Monday, 30 April 2012

Books Read: Sheila O'Flanagan - All for You

Source - Received from publisher to review

Lainey Ryan's life is set to hit a stormy patch.  After a string of failed relationships, is history about to repeat itself with the boyfriend she really thought was The One?

To add fuel to the fire, her estranged mother is returning to Dublin.  A high-profile feminist, Deanna has always been dismissive of Lainey's choices - particularly in men.  Her stern lectures are the last thing Lainey needs now.

There's more to her mother than Lainey knows, however.  As she uncovers long-concealed family secrets, Lainey realises that everyone wants a happy-ever-after.  But sometimes you need to let go of old dreams to find it.

I first discovered Sheila's books when I was given a copy of Suddenly Single and since then I have read all of the books that she's released.  Every year I eagerly await the release of her next novel in paperback and this year was no exception except that  I was very fortunate to be sent a copy of the book to review by her lovely publishers Headline.

Lainey Ryan has the perfect life or so she thinks; a dream job working as a successful TV weather forecaster and a loving boyfriend, Ken, who she thinks is finally 'The One' after two previous failed engagements.   But what she didn't forecast is that Ken doesn't feel the same way and that he's more than happy to keep things as they are, living separately and only seeing each other a few nights a week.

When Ken decides to cool things down after attending a wedding with Lainey, she is devastated and tries to work out what went wrong.  Meanwhile, her friend Carla advises her to write a list of what she wants from a relationship to see whether Ken was the perfect man for her after all.

To make matters worse for Lainey her mother, Deanna, is returning to Ireland to film a documentary.  They don't have a loving mother/daughter relationship as Deanna couldn't cope with being a young mum so left Lainey behind in Ireland to be brought up by her grandparents.  But the one good thing that does come out of her mother's visit is that she finally learns the truth about her father.

Throughout the book we get to see glimpses of the history between Deanna and her daughter Lainey which explains why they have the type of relationship that they have today.  I loved the the main character Lainey and the fact that she was passionate about her job, and enjoyed reading the little weather snippets at the beginning of each chapter but I have to say I didn't warm to Ken at all, so I was particularly pleased with the ending, or Deanna for that matter.

The one criticism I have, and it's a minor point, is about the length of book in just over 500 pages which is certainly the longest book I've read in a while.

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