I absolutely LOVE Paige Toon's novels, I always get so excited when a new one is released and have it read in less than a day! So after waiting eagerly for Paige to bring us her next delightful book, I was ever so thrilled to be able to sit down and devour this!
Our main character Laura is married to the man of her dreams, and the couple are very much in love. After many months of happily enjoying married life and all it has to offer, Laura is brought down from her cloud with a huge crash as she discovers her husband Matthew has been hiding a terrible secret. Completely devastated and humiliated, Laura escapes to Key West for a holiday with her friends. While Laura's there, she finds there is an instant attraction with Leo, the sexy scuba diver. But Laura is still married to Matthew, can they save their marriage? Or is there more to her attraction to Leo?
I absolutely loved The Longest Holiday! I was warned by Rea to make sure that when I started this book, I had the rest of my day free, because I wouldn't be able to put it down, and gosh she was so right! From the first page I was hooked, and I read the entire book in one sitting as I could not bear to be parted from it, I just had to know what was going to happen next!
The setting of Key West was beautiful! The descriptions really made the place come to life and I could picture every scene clearly in my mind. It honestly felt as though I had escaped away to Florida with Laura and her friends. I've never been on holiday anywhere other than in the UK and France, but just reading this book made me want to book a holiday and go myself!
I warmed to Laura straight away, I really felt for her as she found out about Matthew, and I wanted to stretch my arms into the book and give her a hug. As Laura went away to Key West I desperately wanted to be there with her, and reading the book did make me feel like I was one of Laura's best friends, sharing in her life, her ups and her downs and being there for her on her holiday away. Leo...well, I won't say too much about him so as not to spoil it but please read the book! The romance in the book is wonderful!
Another thing I liked about this book in particular was that I was constantly surprised, I honestly didn't know which way the book would go, and it only fueled my enthusiasm to read on to find out what would happen!
Paige Toon's writing is always so addictive! It is easy to slip into the story, her words are very captivating and, personally, when I read her stories I am completely unaware of everything around me as I am so absorbed by her words. Paige effortlessly manages to set the perfect tone for when it is needed. There are lots of fun moments, and some romance, but there are also more serious and touching moments, and Paige slips naturally into it, having us smiling at one chapter, then reaching out and feeling for the characters in the next. I have enjoyed every single novel that Paige has written, and up until I read this book, One Perfect Summer was my favourite, but I genuinely believe that Paige Toon has really outdone herself with this book, and it's now my new favourite!
The Longest Holiday is another amazing book from Paige Toon, it has all the ingredients in it to make this a perfect book to relax with - romance, great characters and a beautiful location! I felt such a range of emotions throughout the course of the book - I laughed, my heart fluttered at the romance and I even had a few tears too. Pick up a copy and lose yourself in this captivating story! Brilliant.
on 9 May 2013
I loved this book, I really just couldn't put it down. Paige Toon is such a fab writer and just draws you into the characters lives, you are then hooked and have to find out how it finishes. A definite must read & I can't wait for a sequel.
on 9 May 2013
Another brilliant book! I look forward to reading Paige Toons books and can honestly say I'm never disappointed! Please continue to keep writing them as its always such a joy to read them!
on 30 April 2013
Wow! Got the book and finished it in under a day, it was that impossible to put down! I have all of Paige Toons books and my favourite so far had been Chasing Daisy, now I have to say it is this one, The Longest holiday. Fell in love with Laura and Leo, could relate to all the characters and even felt a tad sorry for Matthew at one point! So glad it ended the way it did though. What a fantastic story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Keep up the fab work!
on 3 June 2013
It's worth mentioning that I have never read anything by Paige before but the lovely beachy colours of the whimsical cover drew me in immediately (note to readers - I'm fully aware that judging books by their covers is ill-advised and verboten for a bookaholic like myself - but sometimes needs must) and if this novel is anything to go by I plan to spend much more time with Ms Toon in the coming, vacationless months.
The premise is an interesting one - what would you do if you were in the perfect relationship - married to a `beautiful' man who makes you happier than you've ever been, with no problems on the horizon whatsoever - and then you discover that the person you're in love with has done something so terrible before your wedding that you don't think you can ever look at them or your relationship in the same way again?
