Sunday, 25 March 2012

Books Read: Christina Jones - Never Can Say Goodbye

Source - Received from publisher to review

It looks, Frankie thought happily to herself, like a proper fabulous frock shop!

Francesca Meredith has always had a penchant for vintage dresses.  So when she inherits a retro dress shop in the quaint Berkshire village of Kingston Dapple, it's better than winning the lottery.  Life is just perfect for Frankie, but it's about to get complicated when she sees a masculine vision setting up shop outside her door - heart-throb florist Dexter Valentine.

As Frankie tries her best to make 'Francesca's Fabulous Frocks' into a success, Dexter proves the ultimate distraction.  That is, until the village medium insists that Frankie's shop is haunted and Frankie starts witnessing some very strange shenanigans.

Will Dexter think she's crazy?  Will Frankie's terribly ordinary life return to normal ever again  Does she even want it to...?

When her boss, Rita, suddenly announces that she's moving to Mykonos with Ray from the market flower stall, Frankie is completely stunned.  Even more so when Rita then tells her that she's giving her shop, it's always been Frankie's dream to own a vintage dress shop but that's all she ever thought it would be.... a dream.

At the same time, Ray's nephew, Dexter is taking over the running of the market stall and he soon becomes a hit with the ladies of Kingston Dapple and the surrounding villages.  But will Frankie fall under his spell especially when she's vowed never to let herself get hurt again?

So she begins, with the help of her friends, to give the shop a bit of a makeover to change it from a clothes hire-shop to a retro dress shop with vintage dresses from all the eras.  When local villager Maisie turns up to offer a lending hand she suddenly declares that the shop is haunted which Frankie laughs off.

However, shortly afterwards she soon sees an elderly gentleman, Ernie, who is looking at one of the dresses.  She thinks he's simply a cross-dresser who's interested in the dress but she soon discovers that he is infact a ghost who hasn't managed to crossover into the afterlife to be reunited with his beloved wife Achsah.

She begins to wonder if she is going mad but when Dexter also sees Ernie she realises that she's not going stark raving mad.  What follows are hilarious attempts to help Ernie to find his way into the afterlife which doesn't exactly work out as planned...

The book is filled with the usual mix that you'd find in a typical Christina Jones novel; lots of humour, quirky characters, brief appearances from some familiar old characters, and of-course the odd romance or two.   This book is perfect for reading on a lazy day as it's not one that you'll want to put down once you get started reading. 

Thank you to the Little Brown Book Group for sending me a copy of this book to review.

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