on 13 June 2007
This book is gorgeous, simply gorgeous. The holiday-romance settings are fabulous, so real you can sniff them in the breeze, and the central romance is utterly compelling. The hero, Jack, is all man but vulnerable undreneath, just the way you love 'em, and the heroine, Beth, is feisty and fresh and has real emotional depth. The relationship she has with her family and home is touching and gives the book, for all its geographical meanderings and emotional ups and downs, a real feeling of rootedness running through it, and Beth a sense of ballast.
As in Phillipa Ashley's first book, 'Decent Exposure', there are hundreds of great laughs, both set-piece jokes (beginning with a fabulous van painted like a Fresian cow!) and a constant supply of characteristically sassy Ashley throwaway lines. Personally, I especially loved the office cactus, Brad Pott. There are a great cast of funny but real supporting characters, such as Freya the ditzy assistant, who will have you crying with laughter - and Beth's maddening rival, Camilla.
Just like 'Decent Exposure' this is a clever book, too (as you'd expect from an Oxford Eng Lit graduate!). Underneath the fast-paced story runs a stream of underlying imagery which gives the book depth: such as cliffs and jumping off them, and the contrasting pulls of adventure and home. Unlike a lot of books marketed as 'chick fic' romance, this one will stay with you in the days and weeks after you've closed the book.
'Wish You Were Here' has everything its predecessor did - jump-off-the-page characters, masses of humour, sexual tension you could cut with a penknife, heart-wringing romance - you literally won't be able to put it down. But it's also, in a way, a quieter book, a more grown-up book, which will linger in the mind, and make you want to rest your eyes wistfully on the distant Mediterranean....
on 9 January 2011
My favourite of all of Phillipa Ashley's books, a mature emotional little book that gives you a beautiful escapist read.
on 18 May 2015
Wish you were here, Phillipa Ashley
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
I love this sort of read sometimes, funny, light, and with a holiday feel to it. The kind of book you want for a beach read. It sounded so promising and it was a decent read but for me it could have been a five star one if certain areas were a bit stronger...still, I’m not the author – I can’t write! and it’s clearly going to be five star for many other readers. Everyone likes something different.
So – Beth; I liked her, hardworking but with ambition, loving, and devoted to her sister and dad. She’s been dating Marcus for a while, he doesn’t make her heart race as Jack did – but where did that leave her? Broken hearted. At least Marcus is dependable....and from my view dull, patronising and controlling. He sees her job as a kind of hobby, and doesn’t take it seriously – you can tell what he wants in a wife, someone to look after the home and family and be his support all the while, not wanting any kind of life of her own. Poor Beth, she deserves so much more but doesn't seem to be able to see past his reliability, so hurt as she was by Jack. She thought they were in love, he’d promised to find her once they were home but he just disappeared...Then she finds him at her job interview as the new CEO!!
Jack; he did love Beth, did intend to contact her but something major stepped in. He's always regretted the lack of contact but at the time he did what he thought was best, he’s never found anyone to match her since, and now opportunity looks like he might get another break with her. Between her hatred of him, the dependable Marcus and Camilla, a magazine rep who’s decided Jack’s a good prospect for her will he get a chance.
Well its a book packed with humour and pathos, hope and rejection, some fabulous characters and a feel of adventure about it. I really enjoyed it, the backstory is strong as well as the budding romance. and its a worthy four stars but had there been a bit more sharpness, Camilla really lived up to her bit chy role, Marcus been a little stronger rival, and more of the “sad” parts that I love it would have been five for me. As I said though its perfect for others, for those who want a fun, sexy summer read.
Stars: Four, a fun summer romance
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
on 28 August 2007
As with Phillpa Ashley's first book, 'Decent Exposure', this is a wonderful funny, sexy, romantic read. I loved the two main characters, and felt they were believable and the chemistry between them was great. Since finishing the book this afternoon, the story has resonated in my mind, making me smile while wishing the book had been longer so I could have continued enjoying it. I totally recommend this book to anyone looking to put a smile on their face and can't wait for Phillipa's next one!!
on 22 April 2012
This was the first book i purchased for my kindle and was a little skeptical at first as to whether i'd like it but it turned out i loved it. It was a great story and was well written but i love nearly all the books by "Little Black Dress" as i feel they are best suited for what i like to read, they are funny, romantic and serious without being over the top. Would recommend to other readers x
on 25 July 2008
"This one looks promising" is the opening line of this fantastic second novel by the lovely Phillipa Ashley - and I have to say, I'm inclined to agree.
It is a dreamy tale discovering layer by layer exactly what happened following Jack & Beth's whirlwind holiday romance eight years ago. The characters are well-thought out and engage you instantly - who doesn't fancy Jack or want to poke Marcus in the eye with a pointy thing?! (....just me?)
I love the different 'voices' within the book, particularly seeing events from Jack's perspective. This adds depth and at no time is it distracting from the main body of the story, which could have been very easily done.
There are also some great comic moments - the freesian cow-mobile is just crying out to be immortalised on the big screen!
I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys enveloping themselves in a great big squashy marshmallow duvet with a whopping box of chocolates - this is the literary equivalent.
on 25 October 2009
having not really enjoyed the authors first book, wasnt expecting much from this one. nice to be surprised once in a while. what a lovely little read, especially as part of it is set in corsica in summer which was nice after a wet and windy day in october. great chemistry between beth and jack, could feel the unspoken feelings. lovely
on 24 September 2012
Another winner from Ms Ashley. A funny heroine, a hunky hero and the breathtaking island of Corsica. Great stuff. Another one that is highly recommended.
on 23 January 2009
Another lovely romantic tale from Phillipa Ashley that will leave you feeling all warm and cosy. This is one to return to for a mood lift when you need it. Less steamy than Decent Exposure, and a more mature feeling story. This is my favourite of Phillipa Ashley's first three books.
on 16 June 2009
what a sweet wee book, i read it in a couple of evenings, a nice wee read before bed, not the usual gorey stuff i read but all the same a nice change