This is where we find Laura Smythson at the start of the book. Her response has been to embark on a two week holiday with her best friend and a friend of her friend - both single women looking for fun and adventure in the Florida Keys. With Laura mulling over the rubble left in the wake of her marriage and the decision of whether to forgive and forget or move on with her life, there is a disconnect within the group, particularly when three attractive men, also on holiday, enter their circle. It is on an impromptu snorkelling trip that Laura meets Leo - a some-time boat captain and diving instructor. Between her immediate attraction to him and the swift change to the situation at home (revealed just before she is due to get on her flight), Laura makes an instinctive adjustment to her plans which changes the lives of all those around her.
This book is incredibly engrossing and I just couldn't put it down. I felt sorry for Laura and the situation she found herself in through no fault of her own. She's a great heroine, vulnerable, yet strong and committed to the healing process, powerful enough to make difficult decisions that will allow her time and patience to work through her pain, but is no martyr to her circumstances. Leo, a fantastic romantic lead, is teeth-gnashingly sexy but flawed, scarred by family issues and at some points in the book, a virtual mute because of his desire for Laura and his confliction with her married status. You could cut the tension between them with a knife as they circle each other, neither wishing to be hurt again but unable to avoid the undeniable magnetic pull between them. It is a delight to read a romantic book where the leading male does not surrender their principles or characteristic flaws in order to be a `better man' and remains true to themselves - Leo is no submissive and fights hard to maintain his mystique - he never behaves in a traditionally romantic way (although he's incredibly brooding - phwoar!) as he's to afraid to show Laura the intensity of his true feelings for he fears that she will return to her husband following their liaison.
Always in the background is Matthew, Laura's husband, a man who made a foolish, drunken mistake which is highly uncharacteristic of him and is trying to deal with the consequences. A particularly interesting piece of story-telling used in the book concerns Laura's parents (and eventually, her friends) who are supportive of the ensuing outcome of Matthew's mistake, which further alienates Laura and drives her deeper into her life in the Keys. The expectation that Laura should forgive and forget and accept her new life is key in the decisions she makes. Make no bones about it, Matthew wants Laura back - but a future for them requires significant compromise from Laura and this is one of the driving issues of the book - should Laura go back to her life and tattered marriage to try to fix a relationship she feels has been irrevocably broken or should she cut her losses and start fresh with Leo?
The backdrop of the Key's is evocative and dream-like - I could visualise the colonial houses with their gingerbread trim and shutters, almost taste the cold beer that is consumed by the occupants of Leo's house in the garden every evening and the thought of spending each night with them sat on the soft furnishing used in lieu of patio furniture, surrounded by fairy lights, is extremely tempting.
My only criticism of this book is that the ending is rather abrupt but I understand this. It flashes from a life-threatening situation, full of tears and tension, to an epilogue where most things have been resolved. I understand the authors desire to avoid a chocolate-boxy, tearful bedside conclusion but still I felt a tiny bit cheated that we, the loyal reader, weren't there to witness the pay-off moment.
In summary, this book is delightful - a holiday in prose. I drank it down in great greedy gulps, like cold water on a hot day. You could do far worse things on a sunny day than submit yourself to reading this book - preferably outside with a daiquiri (there are nods to Ernest Hemmingway being a former resident of Key West so this would be most appropriate) and the sun shining down on you. I would prefer to be give it 4.5 stars as the ending is slightly disappointing (definitely not enough to spoil the book) but its definitely worth more than 4 stars.
I have always been a huge fan of Paige Toon, she is definitely one of my top ten authors and having read all of her books I can honestly say not a single one of them disappoint. When I was out shopping on Tuesday I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a copy of The Longest Holiday sitting staring at me days before publication so I quickly snapped up my copy feeling like a criminal! ( I did pay!)
The synopsis sounded intriguing and exciting so I couldn't wait to start reading. Laura is our protagonist and what a fabulous character she is. She is easy to warm to and she seemed so lifelike she is my favourite female character from Paige Toons books. After a revelation about Laura's husband Matthew comes to light she needs to get away to clear her head and have time to think about whether or not she can forgive her husband and save her marriage. Laura jets away to Florida's Key West with her friend Marty and her friend Bridget.
It's not long before her thoughts are distracted by the gorgeously hot Leo. But are her feelings for Leo just confusing matters more, I mean the holiday has to come to an end at some point surely?
