Friday, July 14, 2017

Book Review: Once Upon a Long Ago by Sharon Booth

Lexi Bailey and Will Boden-Kean have both appeared in the previous Kearton Bay books (it is not necessary to read those before this book but you should because they're fabulous). Will is now a Baronet and fully in charge of his family home after his father's death. Lexi works there now as they try to make the Tudor mansion into a profitable venture. However, complications abound. Will's cousin Nat shows up, a handsome bounder who connects with Lexi much to Will's dismay; Will has been in love with her forever and is patiently waiting for her to realize it though Lexi doesn't want a relationship, having seen her parent's bad marriage. She fine with simple sex with Nat who has his own plans for Will's inheritance.
I was happy that many of the characters from the previous books appear here as well as some new and interesting ones. Will is just a sweetheart though he's not a milquetoast either. Lexi is a bit immature in my opinion but she grows up over the course of the story, and I admit that I cried at the end. One of the many things I like about Ms. Booth's writing is that the characters are 'real' which means they don't always act as I might expect. They're individuals and Ms. Booth doesn't follow expected story lines but includes many an unexpected yet believable twist. For example, I thought I knew where the treasure subplot was going, but Ms. Booth wrote it in a much more satisfying way.
I only finished A Kiss From A Rose yesterday and fully intended to break away from this series so that I wouldn't read it all too soon as I don't want it over with, but I had to read Once Upon A Long Ago once I read the blurb. I stayed up way too late, but I'm so glad I did and that I found this author. I've been gushing about these books and author because I love the books and think many of my friends would enjoy them.
One point for American readers: these books are written and edited in English style. They're also set in Yorkshire (Kearton Bay is a fictional name for the very real Robin Hood's Bay) and the dialect reflects that setting. I hadn't come across a few phrases or words, but I could usually figure it out from the context. In my opinion, it just makes these books more unique and charming.

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