Whilst I have many of this author’s back catalogue to catch up on, I am always delighted to be able to read her latest novel.
And if you have just broken into a bit of Take That when you read the title, then trust me the book is for you! But even if you are ambivalent over Gary Barlow, et al this is still a wonderful story which tugs at the heart-strings and in fact made me cry!
Ruby is single again, divorced, new job, new place to live and she wants to embrace everything, she does not want to get involved with anyone and certainly not seriously.
Mason Soames is the boss where Ruby works and has a nickname worthy of any lothario. Ruby has been warned but there is something about him, which excites Ruby, which means she throws all caution and reason to the wind. Trouble is he seems to be missing something
Joe Edwards, is Ruby’s initial scuba diving instructor (you have to read the book to see how she manages to get into that situation!) and he is everything that Mason is not, especially as he comes with two teenage children and an ex-wife.
Charlie is Ruby’s friend and she is determined to make sure that Ruby makes the right choices for her future and that if all else fails there is always Gary Barlow to fall back on. The dream is always best, the reality no doubt would be disappointing.
Looking back now I have finished the book, a lot is packed into Ruby’s life in these pages. She is trying to make her way as a new woman and she tries many things. Some not necessarily are her thing, but she embraces most of them with enthusiasm even if they are not to be repeated. Through all her ups and downs she relies on Charlie as her friend and Carole Matthews has a way of showing wonderfully strong female friendships within her novels.
Of course there is plenty of romance thrown in along with the laughs but as I approached the end of the book which I did not want to end, I was worried about Ruby and the choice she was going to make. I had a little cry at the one she did make, but I am not telling you if that was tears of joy or sorrow, you will have to read the book yourself to see. Whether she made the right one, no one knows as the characters can only live on in our imaginations unless the author decides to pick them up again.
A great book, which might have overdone the Take That/Gary Barlow obsession a bit too far for my liking, but was probably well researched and there is no doubt many fans out there who experience what Carole Matthews was showing us. Carole has an ability to tap into the moment, the time, the world which we see around us and present it in a such a lovely way, you can forget all the bad things out there as you lose yourself in this book.
I highly recommend this book.
Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
Million Love Songs is out now in Hardback/Kindle and in paperback in March.