The storyline was so captivating and fresh, I was hooked from the first chapter and so it soon became clear that this was going to be a book that you can't put down. I loved how unpredictable the book was there was no way of predicting what was going to happen next. The author also puts a pretty shocking twist towards the end which I never saw coming. The whole of the book was fantastically written the descriptive writing made you feel as though you were there holidaying with Laura and towards the end of the book the writing is very beautifully written and touching.
Leo is a perfect male role, when we first meet him he feels a little mysterious but as we get to know more about his character and his background you can't help but get a little hot under the collar when he is around!
This is an amazing read and I would even go as far as to say I think it is my favourite Paige Toon book. I was a little shocked by the ending I was still engrossed in the storyline and then suddenly it was the Epilogue! But we are not left on a cliff hanger the author ties things up nicely, although I would be more than happy if Paige Toon decides to bring these characters back in a sequel. The only problem now is I feel rather deflated now I have finished I think the characters and storyline will be in my mind for a while yet! Easily one of the best books I have read in a long time, a perfect holiday read.
on 30 April 2013
i love paiges books how you can really get the feel for the places and people she wrights about and that all the books link in some way. I couldnt put this one like all the others down so twelve hours after picking it up i had read the whole thing the only downside now i have to wait another year for the next
on 10 May 2013
Thank you Paige for another fantastic book. You are the only author that I always read every book so fast and I can't put it down! Here's to the next one!
on 2 March 2016
I'll admit right here that I regret not reading this book sooner. I met the lovely Paige Toon at a signing in September and she signed my copy of The Longest Holiday, but I didn't want to ruin my signed copy.
So when I was getting together my holiday reads, I excitedly skipped over to Amazon and bought The Longest Holiday for my Kindle and in seconds voila.
Anyway I digress, The Longest Holiday was BY FAR the best thing I read on holiday (I read 10 books) because it was just, I can't even word how much I loved it! I may have gotten a touch sunburned on my legs because I wanted to finish a chapter first. Big whoops!!!
Straight away we meet Laura, who's just left her husband of 7 months after he had a one night stand on his stag do getting the girl pregnant, big oh s*** moment. We have Marty, the doting best friend, who's whisked Laura off to Florida Keys to take her mind of the cheating hubby and Bridget, the travel writer and the reason the girls are in Key West!
After jet lag sets in Laura finds herself outside in the Floridian breeze and wandering off into someone else's garden, where she meets (through bushes unbeknown to them) the neighbours.
Leo, the love interest of the story is such a beautiful characters, he's mysterious and sometimes mistaken for being rude, when in fact he's just scared of getting close to Laura. It's wonderful to read their romantic journey! I think we've all met that closed off, stand offish man!
Paige writes about all the scuba diving trips and it sounds just beautiful, and definitely something I've always wanted to do! The whole description of Key West makes it sound such a gorgeous place to go. Paige really wrote this book with such vivid descriptions, bringing the book to life. I totally wanna go now!!!
A massive twist, which was SO unexpected had me sitting on the edge of my sun lounger! I really fell in love with Leo in the last few characters if I didn't love the characters enough!
on 16 February 2014
Remember Laura? Well, I just read Chasing Daisy and went on with this book, so I was really really happy to have her as the main character in this book. To be honest, I didn’t really like her in Chasing Daisy, but that was just because I wanted Daisy and Will to be together. I love her now!!!
Daisy moved on with Luis, Laura moved on with Matthew. Matthew, her gorgeous husband. Well, that’s in the past! Seven months after the wedding Laura discovers something terrible. Matthew had sex with another girl and now that girl is pregnant!
Marty, Laura’s friend, takes her away from all the problems, to the beautiful Key West in Florida. Sun, fun and nothing to do!!!
Her two friends want to party and meet guys, but Laura is not really in the mood. When she falls asleep the first evening, her friends go out. Laura wakes up and hears music in the neighbourhood. She decides to go for a walk and then she sees him... with his olive skin and his beautiful dark hair. What a coincidence when she sees him again on the boat, when the girls go snorkelling with the three American guys they met at their hotel. Afterwards Laura arranges diving lessons for her and her friends and is over the moon, when Jorge (the other diver) tells her, that Leo will help him during the lessons. So, LEO, that’s his name. She can’t wait for Monday to arrive and it’s only Thursday L.
