Monday, 9 July 2018

Release Day Spotlight and Review: If You Love Me I'm Yours by Lizzie Chantree

If you love me, I’m yours.

If you love me, I’m yours…’

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down. 

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

Continuing in my pursuit of reading more British English books, I thoroughly enjoyed my first novel by Lizzie Chantree.

Maud has led an unspectacular life in an effort to maintain her parents' expectations; mainly her mother's happiness. Yet, she still managed to find time to paint, around her parental approved career as a teaching assistant at a local school. Over the years she's painted many pictures but does she have talent?

Coming from an artistic family, Dot has taken over the job of managing the careers of the artistic ones because she lacks the talent to achieve the success they do. When a new unknown artist begins leaving random pieces of art around a local village, she is determined to track the person down. Only, the artist becomes a friend who helps her to find the inspiration she needs to create artistic pieces herself.

Nate may be a highly successful artist, but events from his past plus his temperamental personality make him a challenge for those close to him. When he meets his sister's new friend, he's ready to try to rebuild his personal life, but life is complicated and Maud is unavailable to him...for now.

I heartily appreciated the humorous and sometimes cheeky banter exchanged between the characters. It's realistic, relatable and funny against a narrative that kept my interest one hundred per cent of the time. The power of friendship is ever present and I enjoyed how Daisy and Elliott were loyal to their friends and how a villain managed to worm his way into the proceedings from an unlikely place. The overall feel of the novel is light and entertaining but with a little bit of darkness thrown in too. It's heart-warming when Dot finally realises she is worthy of her famous family name and someone close is 'the' someone special who has patiently waited in the wings for her to 'see' him.

The author's writing caused me to shed a few tears as the mixed emotions shared by Maud and Nate find a satisfying conclusion. It was unexpected (the tears) but not surprising as they realise they both want the same be together...and who doesn't love an uplifting happy ending?

What more can I say? Reading, If You Love Me I'm Yours is a thoroughly pleasurable way to pass some hours in the sunshine. I'm also happy to have found a new author to follow too.

4.5 stars

***arc generously received courtesy of Crooked Cat Books***
Award-winning inventor and author, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. 

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Giveaway – Win signed copies of If You Love Me, I’m Yours and Ninja School Mum (Open Internationally)
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New Release: Between You and Me by Susan Wiggs

Caleb Stoltz is bound by a deathbed promise to raise his orphaned niece and nephew in the Amish community Middle Grove, where life revolves around family, farm, faith—and long-held suspicions about outsiders. When disaster strikes, Caleb is caught between two worlds as he seeks help outside of his community and is thrust into an urban environment of high-tech medicine and the relentless rush of modern life, a path that will force him to reconsider what family, love, and community truly mean.

Reese Powell is poised to join the medical dynasty of her wealthy, successful parents. Bold, assertive, and fast-thinking, she lives for the addictive rush of saving lives. When a shocking accident brings Caleb Stoltz into her life, Reese is forced to deal with a situation that challenges everything she thinks she knows, and emboldens her to question her most powerful beliefs.

Then one impulsive act brings about a clash of cultures in a tug-of-war that plays out in a courtroom, challenging the very nature of justice and reverberating through generations, straining the fragile threads of family and faith. Deeply moving and powerful, BETWEEN YOU AND ME is an emotionally complex story of love and loss, family and friendship, and the arduous road to discovering one’s true path.