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4.6 out of 5 stars52
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 May 2005
As a devoted follower of Erica James, it came as no surprise to me that I enjoyed this, her latest book, Love and Devotion.
I think it is probably her best work so far. Harriet Swift (single with not a maternal bone in her body) promises her sister
that should anything happen to her, she will take on the responsibility of her children. A promise a lot of us must have made at some time, never thinking the promise would ever have to be kept. When Harriet's sister and brother-in-law are killed in a road accident, Harriet - who had everything in her life just the way she wanted it: great job, own flat to which she could escape and enjoy her own company,and a blossoming new relationship, in the blink of an eye she finds herself living back home with her parents and caring for her sister's two small and bewildered children. How she copes with learning to become mother to these two orphans makes for a warmhearted and thought-provoking read. She meets Will, divorced antiques dealer with two teenage daughters, who also thinks he has his life sorted. Until tragedy strikes in his life. Erica James deals with the subject of bereavement and its effect on a whole family with a sensitive and humorous pen. Liken the death of one woman to throwing a pebble into a pool and see the ripples spread. A facinating insight into human relationships with believable characters. I particularly liked the 'script' given to Will by the author. When you read about a fictional character you'd really like to meet, you know the author has talent! I thoroughly recommend this book for an unputdownable read!
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on 29 December 2005
I've read all the Erica James novels and i've yet to be disappointed. There are all fairly similar love stories, but they are written so well and the characters are easy to relate to, each one is treat! Although the book reaches its inevitable conclusion, there are a couple of twist and turns along the way. A great book to read curled up in front of the fire with a glass of red wine, or a fab holiday read. Fans of Erica James won't be disappointed.
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on 9 August 2011
This book is darker than most of this author's books, but otherwise is very much of a style and standard that her regular readers would expect. Her powers of acute observation and perception are very much in evidence and she has created real and believable characters. Anyone who has had contact with a primary school and/or school gate environment will find her school scenes delightfully apt.

I spotted the twist a mile away; not hard to do if you've read some of her books. I wonder if this was deliberate as she's too talented a writer to have lapsed into such formulaic writing by accident.

Negative things that I could say are few, but as always, I found her description of the sex scenes pathetic - she should stop at the bedroom door if she can't avoid such trite prose. Unless of course it's supposed to be funny - in which case it doesn't quite manage it. Another thing I didn't like was that I found Harriet's lack of decision over her lovers just too unbelievable - actually very believable up to a point but then when things had been sorted out and explained, her turnaround was just out of character - it's almost as if Erica herself had tired of this aspect of the plot and just wanted to finish it somehow.

Other than the above it's an enjoyable read and a page turner, although not a feel good book.

The premise is simple - Harriet, a single woman in her early thirties, has to drop everything and work her life around her dead sister's children. The novel, of course, is essentially about how she adapts, but it's about so much more - her sister's death has touched many lives and many people have to adjust. The lives of neighbours, old and new, are also interweaved.
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on 4 December 2004
Excellent story, very well constructed and with Erica James' usual superb writing style. I really enjoyed the book and can thoroughly recommend it as a compelling read.
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on 12 January 2007
I do highly recommend this book!

The two central characters are Harriet, a young computer programmer and Will, a middle-aged divorced ex-lawyer. Both their lifes are deeply affected by unexpected and tragic events.

When facing tragic events we have to basic choices: to surrender to despair or make it become an opportunity for improvement and growth.

With insight and skill, the book deals with how the two protagonists and their relatives cope with these dramatic situations and how these become the starting point of a healing process that will turn them into better people and deepen their understanding of themselves and of the others.

I really liked this book: the story is well written and gripping, the characters highly credible. I just found the ending when everything fits into place a bit disappointing.
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on 18 January 2006
Well what can I say...if it wasn't for having to revise for an exam while reading this book I would have happily read it all at once. The first Erica James I have read but if this one is anything to go by I'll be reading them all. Made me laugh and cry, an emotional rollercoaster but definitely worth it. A must for all romantics out there!! A++++++++++++++
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on 8 December 2004
Fantastic book which I couldn't put down. Made me laugh and cry. I so enjoyed reading about each of the characters that I wanted the book to carry on and on. It's written so cleverly about each character - you really understand them at their level. It's the first of Erica James's books that I've read and I'm definitely a huge fan already - have ordered the next couple of books and can't wait for them to arrive. Would recommend this to anyone!
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on 27 May 2013
I have read quite a few books by this author and always enjoy them. This was different however in that there were some unexpected twists. Love and devotion applied to all of the characters and not just the main one,Harriet Swift who is left to look after her sisters children following the untimely death of her sister and her husband. The book shows that love is a complicated matter but worth fighting for if you are with the right person.
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on 19 October 2014
there are many different angles to the story of a family.... but told mainly, its through the youngest sisters life. As she remodels her life though a tragic accident that effects her family. very well written! Erica James talent in creating a story that holds your attention through out lives of believable characters. I shall be finding Northbrook of
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on 9 July 2013
Making a point of reading all of this authors novels I find I am a little disappointed with this title, mainly because I found it a little difficult to "get into". However, as I read further things became easier as I got to grips with the characters and in the end found the whole thing as enjoyable as other titles.
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