I'm delighted to be on the blog tour for Never on Saturday by Sue Barnard and today I'm sharing my review, an extract and there is also a giveaway to enter too!
First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 9 February 2017
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Two stories, two heartbreaks: one past, one present…
Leaving her native France and arriving in North Wales as a postgraduate student of History and Folklore, Mel is cautiously optimistic that she can escape from her troubled past and begin a new and happier life.
She settles into her student accommodation and begins work on her thesis, concentrating particularly on one fascinating manuscript: a compelling and tragic tale of a cursed medieval princess.
Then she meets Ray – charming, down-to-earth and devastatingly handsome. Within days, Mel’s entire world has transformed from lonely and frustrated to loving and fulfilled. Despite her failure with previous relationships, she allows herself to hope that this time, at last, she can make it work.
But Mel’s dreams of happiness are under constant threat. She is hiding a dark and terrible secret, which Ray – or indeed anybody else – must never ever discover…
Sometimes when reading a novella it can be difficult to be drawn into the story properly or to engage with the characters. However Never on Saturday creates a good balance of interesting characters and a story that I really enjoyed.
I don't want to get into the plot too much and ruin the story so I'm going to try to be as vague as possible. This story at times reads like a fairy tale/folklore and I enjoyed both this aspect and the modern story. The dual stories worked well side by side and the transition from one to the other was well done and I couldn't wait to see what would happen next with both set of characters. As soon as I got to know Mel I really hoped that there would be a happy ever after for her character. There is a mystery surrounding Mel that had me wondering what was really happening and I couldn't wait to find out.
It really is a great short story with elements of romance, history, folklore and a hint of paranormal. The combination of historical and contemporary romance was a hit for me. This made for an intriguing story that held my interest it really is perfect for anyone looking for a short story to read in an afternoon or evening.
Romance, folklore and a mysterious secret all rolled into a short but wonderful story!
With thanks to Brook Cottage Books for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.
From Chapter 3
“Here you are!” Ray had appeared at her side, clutching two large white bread rolls, each wrapped round with a paper serviette. “Hang on to these for a moment, would you? I need to go back for the coffees.”
Mel laid aside the binoculars before lifting up the top of one of the bread rolls and peering cautiously inside. The bread itself was feather-light, and the filling consisted of two steaming slices of dark-pink meat, each edged with a strip of crisp golden-brown fat. Her mouth watered at the bewitching aroma, but she forced herself to wait until Ray had rejoined her and placed two paper cups on the table in front of them.
“So, this is a bacon bap?” she asked, as she handed one back to him.
“It is indeed!” He pulled the paper serviette aside and took a large bite from the roll, chewed for a moment, then closed his eyes as if in rapture. On opening them again, he noticed that her roll still remained untouched.
“Come on,” he urged, “don’t let it go cold!”
Mel picked up her roll and took a cautious nibble. The flavour was quite unlike anything she had ever experienced; smoky, savoury, salty and sweet, all at the same time.
“Mmm, this is divine!” she murmured. “I can’t believe I’ve lived for so long without tasting this.”
Ray grinned. “And you come from France – the spiritual home of good food?”
Mel nodded as she prepared to take another bite. “I’d always thought it was. But I suppose this must prove that there’s still room to learn more!”
They finished their rolls in companionable silence. As they sipped their coffee, Mel took up the binoculars and focussed on the tops of the pine trees.
“What are you looking at?” Ray asked.
“Those birds up there. What are they?”
Ray picked up his own binoculars and followed her gaze. “Oh, they’re crossbills. They feed on the seeds from the pine-cones. Can you see the shape of their beaks?”
“Cross-bills? Oh, yes, I see now. In France, we call them becs-croisés. I didn’t realise you had them round here. That’s probably why I didn’t recognise them.” She sighed.
“What’s the matter?”
Mel forced a smile. “The last time I saw any of them was in the pine forests in the Vendée. They reminded me a little of home.”
Feeling a tear pricking the corner of her eye, she quickly turned her head away and focussed even more intently on the birds. Why did such a seemingly trivial thing as the sight of a flock of crossbills make her so upset? But she would not cry – not here, not anywhere. She would enjoy the day. Whatever else might be troubling her, she would enjoy the day.
In fact, she had another six days before she needed to trouble herself about anything at all.
Yes, she told herself firmly. She would enjoy the day.
ABOUT SUE BARNARD
Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet whose family background is far stranger than any work of fiction. She would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.
Sue was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. She speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.
Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird”. The label has stuck.
Sue joined the editorial team of Crooked Cat Books in 2013. Her first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet) was officially released on St Valentine’s Day 2014. Since then she has produced three more novels: Nice Girls Don’t (2014), The Unkindest Cut of All (2015) and Never on Saturday (2017) – all published by Crooked Cat.
Sue lives in Cheshire with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.
Author page: https://www.facebook.com/suebarnardauthor
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1171386.Sue_Barnard
A signed copy of the paperback of Never on Saturday, plus ten runner-up prizes of a signed Never on Saturday postcard. (Open Internationally)
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