Kate has always loved Charlie - they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn't always follow the journey it should.
But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won't it…?
It's been a few years since I reviewed Juliet Ashton's previous novel The Valentine's Card, although she has since published three novels written as Claire Sandy, so when Sara-Jade at Simon & Schuster sent me a signed proof copy of These Days of Ours with its eye-catching cover I wanted to read immediately. But sadly an overflowing TBR pile, work commitments and then ill-health have all played their part in preventing me from picking this book up until now.
We meet cousins Kate and Becca whose lives have always been intertwined as their families celebrated all the major milestones together. As such each section in the book begins with an invite to an event, such as a birthday party, weddings and even a divorce party, where we then get to read about what is happening in their lives at that point of time. This was certainly an interesting concept to tell the story in this way, rather than a continuous timespan, and I did have a few concerns as to whether I would find this all a bit disjointed but thankfully that was not the case and it worked allowing us to follow them through the highs and lows of life as they experienced love, heartbreak as well as dealing with grief.
It was definitely interesting to see how their characters developed over the years as they couldn't have been more different if they tried, Becca was quite selfish and seemed to only think about how things were going to affect her instead of those around her, whereas Kate appeared to be quite a people pleaser and put herself last. At times I found myself wanting to give Becca a bit of a gentle slap at times and tell Kate to stand up for herself more and what she wants!
Although the main characters in the story were of course Kate, Becca and their childhood sweethearts Charlie and Julian, we do also get to meet a whole myriad of secondary characters, in particular I loved Kate's dad, who all added to the drama and created some hilarious but also some emotional moments.
In a way this book had a bit of a One Day feel to it in that it follows Kate and Becca through various stages of their lives although the main difference here isn't the romantic connection between them, although there is an element to that for one of them which you'll have to discover for yourself, but it's more about how their friendship survives everything that life has thrown at them.
Overall These Days of Ours is one of those stories that had you experiencing a whole rollercoaster of emotions, laughing one minute but then left you feeling a little sad the next. I cannot wait to see what Juliet Ashton has in store for us next.