Title: A Year of New Adventures
Author: Maddie Please
Edition: Arc by Netgalley
Genre: adult, contemporary
Synopsis A Year of New Adventures:
t’s time for Billie Summers to have an adventure … but it might not be exactly what she expected. Billie Summers has always been quite content in her little cottage in the Cotswolds, sure half the house hasn’t been renovated, but what’s the point when it’s only her! Working part-time at her uncle’s bookshop and planning 3-4 writer retreats with her best friend allows her to pay the bills. What more could anyone want? That is until Oliver Forest, the bad boy of the book world, turns up to one of her retreats and points out that Billie hasn’t done anything very adventurous. Couple that with her best friend falling head over heels and beginning to drift away from their Friday night wine and dinner plans, Billie is starting to wonder if it isn’t time she take control of her life.So she starts a list: get fitted (properly) for a bra, fix up rest of house, find a ‘career’ and well, get a tattoo … Her life might just get the makeover it needs, too bad irritating and far-too-attractive for his own good, Oliver keeps showing up …
Review A Year of New Adventures:
When I started reading A Year of New Adventures I thought I was absolutely going to love this story. Lets be honest it is about a aspiring writer who loves to cook. That kind of sounds right up my alley when we speak about things I like in contemporary romance. But while I was reading I soon discovered that this book was giving me some very mixed feelings. Some parts were quite brilliant and could have landed this book very high on my favorite contemporary list, but other parts made me cringe while reading.
Lets star of with the main character Billie! She is a very enjoyable character, a little bit of a mother figure, trying to take care of everybody in her life and sometimes forgetting about herself altogether. She is a sweet, compassionate woman who is still searching for her place in the world. She had a very distinctive sense of humor, that sometimes is spot on, but sometimes made me roll my eyes while reading. I really disliked the inner dialogues she had with herself. I know they were added as a funny note to the story, but for me they made it a bit juvenile. And that’s quite a shame, because Billie had a brilliant sense of humor when she wasn’t talking to herself.
Then there is the romance… because well A Year of New Adventures has of course a romantic story. A romantic story that really got up to speed in the last 50 pages or so. I didn’t like the way the romance was handled in this story. There should have been more romance or not any at all. I understand that the focus of the story was about Billie finding herself and that only a sub-plot was about the romance. But now it just felt rushed, like she wanted to give the reader something at the very last part of her story. Really it is 350 pages of exploring who you are, cursing that bloody awful men with his dreamy body and than suddenly 50 pages of passion, attraction and emotions flying around. And don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved those 50 pages. That’s why I think as a reader I was cheated out on some wonderful romance that could have enveloped the whole book. On the other hand I absolutely loved that Billie didn’t need a man to find her true happiness.
I loved the ending! I can’t say to much about it, because spoilers honey. But I could really appreciate that Maddie Please choose to make Billie an independent woman who chooses and works for her own happiness, without choosing the easy way out. Another lovely asset to the story is Not-My-Cat, Billies pet. Well not her pet. I love it when animals start to feel like a character in a story all on their own. And Not-My-Cat really added a little extra spice to the story.
All in all A Year of New Adventures was a decent read. Nothing outstanding, but overall fun and enjoyable. Ideal to spend a rainy day with a light book full of small delightful adventures.