The girls spend a lot of time with the American guys, there is one guy for each of them. Marty and Bridget really enjoy it, but Laura is not interested and flees. Practically into Leo’s arm. Not on purpose, but it’s nice and she is even happier when he invites her to his place, where she also meets Jorge. She tells them about the problem back at the hotel next door and spends the evening with them.
Finally, it’s Monday. When the diving course starts Leo isn’t there and Laura is disappointed. But then he turns up and they become diving buddies. In the evening they all go for a drink and the two of them finally get to talk. When a storm stops the course, he shows her the Southern Most Point and more. Then she tells him about her marriage and what Matthew did, suddenly Leo is really cold and stops their day. Laura is disappointed. Even the next day, when the course continues the atmosphere is weird between them. The next day, is the day the girls leave for Miami and so she spends her last evening at Jorge’s and Leo’s house and finds out more about them, Jorge’s sister Carmen and her boyfriend Eric, they all live there. She doesn’t want to leave!
Laura doesn’t enjoy Miami at all and at the airport she gets a call from Matthew. The girl’s had the baby and then it’s clear for Laura. She doesn’t want to return to Englang, no she wants to go back to Key West. She sees Jorge at the airport, because he is there to pick up his nephew and takes her back to Key West, he even offers her to stay at their place. Leo isn’t there when they arrive. She bumps into him the next morning. He is surprised, but seems okay with it. On the contrary there are her parents, Marty and Matthew, but nothing changes her mind. She helps around the house and spends time with Leo, they go to the beach, night diving etc.
Leo takes her to Miami, because she wants to buy a MacBook to work from there. They stay over night and Laura meets Leo’s ex. The tension is huge between Leo and Laura, but nothing happens (yet). It’s obvious that they’ve got the hots for each other. She tells him, that her marriage is over and when their back at the house Laura can’t wait and resist anymore. She kisses him and he first says no, but she convinces him and they become one (finally ;)). They enjoy every single minute with each other, mostly in his bedroom.
Out of the blue Matthew turns up and Leo is angry. He gives them the time though. For Laura it is even clearer now, what she wants and she tells Leo. Matthew goes home and then her mum turns up. Also her mum tries to convince her to return to England and to Matthew, but Laura loves Leo and doesn’t want to leave him. She tells him that, but he can’t say it back, he’s not the type for it (not yet hopefully).
Laura and Leo enjoy their last few weeks together, before Laura has to return to England, because her Visa has expired. They also talk about the house and what could be the future of Leo’s house. Then she leaves, Leo promises to call her.
Matthew tries everything to get Laura back. He even takes her to see the baby, but enough is enough. It becomes clearer and clearer that she wants a divorce and return to Key West and to her Leo. Why is he not calling?
When Leo finally calls and Laura has told Matthew about the divorce, she gets hit by a car...
Leo left his mobile phone in Key West and goes back there, he even starts to renovate the house, so that it could be a guest house one day. He tries to call her all the time, but she doesn’t pick up. Why?
After weeks of nothing Leo has a bad dream about her and thinks something happened to her. Then his world comes crashing down, when Marty tells him that Laura’s had an accident and is in coma. He immediately packs his bags and flies to England, where Bridget picks him up and helps him to see Laura. It is harder than you think though with Matthew and her parents there. When Leo doesn’t want to sleep and stays at the hospital all the time, Laura’s parents seem to realise how much Laura means to him. They invite him to stay at their place and start to be really nice to him. Matthew has left, so Leo can go see Laura whenever he wants. He finally knows what he wants. It’s LAURA, just Laura and he tells her that he loves her.
The next chapter is a few months ahead and Laura is back!!!! She is even back in Key West and she couldn’t be happier. She’s got the guest house and the love of her life.
An amazing love story with so much chemistry and atmosphere. Laura and Leo are meant for each other and their story is so gripping and emotional. We see Laura from a total different side and you just gotta love her. Key West is the perfect setting for a story like that and the reader can feel the energy between Laura and Leo instantly. I couldn’t wait to read what happens next and it was unbearable when Laura was in coma, you just want her to wake up, so that this loves tory can be complete.
Romantic, gorgeous, wonderful, gripping, amazing… The perfect summer-read!!!! ♥ ♥ ♥