and is on her way to her first date. Colin. Not a success. Encouraged not to give up, on arriving at a café to meet a Randall, she instead meets Bernard, also waiting to meet someone but whom hasn’t shown up. There is an immediate connection. He seems nice. Sarah likes him, almost shocked at how much she likes him, so after a short ‘stumble’ they arrange to meet up again.
Told in their alternate perspectives, we learn of their past and present lives. Family and friends, but as things move faster than expected and Sarah moves into Bernard’s wonderful house on the cliffs, Sarah senses a darkness, an edge to the house which is unsettling. Bernard’s moods start to change and Sarah is sure he is hiding something from her.
This is the first book by this author that I have read and I really enjoyed it. The was a real authenticness to her writing and I enjoyed reading about a slightly older generation of characters. Sarah and Bernard’s characters are developed well as you read along allowing the reader to get a better sense of their story. As the mystery and tensions mount, a wonderfully thought out back story emerges, bit by bit, which kept me fully intrigued and caught out with a surprising twist in the tale. I loved her relationship with her mother-in-law and the way Sarah and Bernard’s narrative explain the story to us with their emotions and feeling still very raw. This is not a romance read, although a romantic relationship is at it heart, but a really well thought out mystery and human story. I will definitely try her other novels.