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The Summer of Living Dangerously [Paperback]

Julie Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

1 Mar 2012

A gorgeously warm, funny and heartbreaking story about facing up to your past and finding out what - and who - you really want...

Alice Woodstock has her life under control. She's successful and she's happy - as long as she continues to ignore the hurt from her past. But when said past walks back into her life in the shape of Leo - the man who broke her heart - Alice is desperate for an escape route. She finds the perfect thing - a new job as a tour guide in a Regency stately home. But as she immerses herself in acting out the stories of the house, Alice begins to see parallels with her own life, forcing her to confront her feelings about what she wants and, finally, live in the real world.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (1 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755350650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755350650
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 318,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julie Cohen grew up in the mountains of western Maine, USA, and wrote stories from an early age, most of them involving rock stars or magic. After taking an honours degree in English from Brown University, she moved to the United Kingdom, where she spent three years researching fairies in Victorian children's literature. As this had very few practical applications, she became a secondary school English teacher, writing novels in the evenings and in the school holidays. She currrently writes full time and lives in Berkshire with her husband, son and about a million guitars.

Product Description

Book Description

Heartbreaking, witty and deliciously romantic, Julie Cohen is back with her fabulous new novel. Perfect for fans of Harriet Evans and Jill Mansell

About the Author

Julie Cohen studied at Brown University, earning a summa cum laude degree with honours in English. She moved to the UK to pursue a postgraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Reading and this was followed by a career teaching English at secondary level. She now writes full time and lives with her husband, a guitar tech for rock bands, and their son in Berkshire.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, touching and satisfying read 13 Jan 2013
By Monique
Format:Paperback
This is my first Julie Cohen novel and I loved it so much I'm pleased to discover she has lots of others. It's not often you find a novel that has believable characters with complex lives in interesting, but still believable situations, and Julie Cohen has managed to produce one.

I consider myself a woman of the world and although I enjoy a good romance novel I find many of the heroes totally unbelievable. Escapism is one thing, but the realist in me would like to think that it would be possible for the hero to actually exist. Let's be truthful to ourselves, girls, if there is such thing as a 28-year-old, incredibly handsome, powerful, accomplished, debonair, helicopter-flying billionaire sex-god out there, why has the world not met him yet. There are two heroes in this novel - both attractive in their own ways, both mildly flawed and both could be someone you could possibly meet throughout the course of your day-to-day life. The author manages to leave you guessing which one our heroine will choose, right up to the last few pages of the book.

I couldn't put this book down. I stayed up way too late quite a few nights in a row because I just wanted to stay with these well-drawn characters and find out what happened to them. There is a lot of historical detail about the Regency period and the lives of people during that time, which adds to the story.

This is an absorbing, touching, humorous, sexy, modern story which will appear to people who enjoy a believable love story. And a fondness for tight breeches, high collars and elaborately-tied stocks won't go astray either.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it and lived it! 14 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is something special. Julie Cohen crafts her book so well I could picture every detail and would love to see this adapted as a TV Series. It draws on a period of time I know so very well thanks to Jane Austen.

The story follows Alice Woodstock , who when we meet her lives in the attic of her best friend Liv's house.The story evolves as Liv marries and moves to New Zealand. This event is crucial to the rest of the story as it enables Liv's brother Leo to come home for the wedding and he and Alice have a history that is gradually shared with the reader as the story evolves.

To escape their history and the fact that Leo (so gorgeously described-yum!) now shares her home, Alice escapes to a local stately home, where she gets a job as a historical interpreter (dresses up in Regency costume and talks about the house and events in the period). This is a change from her `normal' job as technical journalist. Alice lives more happily in 1814 playing a fictional character and living a Regency life. Alice makes friends with her Regency colleagues including the dashing James Fitzwilliam. I think I would prefer that life too at times. It allows Alice to run away from her past and the hurt thatshe feels is portrayed so well.

We also become part of Alice's family. Her vivacious mum, her scientist dad (who I loved) and her sister Pippi. Pippi has her own story, but through Alice's family and Alice's colleagues up at the stately manor, Pippi's story evolves too and this in turn tells more of Alice's story.

There is a bit of a shocker in the story and I had thought I had guessed the root of Alice's hurt, but I was not prepared for what happened.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Safely brilliant read! 5 Mar 2012
By Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe" TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I loved Julie Cohen's 2011 release Getting Away With It, it was funny, it was fresh and I loved every page. Therefore, when I was sent a copy of her new book The Summer of Living Dangerously to review, complete with turquoise and lime coloured cover, I couldn't resist diving it straight away. The idea of the story being tied in with the Regency period really interested me, it isn't a period of time I know anything about if I'm honest so I was curious to see how Cohen would make it accessible to her readers and make it sound authentic without going overboard with the details. Of course, I had nothing to worry about because this was a joy to read, and I really did love the character of Alice and didn't want to leave her behind!

Alice Woodstock is a brilliant character. In fact, we almost see two Alice's throughout the book - Alice in the modern day, and Alice stuck in 1814 as well. Alice manages to land herself a job of playing a historical character at a local stately home, where the employees have to literally become the people of 1814, no talk of modern day is allowed, and they have fantastic costumes as well. Alice finds it easy to lose herself in this time, where she can escape the hurt she's feeling inside due to the pain in her real life. I loved how easily Cohen writes about the Regency period, and its clear that she has put a lot of research into this book, from the costumes, to the etiquette to life in general of that period, and it made for wonderful reading. I was totally able to escape 2012 when I was reading, and join Alice and co in their lives in 1814, and I loved it.

Alice in the modern day was a bit of a different story. Her ex-husband Leo Allingham is back on the scene after many years away, and Alice is struggling to deal with him being back in her life...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book - two interlinked stories.
The main characters are both scarred by the past and they are both trying to escape it in their different ways. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Rhoda Baxter
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Read
This is my first Julie Cohen book but it will not be my last, what a really lovely read.

Alice Woodstock is such a great character, the way that her life goes from the... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ian
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional, funny and very romantic
I closed the book with a buzz last night. This book takes you through the entire scale of emotions. I laughed and cried whilst cheering the heroine along her story. Read more
Published 15 months ago by S. Callejo Paterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
The Summer of Living Dangerously is a modern day story with threads of Regency weaved within.
I loved this book. I found it charming, witty, warm and touching. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Strangelybzar
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful romp through regency re-enaction
A `what would a Jane (Austen) character do?' romp set in a stately home. A country house rescue with nicer, livelier characters than the TV programme. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jan D. M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Dangerously delicious reading!
Julie Cohen's Summer of Living Dangerously is a fantastic read, a page turning, heart lurching romance that is rooted firmly in today, yet flirts dangerously with the all-consuming... Read more
Published 24 months ago by adrienne vaughan
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous
I finished this book a few days ago (and have read another book since) but I still feel bereft. This book was everything I love in a contemporary women's fiction novel and has... Read more
Published on 1 Mar 2012 by H. Redfern
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