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4.5 out of 5 stars
Sealed With A Kiss
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Price:£2.99
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2013
After being dumped by her boyfriend, Kate escapes to the Scottish island of Auchenmor to start a new job (with a cottage included). She quickly falls in love with the island life and wildlife. Kate swears to stay off men for a whole year, but will she be able to resist the temptation of young sexy Scotsmen?

I loved this book from start to finish! It's such a great and comforting read. Rachael wrote this book from a 3rd person narrative which I am usually not a big fan of (I feel it is always more difficult to connect with the characters in this way) but it works beautifully in this chick-lit novel. I think it is due to the author's talent for capturing emotions and feelings from a wide range of characters. By the end of the book I had the feeling as if I was living on the island and made friends with all these wonderful and kind people.

I really enjoyed the way Rachael described the blissful and peaceful island life. Every single character the reader is introduced to is so welcoming and friendly (apart from one of them - but enough said here - I don't want to give the slight twist of the story away).

I believe this book is a chick-lit novel in its truest form. It left me feeling all warm and gooey (what a cliche, I know but true :-). The whole book and its characters are very endearing and I was sad to reach the ending of the book (I could have read on for ages...). I can hugely recommend this amazing read. This is Rachael's debut novel and I cannot wait to read more of her books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2014
Firstly thank you so much to Pan for approving me for this ARC via NetGalley. I was drawn in by the gorgeous cover and I’m so glad I requested it!

The story mostly takes place on the fictional Scottish island of Auchenmor and is all about main character Kate’s fresh start in a new job, new home and new country. The island is as far from her life in Cambridge as it could be and she’s determined to prove everyone who thinks she won’t stick it out wrong.

I loved main character Kate. I think her character had substance and was maybe a little more mature for her age than what she should have been and I felt like a lot of that was down to her family circumstances. I loved that this fresh start was spontaneous for her and that she just grabbed the opportunity for change. It was gutsy and bold and I loved the strength it added to her character.

The island and its inhabitants win Kate over almost immediately and they will win you as a reader over too. Each character has something different to offer Kate but there is a real sense of community which islands seem to be famous for and that is prevalent throughout the story. When I read it, it felt like that tight-knit community was just what Kate needed to find her place in the world and to grow in confidence in herself and her ability.

One thing I adored about this book was the setting! I used to live right next door to a country estate so that really appealed to me. I lost myself in the cottage renovations and the thought of bringing life back to the big old house. Also being Scottish myself and having visited a few of our islands I felt like it was totally believable throughout and loved that some stereotypical elements of island life had snuck in.

I loved Rachel’s writing throughout. It has a charming chicklit style that just pulled me in from the very beginning. It was a really easy read and I devoured it in nearly one sitting. I can’t wait to read more from Rachael.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2013
I read this book in front of a fire, surrounded by tissues and cold remedies, but it would lift your spirits wherever and however you picked it up. It is compelling, plausible, and effortless to read - and yet defies the chick lit label I tend to avoid, maybe because the story is firmly anchored to the Scottish island landscape. I believed in it the way I believe in a Jane Austen or Thomas Hardy novel, and for a first book that is a very rare trick to pull off.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I’m really quite fussy about the chick lit that I enjoy – the characters need to have a little depth (with minimal shopping and fashion), there needs to be a good engaging story with a little more than simply boy meets girl, there must be a little light and dark, and the supporting characters need to be as well drawn as the main ones. And the writing needs to be good – just because a book isn’t a major prize contender, it doesn’t mean that the writing should be inferior in any way. And I’m delighted to report that Sealed With A Kiss delivered at every level for me.

I loved Kate as the main character – having lost boring Ian, she decides to take a job as a girl friday on a remote Scottish island in exchange for somewhere to live, with no real idea of what the job entails. She decides to get a dog and give up men for a while – the first she does, the second proves rather more of a challenge. The contenders to become the man in her life are perfect, and her encounters fraught with misunderstandings – and things are made all the more difficult when you’re living your life under the keen eye of the community, where everyone knows everyone else’s business and every move is up for community discussion. I really liked the way her character was built and developed throughout the story – while you might be a little luke-warm towards her at the start of the book, the apparent airhead is soon forgotten and you’re soon entirely on her side, groaning at her mistakes, cheering her successes and hoping things will turn out well for her.

There are many wonderful characters in this book – the hunky gamekeeper Tom MacKelvie, Bruno from the ice-cream parlour, faithful housekeeper Jean, even Kate’s difficult mother – with the scenery of the island of Auchenmor as a further character in its own right. The island is quite perfectly drawn, with its dramatic scenery and the wildlife that is central to the story, and I loved the descriptions of the attempts being made to revitalise it and bring in visitors: in fact, I was rather disappointed to find it doesn’t exist, but the island of Bute on which it’s based is now very much on my “must visit” list.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book – a remarkably accomplished first novel from Rachael Lucas, a wonderful feel-good read with perfectly judged humour, and believable romance and a range of friendships that bring a tear to your eye and a warm glow to your heart.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2013
It was the book version of easy listening. Lovely story, good characters, nothing too taxing. Makes me want to do a (well overdue) tour of the Scottish Highland and Islands. Recommended reading, should be more than 77p!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2013
chick lit that's warm, funny, clever and with three dimensional characters that you will laugh along with. I'd recommend this book wholeheartedly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2013
Kate is single after 5 years in a stagnant relationship and accepts a position on a Scottish island as part of a plan for a fresh start. On the island she makes lots of wonderful new friends, discovers new talents and experiences a whole new way of life.
she also meets Roderick...!

This is a charming romance novel. The characters are beautifully described and the story is set against a wonderfully depicted backdrop I want to leave here and live there myself!!! I finished the book in an afternoon, but it was nice afternoon and I recommend the book to everyone.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2013
I read this in one sitting. The imagery created is great & it was one of those books when you look up you're surprised you're sat in your lounge & not actually in one of the scenes. I expected to look out onto a beach with seals. The characters are well developed & all believable. I just need to go off & find my own Scottish island now, only trouble is I hate whiskey!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2013
Loved the story
Loved the charecters.
Fell in love with the island, sounds amazing, really want to go there
and find my own Roddy or Finn.
Hope there is a sequel ...
Can't wait.
Found authors website talesfromthevillage.com
Gorgeous picture
of Willow the puppy, Flora the baby grey seal and really beautiful scenery.
A MUST READ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2015
I can't believe it took me so long to finally read Sealed with a Kiss. What a beautiful story! But what I think stole my heart completely was the setting. All I want to do now is leave everything behind and live in a Scottish island with views to the sea and seals as my friends. Well, and if there's a gorgeous Laird too around, I wouldn't mind at all.

Kate is 26, jobless, homeless and boyfriendless (and a bit lost too) so when she reads an ad to be a Girl Friday in a remote island she takes it, even if she has no idea what a Girl Friday is supposed to do. Which doesn't impress her new boss at the slightest. But as the story unfolds, we see how Kate starts feeling a bit less lost and more at home at the island. She gains self-confidence and starts showing what she is capable of. She is such a lovely girl and I really enjoyed reading about her progress.

But apart from the Laird himself, the island is full of fun, quirky characters that need to know everything about everyone but that also make Kate part of their big family. They were all so friendly. Well almost all, there was some bitchiness in the air too to make the story more interesting. But all in all, I think all the characters were believable and well developed and Rachael gave us snippets of their individual stories so they felt like old friends to me.

Sealed with a Kiss is a lovely and sweet story about finding your place in the world (in the most unexpected way), and believing in yourself and in love. A real feel-gooey-inside read with a stunning setting. I can't wait to read more by Rachael Lucas now.
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