- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 3284 KB
- Print Length: 292 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Choc Lit (23 April 2017)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B071RKQ6LR
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 37 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,928 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Girl in Red Velvet (Choc Lit) (Charton Minster Book 6) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I absolutely loved this exciting tale about love, friendship, mistakes and choices. I found the cast of characters very real and engaging; so much so that they had me up way past my bedtime most nights because I was dying to find out what happened to them next!
Starting in the 60s, the author skilfully moves the story through the decades and into the 90s, weaving in some twists and surprises. I loved the time span in this novel. It was wonderful to see how the characters evolved and what fate had in store for them. A happy ending? You’ll have to read it to find out.
A beautifully written story that I couldn’t put down!
Meeting Harry Gale and Max Farley on her first day in Oxford Lily Denham - christened Red Queen by Max because of the dress she is wearing - soon becomes close friends and drinking buddies with them. Although similar in height and colouring, the two are poles apart when it comes to personality. While Henry takes his studying seriously, Max always needs to test boundaries and live on the edge. His womanising and outrageous pranks soon make Lily realise that although she is attracted to him more than Henry, he would be the worst mistake she could make. Yes, life with Henry seems a far more stable option. But in choosing stable, is she selling herself short? Her personal tutor Minnie Rushman certainly thinks so.
Max loves Lily but never seems to be able to put his feelings into words. When he discovers she has slept with Henry, he knows he can no longer stay and leaves Oxford. Abandoning his degree and finds a new career as a travel writer visiting extreme locations and often putting his life in danger (a sort of nineteen sixties Bear Grylls). Henry and Lily successfully complete their degrees with Henry joining the civil service and Lily deciding on a career in fashion - using her clever dressmaking skills to become as she puts it ‘the new Biba’. Living with Henry and concentrating on her career she feels settled, despite Max’s occasional ‘between travel project’ visits which tend to resurrect old feelings. But then a trip to India to source material for a new collection changes everything…
This is a wonderful story, covering three decades and charting Lily, Henry and Max’s lives and the changes that occur because of the choices they make along the way. The writing flows well and I loved the way the three characters interacted. I have to admit to having soft spot for Max. In the beginning you see him as someone constantly challenging authority and doing the most outrageous things. Then as the story progresses we learn the reason for his behaviour is deeply rooted in his unhappy childhood. Yes, I'm always drawn to vulnerable heroes.
For me it’s the sign of a good read when you actually care what happens to the characters you are reading about. I desperately hoped for a happy ending for all three. Did that happen? Well you’ll need to read the book for yourself and find out I’m afraid….and please do because it's a great read.
A well-deserved five stars
Ms James also manages to convey Max's bold, adventurous spirit without resorting to piles of adjectives. His character is amazing, as is feisty Lily's whose journey from a frightened girl on her first day at Oxford to that of a mature, take-no-prisoners, woman is smoothly transitioned. Harry's quieter ways prove a perfect foil. The author has a way with words that evoke images of the story in the reader's mind, and makes the characters real.
If you lived in the sixties, you'll be reminded of life at that time and how undergraduates lived (I'd forgotten all about Wimpeys), and the foreign lands that Max finds himself are so well researched and portrayed.
This is no mere "chic-lit". Ms James takes light literary fiction several steps further and goes deeper (there are three main characters, remember) and produces a story that will keep the reader on his/her toes right to the end.
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