“ Author: Ruth Saberton / Format: Hardback / Date of publication: 12 April 2012 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Orion Publishing Co / Title: Amber Scott is Starting Over / ISBN 13: 9781409131120 / ISBN 10: 1409131120 / Alternative EAN: 9781409135500 „
Amber Scott and her fiancé Ed have not been getting on too well so perhaps what they need is a fresh start. The opportunity presents itself when Ed applies for a partnership in a law firm in Cornwall and Amber agrees to the move even though she knew nothing of Ed's plans and it means giving up a successful career in London. Still, it will all be worth it when they settle down in their perfect home and start spending more quality time together. Or will it? Perhaps the move to the country will make Amber take a long hard look at her' and Ed's relationship.
Amber has been with Ed for over ten years. Things may not be perfect in their relationship but they muddle along OK in their London home, both going off to their separate jobs. However, one day, just as Amber is about to celebrate a promotion of her own, Ed announces that he has been offered a partnership in a law firm. This should be fantastic news but the problem is that it is over two hundred miles away in Cornwall and would mean Amber having to give up everything that she has worked for in order to go with him. And, of course, as Ed points out many times, if she really loves him she wouldn't even have to think about it.
So before she has time to take a breath, Amber and Ed are packing up their possessions, handing in their notices and house hunting in Cornwall. They can't even agree on the type of home that they want though, with Ed overruling Amber's desire for a cosy cottage in favour of his own wish for an imposing mansion. Amber succumbs and the move is made. Is it the right thing though and are Amber and Ed about to rekindle their relationship? It seems unlikely as Ed remains as moody as ever, Amber is stuck rattling around in the house as Ed insists on leaving her without a car and she starts to have strange feelings about the local lord of the manor. Will the move help Amber and Ed start over together or will they ultimately be starting over apart from each other?
This is a very enjoyable book and I loved Ruth Saberton's chatty and energetic style of writing. I liked the fact that it was written in the first person from Amber's point of view as I felt I really got to know her and in the end came to recognise her as the strong and feisty character that she is. However, this was not always the way I felt about her because at the start of the book I found myself becoming increasingly annoyed with her as she came over as a downtrodden doormat who would allow herself to be walked all over by Ed. He is nothing less than a nasty bully who behaves like a sulky schoolboy whenever he doesn't get his own way. I just couldn't believe that Amber would put up with his bullying and petulant behaviour and therefore at the start I was having trouble believing in her. Fortunately, as the novel progresses, she does redeem herself slightly which is why I came to enjoy the book so much. I also liked the way that throughout the novel she transformed from a fashion conscious townie into a true country girl.
There are many very funny moments in the book too. I loved the introduction of Ken, the large mastiff, that Amber rescues from the roadside on the journey to Cornwall. He gets into all sorts of trouble but the best is when he swallows the smart key for Ed's beloved new range rover and consequently Ed has to drive around with the dog for a week so that he can get the car to start! There are also some very entertaining characters including Virginia, the eccentric lady of the manor and Amber's new age mum who insists on supplying her with love potions. They all contributing to some most amusing storylines.
There is one aspect of the book that I did not enjoy so much and unfortunately that is the excessive use of swearing by some characters. The 'F' word seems to get a huge airing and seemed out of character with those who were using it. It seemed unnecessary and could possibly alienate some readers.
Apart from this though, it's a very enjoyable book and is definitely worth reading perhaps to while away some summer evenings
This review has previously appeared under my name at www.thebookbag.co.uk