Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Sphere (27 Oct 2011)
- Language English
- ISBN-10: 0751545090
- ISBN-13: 978-0751545098
A Christmas fling, or has Janie found the real thing?
Thirty-something hairdresser Janie Johnson’s singlestatus is a constant source of gossip for her friends and clients. So after toomany nights in with her cat, a blind date disaster and news that her ex isgetting married, Janie realises it’s time to do something dramatic with herlife.
It’s time for an adventure!
Leaving winter behind, Janie takes the plunge and books anexotic trip to Africa. Her friends think she’s mad and Janie thinks they mayvery well be right . . . but then she falls head over heels for her tour guide– and fully fledged Maasai Warrior – Dominic. But can Janie now face spending asnowy Christmas back home without him?
I have to admit that having read and enjoyed quite a fewnovels from author Carole Matthews before my blogging days began (Let’s Meeton Platform 8, The Chocolate Lovers Club and All You Need is Love springimmediately to mind) I was really excited to be offered a copy of Wrapped upin You to review.
Through Janie’s clients in the‘Cutting Edge’ salon we get to know about her love life … and how she feelsabout romance. Having listened to allher regular clients about their love lives she asks herself ‘Is there reallysuch a thing as perfect love?’
We find out that her seven yearrelationship with ex Paul lit no passions for her and her best friend Nina’smarriage with Gerry leaves a lot to be desired. The awful blind date that Nina sets up ends in her beingstalked. The male stability in her lifecomes from neighbour Mike whose wife has left him. He is predictable, kind, always on hand – and hints of dating!
The reader comes to the conclusionthat Janie is a ‘plodder’. She likesstability, predictability, routine and has to be in control.
The key turning point is when exPaul tells Janie he is getting married with a daughter due to be born inMarch. Regular client Mrs Silverton hasalready laid the foundations with her photos of being on safari and leaving abrochure. Janie acts totally out ofcharacter – booking a holiday in Maasai Mara. Dominic is her personal Maasai warrior in camp, there to protecther. Their feelings for each other arethere from the very beginning. Making areturn trip over Christmas, reality hits when Janie meets Dominic’s tribalfamily and sees/takes part in some of their customs. Can this relationship work? Is love enough in the face of reality?
I did wonder how Carole Matthewswould take us away from a holiday romance into every day life and I wasn’tdisappointed. I thought she portrayed amixed race relationship really well. Not only the misunderstandings due to cultural differences but also howfriends and colleagues might react. Imust admit to being saddened at some reactions but loved the way her village inBuckingham reacted to Dominic! Plentyof incidences to make you smile J
And there’s Mike. Dependable, lovable, non-judgementalMike. Literally the ‘boy next door’whose love is gentle and warming.
One of my favourite parts in thestory was the Sno!Zone outing with everyone from ‘Cutting Edge’. Nail biting tension had me sitting on theedge of my seat. Would the challenge bemet or would there be broken bones?
Wrapped up in You for me wasabout watching Janie’s emotional journey unfold … Janie flowering from a womanwho had never experienced passion in life on any level and playing it safe to awoman who took life with all its passions of highs and lows and felt everysingle nuance of feeling (and not just in love relationships!) She ends up swimming in the sea rather thanpaddling in the shallows! She embraceslife, which leads her to the start of emotional maturity. The reader experiences the wholegamut of feelings alongside Janie – despondency, excitement, betrayal, love,passion, tears and laughter.
At the end of the story is the news that if you sign up for Carole’s newsletter (via her website) you will be able to read an exclusive short story which takes this one that one step further. After the acknowledgments is a lovely interview ‘A Christmas Chat with Carole.’
I am giving Wrapped up in You thefollowing rating:
I would like to thank CaroleMatthews and her publisher for sending me a copy to review.