I received this book for free for a Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Learning to Love by Sheryl Browne
Published by Choc Lit on 14th June 2016
Genres: Chicklit, Humour, Love & Romance, Women's Literary Fiction
Source: for a Blog Tour
Amazon UK, Amazon US
Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places …
Living in a small village like Hibberton, it’s expected that your neighbours help you in a time of need. But when Andrea Kelly’s house burns down, taking all her earthly possessions with it, it’s the distant and aloof Doctor David Adams – the person she would least expect – who opens his door not just to her, but to her three kids and slightly dotty elderly mother as well.
Andrea needs all the help she can get, dealing with aftermath of the fire and in the suspicious absence of her husband, Jonathan. But, as she gets to know David and his troubled son, Jake, she begins to realise that maybe they need her help as much as she needs theirs …
Previously released by the author. Revised, edited and republished by Choc Lit in June 2016.
Thank you to JB for letting me take part in this tour. I had previously heard of this book. I’m not sure if it was on twitter or goodreads or from another blogger but when I saw it was touring with Brook Cottage Books I had to be part of it.
The story follows Andrea and David, their kids and Andrea’s slightly nutty but lovable mum.
After Andrea’s house burns to the ground with all her worldly possessions Dr Adams finds himself offering to help her out. Her partner Jonathan seems to have disappeared so he invites her and her family stay with him and his son until they get sorted.
This book had many twists that I didn’t see coming and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip it took me on.
Sheryl’s writing has a way of capturing you, drawing you in so that you forget the real world. This is the first book of Sheryls that I’ve read but I’ll definitely be looking into her other books.
I don’t know how you feel, David, do I? I don’t know you, other than what you’ve told me.’
David looked at her levelly. ‘The truth.’
‘The truth?’ Andrea was really incredulous now. ‘Apart from the one or two inconsequential little things you forgot to tell me? Or was it more than that, David? Three? Four? A hundred?’
‘Two! Twice. Bloody hell, Andrea …’
And that made it all right? She forced back the tears she desperately didn’t want to cry in front of him, again. ‘And I thought Jonathan was being devious. You take the biscuit, David, you really do.’ Shaking her head, Andrea moved to walk past him.
‘I’m nothing like Jonathan, Andrea,’ David said quietly. ‘I care about you.’
Andrea turned back. ‘And Jonathan doesn’t?’ She knew in her heart that her relationship had been floundering long before the fire that had blown her world apart, before David … She didn’t believe Jonathan’s tale about why he hadn’t been able to contact her any more than his claim to have found Dougal in the park. He’d been piling lie on top of lie since that dreadful night, and she would tackle him. Right now, though, she was more interested in what lies this man might concoct to extract himself from his mess.
‘Did he tell you the assessors had been?’
‘I haven’t had a chance to speak to him yet.’ Andrea walked on.
‘He’s hiding something, Andrea,’ David called after her. ‘I’m not sure what, but the fire, his preoccupation with Dee’s mental state, his story … It just doesn’t add up.’
Disbelieving, Andrea whirled around. ‘You’ll stop at nothing, will you? You paint yourself as a poor wounded hero, torn apart by grief and guilt and the havoc you created, and then you have the nerve to point out other people’s failings? Why?’
‘Andrea, I … I don’t know.’ David shrugged hopelessly. ‘I just want you to be careful, that’s—’
‘I mean, I’m no great catch, am I?’ Andrea went on, her fury growing. ‘Was what just happened between us another one of your mistakes, is that it?’
‘No!’ David fixed angry eyes on hers. ‘Dammit, Andrea I do care about you. I—’
‘I’m going.’ Andrea turned away.
‘Andrea, don’t.’ David caught her arm. ‘Please. The kids …’
‘Don’t you dare, David,’ Andrea warned him angrily. ‘Don’t you dare try to manipulate me through my children!’
‘They’re getting ready for bed, Andrea. There’s no point in upsetting them tonight.’
‘Me upsetting them?’ Andrea was flabbergasted.
‘Jake …’ David swallowed. ‘Give me a chance to speak to him, Andrea. Please, I’m begging you.’
Andrea felt her heart break inside her afresh, for Jake, for David, too, who was going to have to live with the devastating consequences of his actions; for Sally, who would surely need her friendship now, but which this man had made impossible. For herself.
‘Stay,’ David implored. ‘Please? For tonight, at least.’
Andrea studied his face, saw the desperation in his eyes; eyes where so many conflicting emotions played out. How little did she really know him? She could have loved him. Did, still. Yet hated him.
‘For Jake’s sake,’ she said, dropping her gaze to his hand still on her arm.
Relief flooding his face, David released his hold. ‘Thank you,’ he said, closing his eyes.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: