Tess has run away from London to Saltburn with her small daughter and she more or less gives bridge builder Joe no option but to employ her as housesitter when she answers his ad. However, she doesn't fully unpack her car nor does she drive it again after she arrives. Joe on the other hand, doesn't tell her everything about the house and his life there, resulting in a shock for Tess when he is away on a work trip.
We follow Tess and Joe as they get to know each other and start to fall in love. The question is, when will they trust each other enough to tell the secrets of their past?
The north east features heavily in the book, which, as a Londoner who adopted Yorkshire as my adult home, I really like. And the theme of bridge building, both real and metaphorical, is strong throughout. The book is unashamedly romantic without being overly cliched and cheesy, very similar in tone to Pillow Talk.
Freya North's early work had a particular style that most either loved or hated. For me, she started to get really good when she introduced the McCabe sisters (Fen, Cat, Pip and their uncle). Her work from Love Rules onwards has got even better. So I was looking forward to reading this and I wasn't disappointed.
Freya North has matured into a writer who writes intelligently and with feeling about both the joy and pain of love. She's not afraid to get her main leads together by the middle (or even beginning) of a book, so we can follow their fledgling relationship as it matures through the stages of crush, lust and love. She often examines what love really means and this book is no exception.
If you liked Pillow Talk, you'll love this. It's not as serious in tone as either Love Rules or Home Truths, but if you liked those, you'll also like this.
And a last note for newcomers to Freya North's work, she writes very frankly about the bedroom antics, so if you prefer the bedroom door closed in books, be warned; but please read it anyway because she writes really well even if you feel the need to skip the steamy bits.