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Barefoot in the Dark - Lynne Barrett-Lee

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Author: Lynne Barrett-Lee / Genre: Fiction / Publisher: Accent Press Ltd

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      19.03.2008 21:47
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      Great for a holiday or light reading

      It's a very long time since I've done a book review. When I was doing my degree, I didn't feel like reading for fun. I had too much coursework to read and also studying about how things are structured and made, took the fun out of read as I was just analysing books by their structure and their underlying themes etc. Luckily, I've learned to turn the analysing bit of my brain off and just enjoy the book so here we go.

      I happened to spot this on Amazon.co.uk for £4 when I was hunting for some chicklit or bargain books that would take my fancy. It was the title that attracted me to it first and then the funky design on the front cover of a purple trainer in some daffodils, a radio and some headphones and love hearts scattered all around. There and then, I bought this book on a whim. I didn't even read the write ups about it to see if it was good or bad or even look to see if there were any write ups about it in the first place. So was my £4 well spent, let's see!

      ...The story...
      The whole story revolves around two main characters, Hope Sheppard and Jack Valentine. Hope is a newly divorced fundraiser for charity called 'HeartBeat' and Jack, also recently divorced, is a radio presenter for BBC Wales. It is all based in and around Cardiff. The story starts off with Hope who is on her way to work. She loses her trainer while boarding the train into Cardiff. She knows that she will never see her trainer again and after paying £55 for them as well. Unbeknownst to Hope, Jack finds her trainer and BBC Wales radio station turns Hope's misfortune into a call-in competition. Hope calls in to the station to claim her trainers after her boss, Madeleine, tells it will be good for their 'fun run' that they are having soon. Thrown together on the fun run project, will their mutual attraction turn into heartache for both of them? Is Jack too much a 'Jack the lad' and is Hope misreading the signs? Or will it be a happy ending and will love conquer all?


      ...My thoughts...

      You could say it's a modern Cinderella story and at first sight, you would be right but if you look closer and read more of the book, it gives you a wonderful insight to post-divorce life (even though, I'm not divorced or even married lol). The title of the book is actually a line in the book. It involves a sweet and funny moment between Hope and Jack.

      It seemed like Lynn Barrett-Lee was written from personal experience, which gave Jack and Hope, a realistic and believable feel to them. I love the way it flipped Hope's point of view to Jack's. It's nice to see a woman attempting to write from a man's POV and to say that, she does pull it off well. I'm sure she had to do some research and get a male's POV on what she was writing but I would say that Jack's opinion is the strong piece of writing compared to Hope's.

      Though, the story is not just about divorce, it also has other 'grown-up issues'. Many that I haven't experienced yet, like dealing with a parent who is on their deathbed. This issue gives you another angle to see Jack from, maybe understand why he is the way he is. The way the backstory is provided is nicely done. Just snips here and there, just enough to understand Hope's and Jack's past and what happened in their previous relationships.

      Some parts of the book made me laugh, some made me nod my head in agreement and some nearly made me cry. I was slightly disappointed by the end. Not to spoil it for anyone but it's left very open for a sequel of some sort or maybe not. Maybe this is how the author leaves her stories so I will look for that when I read another book of hers.

      This is the first time I have read anything by Lynne Barrett-Lee and I loved it so if you're into light-hearted romance with some serious issues to complicate things, then this book is definitely worth a read. It's a hard book to put down there are moments where you think, god, I wish I had more time to read or I wish I wasn't so tired, I want, no, I need to know what happens next. Four pound isn't a bad price to pay for a good book. I mean magazines like Cosmo are £3.20 and not that good anymore.

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    • Product Details

      This title is a modern twist on "Cinderella". Radio Wales DJ Jack Valentine finds a lost trainer on a station platform. With echoes of Cinderella, he appeals on his show for its owner, Hope Shepherd, to come forward. Hope handles publicity for a Cardiff based charity, Heartbeat. Encouraged by colleagues to secure Jack Valentine to raise the profile of an upcoming fun run, she reluctantly heads for the studios. The attraction between Hope and Jack is immediate but, bruised and battered by their recent divorces, they are reluctant to risk romance again.