I'm writing this on the Kindle, so if there are typos, they will have to wait until morning.
(Morning edits and slight additions.)
This book popped up when I went to the library's digital collection. Even though I intended to get a book I had started several months ago, I opted for this because it looked light and frothy.
I've now finished the first chapter and it's been all tell and no show.
Rosy Winters is a teacher at a village school in Cornwall. She has had to hurry home to fetch a forgotten book that she needs for a meeting with the mother of a student. The mother is described as quite the dragon. But when Rosy emerges from her house with the book -- a matter of a minute or two at the most -- she discovers she is blocked in her driveway by a moving van.
What kind of jerk would block a driveway?
There followed an inane conversation between Rosy and the removal man -- I got very tired of that phrase -- in which he rhapsodized about the scenery while she sort of fumed that he was keeping her from an important meeting, which she told him about more than once and he acknowledged.
What kind of jerk treats a woman like that?
He knows he's keeping her from an important meeting and yet he keeps blathering on and on and on, as if to say "Oh yes, you said it's important, but you're just a woman, so how important can it be when I want to tell you all about the scenery right where you live and see it every day?"
Oh , but he's drop dead gorgeous.
And she has to stand on her tippy tip toes to be able to reach to tap him on the shoulder.
Friends I am barely five feet tall when I stretch, and I don't have to stand on my tippy tip toes to tap BF on the shoulder, and he's a foot taller than I am.
Removal Man finally moves his lorry and Rosy finally gets out of her driveway and races back to the school for her meeting. I was expecting an exciting confrontation between Rosy and a difficult parent, with occasional flashbacks to the handsome jerk who made her late. Maybe an awkward slip of the tongue. What I got was a whole chapter telling me ABOUT the confrontation, which was mitigated by other people stalling the dragon lady and so the whole thing fell about as flat as leftover champagne.
I had got the impression from this dull beginning that the book might be author-published. There are a couple of reviews on Amazon that disclose the reviewers got ARCs from Canelo via Netgalley. So I did a tiny bit of quick research. Canelo Publishing is a digital publisher in the UK. Though they boast of high standards, blah, blah, blah, this truly read like something I would have seen in a first round RWA contest.
There was some description of the village, with comments about the painted cottages and the spruced up "village shop" that now sold delicacies for a gentrified clientele. But not so much as a mention of the weather, the time of year, nothing that might have helped to set Rosy into a complete environment.
And no dialogue!
Oh, there's the exchange with the unnamed gorgeous removal man, but it's mostly his monologue. And the confrontation with the irate mother -- she never expressed irritation but just droned on about how wonderful her son was and Rosy never seemed to react -- lacked any spark at all.
Another thing that bothered me was names. Rosy Winters is joined, at least by mention, by Harmony Rivers. I just felt as though this was laziness.