Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Choc Lit (7 Oct 2012)
When is it time to stop running?
Coralie Casey is haunted by her past. Deciding it’s time for a fresh start, she sets up ‘Sweet Cleans’, a range of natural beauty and cleaning products, and escapes to Penmorfa, a quiet coastal village in west Wales.
Gethin Lewis thinks he’s about to put his home village Penmorfa behind him for good. Now an internationally-acclaimed artist living in New York, he just has to return one last time to wind up his father’s estate.
But the village soon disrupts their carefully laid plans. As truths are uncovered which threaten to split the community apart, Gethin is forced to question his real reasons for abandoning Penmorfa, and Coralie is made to face the fact that some stains just won’t go away.
We’re first introduced to Coralie as she’s in her cottage, revelling in the decision she made to leave her suburban and executive 9-5 life in exchange for her own business and country lanes. Coralie goes outside to find Rock (an abandoned cat that she’s nurtured back to health). This is our introduction to Gethin Lewis. He’s renting the cottage adjoining Coralie’s and woken up with Rock curled around his head. This is a very comedic scene and had me chuckling. The reader gets to know a little bit about Gethin’s history and why he’s in the holiday cottage next to Coralie.
What follows is time spent in Penmorfa, getting to know not just Coralie and Gethin but also some of the inhabitants of the village as they try to raise funds for the village hall. We also spend time in New York where Coralie goes to pose for a portrait which is painted by Gethin. As well as the romance between Coralie and Gethin there are sub-plots with Alys and her husband Huw, their daughter Kitty, and some truths that come out of the past history of Penmorfa.
As with all Choc Lit’s novels, we have our male perspective. Move Over Darling is written in the third person, allowing the reader to spend time with all the characters. The characters are so real that I almost felt as if I could touch them.
Gethin was quite infuriating at first! Dismissive of Coralie’s business … snide comments and an arrogant nature didn’t endear him to me. However, as we get to know more about his childhood and the reasons why he acts that way, with understanding comes a different perspective. Nearing the end of the story, he had me championing his side.
Coralie is intriguing. We know she hasn’t always been such a colourful character and that something happened which led to her decision to move away. When she comes back from New York she puts on the persona of the life she lived before, including her sober business clothing. Her past is hinted at and when the past comes into her present, causes misunderstandings. This intrigue was a page turner for me as I just couldn’t work out what it could be.
There is more intrigue with Gethin’s painting. After his exhibition in New York we know it is something different from his usual style but we don’t know what it is until the big reveal at the auction. This is another page turner! Still on the subject of Gethin and his art, I loved the reveal of who the person was in the painting that made him famous, Last Samba Before Sunset!
There are some Welsh words and their meanings that I’ve learnt in Move Over Darling. If you read my blog regularly, you will know I love learning something new!
Move Over Darling is a romantic read. It’s also a story about the two leads facing the ghosts of their pasts and for Gethin, looking at his childhood from an adult perspective and accepting who he is. The romantic sub-plots are also really enjoyable. Penmorfa and it’s people, New York and Gethin’s life there are portrayed really well. This is one of those stories that has the feel-good factor : )
I would like to thank the publishers for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Move Over Darling is available to purchase on Amazon, The Book Depository, and all good book stores.
I have it on good authority that Christine Stovell has also written a short story about how Coralie found Rock which is due to be published in the December issue of Your Cat.