Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Review of Forty Things to do Before You're Forty by Alice Ross

The bit on the back...

The truth is that Annie Richards is just too busy to fall in love!

Running a successful cake-making business, acting as caretaker to grand country house Buttersley, and not to mention single-handedly raising her five-year-old daughter is more than enough to keep Annie’s (flour-dusted) hands full! So can someone please remind her why she agreed to train for a marathon as a ‘40 things to do before you’re 40’ pact with her so-called best friend?!

With every hour of day already taken up, the arrival of crime writer Jake O’Donnell at Buttersley shouldn’t really have any impact on Annie’s day-to-day life at all. There’s definitely no time in her carefully scheduled day for daydreaming about drop-dead gorgeous authors. Is there?

But between whipping up batches of her signature limoncello cupcakes, Annie realises that Jake, and his twinkling dark eyes, can’t just be ticked off her mental to-do list as easily as she though.

Especially when it seems that no. 40 on her list could be creating a truly decadent wedding cake – for her very own wedding…

Firstly thank you to Carina for the review copy of this title. I've had this on my review list for a long time, almost since I started out blogging, and it's only recently that I've managed to get around to reading it. Having just finished and enjoyed both of the books in Alice's Countryside Dreams series (An Autumn Affair and A Summer of Secrets) I was looking for more from this author.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I knew the main character when I started reading. If you've read either book from the Countryside Dreams series you will have met Annie too. Although I much prefer to read books in chronological order, I did like that with this one I already knew where Annie was in her present life and by reading her book after Countryside Dreams I now had a chance to get to know her and how she'd made it to where she was.

Annie is a single mum to her lovely daughter Sophie and owns the village bakery. Annie's life was turned upside down and her retreat to Buttersley was her salvation and her fresh start. Jake O'Donnell is also searching for something from Buttersley, somewhere to write his new novel in peace - peace being the operative word!

I liked all of the characters in this novel. I connected with Annie through her baking and admired her strength and determination to provide for her daughter to hr best ability. She was a little stubborn when it came to Jake and letting him into her life. Sophie adds an innocence to the storyline with her childlike view of Jake and his presence in their lives.

I loved being back in Buttersley. The story is quite predictable, more so because I've read the books that come later, but the village is full of characters that you will either love or love to hate. At the end of the story Alice has also included a Annie's list of "Forty Things" which was a bonus after hearing about Portia's list throughout the book. If you've not read the Countryside Dreams series I would definitely recommend it!

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