Saturday, July 8, 2017

Ciji Ware - A Cottage by the Sea

Some might call it running away . . .
But after a scandalous Hollywood divorce, Blythe Stowe considered it damage control for body and soul. The pain, the humiliation, the daily tabloids shouting details as her famous husband dumped her for her own sister demanded a serious getaway: to the wild coast of Cornwall and a cottage by the sea that her Wyoming grandmother claimed had been home to her ancestors.
Some might call it chance . . .
But Blythe encountered more than just a quaint retreat nestled amid vivid skies and gorgeous ocean. And she had the odd sensation that her wickedly handsome neighbor Lucas Teague was more than a British gentleman going broke. He might be her destiny . . .

Comment: I added this book to my TBR years ago and last year I finally bought it. This month it was one of my picks and I must say although I enjoyed most of it, it ended up not being as amazing as I imagined at some point.

This book tells us the story of Blythe Barton, someone signing her divorce when the book starts. From that and because her husband is an Oscar winner, thus followed by paparazzi, she decides to travel to Cornwall, where her family had roots. In there, she finds a lovely cottage but also a crumbling Barton estate, int he Teague family for centuries.
Somehow, Blythe and Lucas, the current owner, agree on a business deal and with his land and her money, they will invest in a terrific new business which will bring people and money to the region.
Soon, however, Blythe realizes there's more than simple history connecting her to Cornwall and as time and the business ventures go by, the past comes back and Blythe and Lucas end up being partners in more than business...

This story begins, like I said, with Blythe getting divorced. I imagined we would have her dealing with her ex a lot and although she eventually gets closure, it's not such a frequent situation in the book, something I'm very glad of because this part of Blythe's life seemed too complicated and highlighted situations that could overtake the apparent goal of the book, which is to focus on new beginnings and letting the past go.

This story is focused on Blythe and her life, her way of dealing with what comes her way but it's also a dual time novel, where we have the contemporary part (thankfully more frequent) and the past, set in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The past is included so we can make a bridge between what is happening to Blythe and other characters and why certain things have a specific meaning. The problem, for me, is that i don't think the past scenes were useful at all. We could still have the past through letters or something without having actual scenes depicting those things. I don't feel the past part was necessary for the plot to move on and I admit I sort of skimmed a few pages.
Besides, the past has us reading about characters that, sincerely, were all silly and jealous and immature and although I get the idea here was to portray how Blythe and others should learn to let go of what happened in their own lives so they can live in the now, the past section was just a waste of pages to me.

Dual time aside, the book mostly centers in the situation Blythe is living and her relationship with Lucas, both as business partners and as lovers.
Blythe and Lucas each had a complicated past, they both bring baggage to their current relationship and part of the whole novel is them going on but needing to overcome what happened before. This means we have several emotional dealings and situations to solve, which I didn'0t mind much and would mind even less without the past section. But it was very interesting - this sort of made the book for me - to see the two characters deal with other people in their lives but still find the romance, the new relationship... it's not a perfect plot/development, but I had a good time reading most of the book.

This was the first book I've read by the author. I don't think her other titles appeal to me as much as this one did, but I might try something else by her int he future. This is a good book to escape with in long afternoons but the writing is a bit erratic here and there and less pages spent in the past would certainly help. At least in my POV.
Grade: 6/10

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