In a beautiful southern Spanish town, where the sea sparkles and orange blossoms scent the air, the gates of a brand new apartment complex, La Joya de Andalucía, glide open to welcome the new owners.
Anna and Austen MacDonald, an Irish couple, are preparing to enjoy their retirement to the full. But the demands of family cause problems they have never foreseen and shake their marriage to the core.
Sally-Ann Connolly Cooper, a feisty Texan mother of two young teenagers, is reeling from her husband’s infidelity. La Joya becomes a place of solace for Sally-Ann, in more ways than one.
Eduardo Sanchez, a haughty Madrileño, has set out with single-minded determination to become El Presidente of the complex’s management committee. But pride comes before a fall.
Jutta Sauer Perez, a sophisticated German who aspires to own her very own apartment in La Joya, works hard to reach her goal. Then the unthinkable happens.
As their lives entwine and friendships and enmities develop, it becomes apparent that La Joya is not quite the haven they all expect it to be…
If you're a fan of Irish Fiction like myself you will undoubtedly have read a few of Patricia Scanlan's books over the years, or if you're a 40 something like me will more than likely have read them all! And she's back with her latest book Orange Blossom Days which follows the lives of couples who have all bought holiday homes in La Joya, a new luxury apartment complex in the south of Spain.
Irish couple Austen and Anna are now looking forward to enjoying winters in the sun now that they've earned their dues and raised their family, it's now their time to enjoy the rest of their lives in luxury. Texan's Sally-Ann and Cal still have their young family to raise but are in Spain looking for another rental investment to add to their portfolio. The final couple we meet are brash Spaniard Eduardo who wants to be King of the complex and his wife Consuela.
Also added into the mix are the community manager Constanza whose job it is to make sure that everything runs smoothly in the complex, and she needs to have the patience of a saint with some of the residents, and German Jutta, who now lives in Spain with her husband Felipe, who is hoping to be recruited by some of the the future residents of La Joya to source and furnish their apartments and maybe one day she too could own her own slice of luxury.
Out of everyone we meet my favourite would have to be Texan Sally-Ann who literally had her life turned upside down for her and her family by the actions of her husband Cal but despite everything that is thrown at her, she proves that she has the biggest of hearts when she's needed. And of course you couldn't have a multiple character story without someone that everyone loves to hate and that title would definitely have to go to Eduardo, he really did seem to have a superiority complex and didn't care who he had to step on to get what he wanted.
I will admit that I don't normally like stories that are told from the viewpoints of multiple characters as it can get confusing trying to follow what's going on with whom, but fortunately this wasn't too much of an issue at all and I found myself reading with interest the goings on with the various threads playing out throughout the pages over the course of a few years, although at the same time there were a few parts that I felt could have just as easily been left out.
Overall Orange Blossom Days was an enjoyable read featuring family and friendship at its core, maybe not classic Patricia Scanlan at her best but still worth a read.
So if you fancy jetting off to Spain virtually via Orange Blossom Days then you're in luck as I have a duplicate copy to give away, enter via the Rafflecopter form below. As with all giveaways on the blog, this one is open to existing followers of the blog as a thank you for your support... sorry I will have to restrict this giveaway to UK only due to cost of International postage as this is a hardback but I do have a few more International giveaways coming up next month. The winner will be selected at random when giveaway ends and contacted for their postal address to enable me to post the book to them. NB. Please do not add details of this giveaway to other sites without my permission.
a Rafflecopter giveaway