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on 30 June 2016
I was engaged from the first line in this extraordinary story of obsession. I won't explain the plot as other reviewers have done this, but I will say it held my rapt attention to the end. Helen Walsh makes us see her characters right to their core. The protagonist Jenn, who isn't sure of her place in the world, goes on a heart stopping emotional journey that can only reach one destination. The relationship between her and seventeen year old Nathan is fierce, graphic and sometimes frightening but we cannot tear our gaze away from the white hot heat of their games played against the backdrop of beautiful Majorca.
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on 20 August 2014
I was reading this on my commute and found the atmosphere so brilliantly described, the heat, stickiness, smells, that I felt quite disorientated when I had to step out into grimy dreary Liverpool Street!

I enjoyed the story, even if I did find Jenn's descent a little too swift to be truly believable and some of the dialogue clunky. And the sex scenes were terrible, I couldn't understand what would bring her back for more based on their first full encounter in the loo!

The ending was subtly done, it reminded me of Roald Dahl's way of ending one of his Tales of the Unexpected - leaving you teetering on the edge of a revelation and stopping the story there so you can decide what happens next.

Full marks for bringing the area to life, less for plot and character.
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on 1 April 2014
Not a comfort read but truly entertaining! Four rather unpleasant people thrown together in a holiday villa. At first I felt empathy for the main character with her weak husband & nasty stepdaughter ( I also have one of those!) but who's
The adult in that relationship? Bitter stepdaughters can be trying and perhaps that's why I was drawn to this book, that and the excellence reviews in the Sunday times. Saying that I'm in my 40s and would never in a month of Sundays be attracted to a 17year old boy. These days they still look like children to me! Won't give anything away but a great read about relationships and human behaviour in a beautiful setting. I loved it!
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on 7 September 2014
I was surprised at the favourable reviews of this book. It is well-written and started very promisingly. It is basically about an older, married woman lusting after a youth who is her step-daughter's boyfriend. This lad, Nathan, is an unbelievable character who is very sketchily drawn by the writer. It's hard to understand why he would have become besotted by the mother who is a fairly unattractive character. The mother, too, cannot decide what she wants and her apparent moral dilemma becomes very tedious towards the end of the story.
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on 29 April 2015
I bought this with the recommendation of Radio 2's book club, I wish I hadn't. I was under the impression that this was a first time author as it comes across as ameteurish, I am surprised that Helen Walsh has written other books. Needless to say, I didn't enjoy it.
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on 16 December 2014
Billed as a tale of forbidden pleasure and 'sexy' but also literary fiction by the Guardian, I was looking forward to reading this. However, I was disappointed. The author's descriptions of Mallorca were wonderful and I could clearly picture the scenery, but the characters weren't particularly likeable. I could not relate to Jenn, the main character, at all - she had no self-restraint in any area of her personality. The sexual scenes, far from sexy, were sordid and uncouth. I can only imagine the author did this deliberately to emphasise the fact that the whole thing was morally wrong. Not great.
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on 2 August 2014
This is a straightforward novel about relationships but it's beautifully written with a nice light touch. However, I found it hard to believe in the affair between a middle-aged woman and her stepdaughter's teenage boyfriend. The most interesting relationship, written with real depth of feeling. Is the triangle between Jenn, her husband and his daughter. I certainly enjoyed reading it and will look out for more by the same author.
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on 1 April 2014
This novel may encourage a holiday in Mallorca but not with this family. Yet at first all seems well. Soon you are wondering if it will happen, and then, will she get away with it. It's only semi serious though; a holiday romance with a difference. No-one dies, governments don't topple.
Ms Walsh lets you the reader end the book as a slightly tricky revelation is poised at the very end.
This is a sensual book both in descriptions of the characters and the scenery, closely observed. A good read-but keep it until you are safely home!
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on 20 June 2014
When I read the synopsis for this book, I felt like I was going to eat a scrumptious meal with a good wine. It was actually a sandwich and a beer. Please don't get me wrong sandwiches and beer are good .... Not compared to a gastronomic delight.
Jenn is on holiday with her husband,stepdaughter and her boyfriend. She decides to embark on an affair with the stepdaughters boyfriend whilst on holiday. Sounds a good plot? I thought so, except I disliked all 4 characters immensely. Jenn the wife is selfish,weak and self obsessed, Greg the hubby is wimpy and whiny,Emma the stepdaughter is ungrateful and spoilt and finally Nathan the boyfriend,devoid of any personality and a letch. I couldn't for the life of me understand why Jenn would fancy him?? So that took away the chemistry part between the two which should have been pivotal and he should have been worth the risk for Jenn. The ending was disappointing to say the least.
Why the 3 stars? The description of Deia was beautiful it made me want to book it straight away! The feeling of what's going to happen next was there throughout so you want to keep reading .... Only to find not much!
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on 31 July 2016
The first half of the book is really dull and the main character is selfish, boring and completely unlikeable. The sex scenes are fairly vile and the word choice for genitalia seems crude and out of place (and this coming from someone who will enjoy a bit of Jackie Collins and sex and the city!!) it's totally unbelievable and boring. Don't bother!
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