My Lover, His Brother & Me...
by Janey Woodall
I stumbled across this book on Amazon one day and forgot I bought it until I was clearing stuff off my Kindle last night. It's been a while since I've read a book in one sitting (it's been a while since I've managed to even finish a book at all actually), but something about this one just clicked for me and I couldn't put it down until I'd read it cover to cover.Summary: When Sebastian Thomas - tall, blond and extremely handsome - suddenly appears in Isobel's life she can't quite believe her luck. But, although Seb is attentive and great fun, Izzy has to admit that it doesn't look as though it's going anywhere which is why it's a shock when he asks her to spend Christmas with him and his family in Derbyshire.
Faced with the prospect of an uncomfortable Christmas with her nightmare mother in France or the opportunity to get to know Seb a LOT better, Izzy is happy to agree.
But back home, Seb seems to have something on his mind and then there's his family to deal with: his forceful mother and frail father, sister Marianne and big brother Quinn. Christmas cheer seems in short supply for Isobel and it's not necessarily the season to be jolly...
I wasn't expecting to love the book. I wasn't expecting much at all really--I thought it would just be one of those cute/entertaining but forgettable books, but it pleasantly surprised me.
The book was cute and funny (I laughed out loud quite a few times) and while it had some predictable plot twists, there were some things that I didn't see coming (which I appreciate in romance novels--I accept that the plots are often predictable, it comes with the genre a lot of the time, but I really like it when the author still finds ways to surprise me).
Isobel...she was a good main character, I liked her (although she did have a few annoying moments). I liked most of the characters really--even my least favourite ones weren't awful. Like Seb, he was really selfish and self-absorbed most of the time, but he never felt like just a cardboard cut out character, he was fleshed out, and it's difficult to hate even characters like him when they're complex and we're shown their good sides too.
The romance...well, in the beginning I did want to scream at the main character to stop being an idiot but given the title I knew she'd see sense eventually so I stuck with it. As soon as Quinn came into the picture, the romance was really great and I really loved their scenes together. Granted, the relationship issues were so ridiculous and easily sorted most of the time but that's kind of to be expected with these stories--things drawn out by miscommunication and assumptions that could be solved by simple honesty (but then, real life is like that too sometimes).
There was only really one thing about the book that I hated (assault scenes that felt kind of trivialised and dialogue where a guy implies if the girl hadn't said yes he wouldn't have been able to stop himself from forcing her...which might have been intended as a joke, but it still wasn't cool). But, those parts happened later in the story when I was already hooked and already loved the story and, while I still have an issue with those scenes, it wasn't enough to ruin my overall opinion of the book.
Moving on...I was really surprised to see that the book was self published too. I didn't even find that out until I finished reading (the cover should've tipped me off, but I didn't even notice that). There were a few typos in the story (a few more than I'd expect in a traditionally published book), but beyond that, it was really good. Not that I'm implying self-published books can't be good because they can be. It's just that I've had some bad experiences with self-published books in the past and most don't measure up to traditionally published books (not because the authors lack talent, but because the editing usually seems way less thorough).
But yeah...that was my rambling way of saying that this is one of the good ones and, typos aside, it's definitely as good as traditionally published books (better than some I've read actually). Next time I'm buying books, I'll probably buy a paperback version of this one too just to have it on my shelf.
I'd rate it 4 out of 5 stars.