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I really don’t know why this book lay dormant in my kindle for so long, as I had thoroughly enjoyed the two previous novels in the series. All I can say is that once I started reading it, I was hooked and could hardly put it down. The story picked up seamlessly from Palomino Sky, and I was immersed in the lives of the characters once again. The characters, including the horses, the settings and their ongoing struggles sprung to life in front of me, and I enjoyed every minute I spent reading. Brilliantly written by the author, it’s a book/series I would recommend to anyone.
I was really looking forward to this third one in the Midnight Sky series and I was not disappointed. The family saga continues with Laura and James finally getting married and launching their new equestrian centre. Maggie and Peter are struggling with their B & B and stroppy daughter Jess, now with her own baby, is making life even more difficult for them. When Jess finally ups and leaves for America, leaving her baby behind, their troubles only can get worse and are not helped by abusive ex-boyfriend, Callum Armstrong and his cronies getting involved in the mix. Meanwhile Laura is desperately trying to get pregnant and is considering IVF but seems unable to talk to James about it. Family relationships are strained to breaking point. Jan Ruth's characterisation is superb as are her descriptions of the North Wales scenery. The book is, naturally, full of horses and dogs, each with their own diverse personalities. I have loved every one of this series. She claims this is the last of the trilogy but I can't help feeling that there could be more to come, perhaps from the younger characters, who she depicts so well. An excellent five star read.
I was looking forward to this - the third book in the Midnight Sky series having read and enjoyed the two earlier ones. I wasn’t disappointed. The main characters, Laura and James, had been through a lot in the first two novels, but the start of Strawberry Sky sees them married and ready to get on with their lives. But now there is a set of new challenges for them to overcome. James is still recovering from the serious injuries he received in the second book and Callum Armstrong, the man believed to be responsible for those injuries, is still around and making his presence felt. James and Laura are also trying to establish a new business at their riding stables and then there’s the matter of Laura, desperate to have a baby but failing to conceive. As in the earlier books, Laura’s sister Maggie and her family also play a major part in the story as their problems continue to impact on both Laura and James. The supporting cast, including Rob the vet, and Laura’s assertive friend Carla, as well as the employees at the stable continue to feature strongly. And there’s a brilliant new addition of a young woman who comes to work at the stables and who has quite an effect on Laura. So there’s plenty to keep the reader turning the pages. As always Jan Ruth’s characters are credible, three-dimensional and fascinating, and the setting of the Welsh mountains and countryside is beautifully drawn. As in the earlier books the healing power of being with horses features strongly too. Yes all the features of a Jan Ruth novel are here - main characters who’ve lived long enough to have significant back-stories, stunning settings, and a satisfying and well-handled plot. All in all a first –class read. Incidentally you don’t have to have read Midnight Sky and Palomino Sky first in order to enjoy Strawberry Sky, but I recommend you do – just for the sheer enjoyment.
Well worth the five star rating everyone is giving this story. Jan's writing is so professional with in-depth insights to her characters and their lives. They are so believable and Jess, the mixed up teenage mum, makes you want to shake her till her teeth rattle but love her through her adolescent trauma too. Maggie and Pete are hard working parents and don't deserve their wayward daughter's determined efforts to derail them. Then there is Ellie, the quiet daughter who needs attention too.
Laura's relationship with James is complex but rooted in a deep love and at last she is married and settled but her desperate need for a child brings its own problems. All of these lives are mixed and jumbled at the melting pot of the riding school where the horses and other animals make the pages come alive with laughter and tears
Well done, Jan, this is another excellent read and I look forward to the next one.
This is the third in the Midnight Sky series, set in North Wales, with a wonderful cast of characters, human and equine. James and Laura, the romantic hero and heroine of the earlier books, finally get married, and their drama revolves around Laura’s desperation to get pregnant, but my sympathy is more with her sister Maggie, less obsessed with colour schemes and more concerned with surviving from day to day, her efforts to run a successful business hamstrung by her hopeless daughter Jess (who I would really like to send to a boot camp for a couple of years), her baby grandson, who she is left to care for, and his monstrous father who is intent on wrecking everyone’s life. Plenty of emotion, plenty of drama, and plenty of satisfaction. A great read.
I loved getting drawn into the lives of these characters again, Laura the let's get it done type and James the exact opposite but complement each other, you can feel James love and understanding of the horses in his charge, Maggie, Laura's sister and her husband Peter going through a hard time their nightmare daughter Jess who you really want to throttle. Rob the vet came into his own in this book and a good friend to have even if he is a bit of a hothead at times. Always love how the author describes the scenery of North Wales you get the feeling of knowing so well even if you have never been there. Really would love one more book with this lot in it. A great read, well recommended .
Another fabulous read from this author - great writing (... you actually forget you're reading and just 'see' the action). Please hurry and get the next instalment written Jan Ruth - I can't wait to hear what happens next.
The novel emerges you right into the heart of the complex lives of sisters, Laura and Maggie, as we follow the next chapter of their story. And it’s an emotional one! The author embraces the world we find ourselves, amid the wild open hills of North Wales, and that confidence shines through in her writing. Well-paced, this story plays with the reader’s sympathies and loyalties, reeling you in right from the start, into their world so we care about the outcome of the characters. I particularly enjoyed the excellent twist in the tale. Laura has lots to celebrate in her life. James is on the road to recovery following his near death accident, and the equine business is booming with plans for further expansion. But there are dark shadows also; her desire to get pregnant threatens her marriage, plus her worries about family ‘bad blood’ remain unresolved. Maggie has her own family crisis to manage. Her daughter, Jess, flees to America leaving her (literally) holding baby, Krystal, and Pete has a health scare that could shatter their world. But with Jess, nothing is ever simple, and trying to keep the family together and find time for herself becomes a challenge. It was a real joy to be back in this equine-based world and in the remoteness and beauty of the North Wales setting. The location and local characters as always brought another dimension to the story. And this story is a page turner, full of dramatic highs and lows, it grips the reader to the very end. I read the whole book over one weekend, with the need to read more mixed with the dread of reaching the final page. Knowing it was the final book of the series, I thought the author did a brilliant job in bringing all of the threads together into a satisfying conclusion – although I secretly hope she decides to write more in the series in the future.