07/11/2013

Is this love? (by Sue Moorcroft)

Sometimes it's shocking how time races by. I would have said that it was perhaps three years ago when I first read - and loved - a novel by Sue Moorcroft. Checking this blog, however, I see that it's nearly SEVEN years since I enjoyed 'Uphill all the way', courtesy of The Bookbag.

Unfortunately, none of the author's subsequent books have moved me to quite that extent. The Transita publishing company, which specialised in fiction for the middle aged, apparently went out of business and Sue Moorcoft started writing for Choc Lit instead, a publisher who apparently aims for a younger audience. However, she is is not a typical ‘chick lit’ writer. Certainly there’s a romantic element to 'Is This Love?', but there’s a great deal more besides.

Tamara is in a comfortable relationship with Max, her childhood sweetheart. She has a place of her own, but spends a great deal of time with her family, including a sister who has never grown up. Lyddie was was hit by a car in her teens, and seriously brain damaged. Now in her thirties, she is like a somewhat hyperactive nine-year-old, passionate about animals, and with no real sense of responsibility. Tamara has built up a small business teaching yoga in the community.

Then her boyfriend, who has been offered a job elsewhere, wants her to move away from the village with him. At the same time Jed, who was Lyddie’s boyfriend before her accident, appears on their doorstep with a shocking revelation, which Tamara’s mother can’t deal with…

There’s another plotline involving a wealthy young woman with a leg injury who employs Tamara as a private yoga instructor... and gradually things become tense, as I realised that I had no idea who to trust.

Choc Lit heroes are supposed to be as irresistible as chocolate, and that was certainly the case in this book. It was an ideal book for dipping into at bedtime, at least until it became difficult to put down due to the tension!

My only gripe with the book is one I make regularly, that of far too detailed intimate scenes. Admittedly only a couple, but they didn't fit with the otherwise excellent writing in the book, and felt entirely unnecessary. I seem to be a lone voice in this objection, but it does make it very difficult to recommend it wholeheartedly.

Still, other than that, I thought this a very enjoyable light read that was thought-provoking, and also quite memorable. If you like women's fiction, and can deal with (or skip over) bedroom scenes, then I would recommend it highly.

Note that although my links are for the paperback version of this book, it is also available inexpensively for the Kindle, as are most of Sue Moorcroft's other novels.

You can also read my slightly longer review of 'Is This Love'? at the Bookbag site.

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