Friday, 9 May 2014

Forty things to do before you're Forty by Alice Ross

The blurb:

The truth is that Annie Richards is just too busy to fall in love!

Running a successful cake-making business, acting as caretaker to grand country house, Buttersley, and not to mention single-handedly raising her five-year-old daughter is more than enough to keep Annie’s (flour-dusted) hands full! So can someone please remind her why she agreed to train for a marathon as a ‘40 things to do before you’re 40’ pact with her same so-called best friend?!

With every hour of day already taken up, the arrival of crime writer Jake O’Donnell at Buttersley shouldn’t really have any impact on Annie’s day-to-day life at all. There’s definitely no time in her carefully scheduled day for daydreaming about drop-dead gorgeous authors. Is there?

But between whipping up batches of her signature limoncello cupcakes, Annie realises that Jake, and his twinkling dark eyes, can’t just be ticked off her mental to-do list as easily as she though. Especially when it seems that no. 40 on her list could be creating a truly decadent wedding cake – for her very own wedding…

My review:

Thank you to Carina UK for providing me with a copy of the book via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Forty things to do before you're Forty is a feel good easy read. I found it very easy to get in to with a storyline that flows well.

The book centres around Annie, a single mother heading towards 40 and evidently thinking about what she has achieved, and what she would like to achieve before she reaches the big 4-0. Annie lives and runs a bakery in Buttersley. The scenes set in the bakery reading about her cookies made my mouth water!!! We also meet her daughter Sophie who is just so cute!

Annie has been given a list of things to achieve by the time she reaches 40 from her friend, her friend has circled some ideas already, some of which appeal to Annie and some less so. This is list is stuck on Annie's fridge and whilst reference is made to it a couple of times in the book, it is not as pivotal to the story as I expected it to be. The main 'thing' is to train to run a marathon. I got the feeling that Annie hadn't done much running in her life before, so entering a run as part of the storyline is a big deal for her.

Infact it is whilst out running she first sees Jake. Jake Is the handsome new guy in town, but there is mystery around him and his life. Jake predictably becomes the love interest of the book, but there are twists and turns.

I enjoyed the book even if it was very predictable from the start. I liked Annie and I wanted her and her daughter to be happy. She came across as a strong, gutsy woman who knew what she wanted in life, but deserved a few happy breaks. There was also a more vulnerable side that emerged as her friendship with Jake developed. I also liked Jake and wanted to see him get his life back on track.

I liked the setting of Buttersley. It felt like a real community. We meet her friends and neighbours and they seemed like the sort of people I would like to live around. You can see that she really cares about her friends and vice versa.

Being the wrong side of forty myself (or the right side, dependant on your outlook) it got me to thinking about what things I would like to achieve. I don't think I will ever be a runner but I have looked into doing the race for life off the back of this book.

All in all I would sum this up as a really sweet, enjoyable read that would be ideal for a relaxing weekend, evening or holiday.

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