Because love is always worth the risk...It's New Year's Eve, and Gemma and Spencer Bailey are throwing a house party. There's music, dancing, champagne and all their best friends under one roof. It's going to be a night to remember.Also at the party is Caitlin, who has returned to the village to pack up her much-missed mum's house and to figure out what to do with her life; and Saffron, a PR executive who's keeping a secret which no amount of spin can change. The three women bond over Gemma's dodgy cocktails and fortune cookies, and vow to make this year their best one yet.But as the months unfold, Gemma, Saffron and Caitlin find themselves tested to their limits by shocking new developments. Family, love, work, home - all the things they've taken for granted are thrown into disarray. Under pressure, they are each forced to rethink their lives and start over. But dare they take a chance on something new?
The Year of Taking Chances is published by Pan Macmillan on 1 January 2015 and is Lucy Diamond's ninth novel. I'm a huge fan of Lucy Diamond's books and have reviewed three of her previous novels here on Random Things; The Beach Cafe (July 2011), Me and Mr Jones (May 2013) and One Night In Italy (March 2014)
New Year's Eve; the night of expectation and hope, of making promises to yourself and contemplating the past year. The night that is hyped up as the beginning of something much better, but sadly, often turns into a night of tears and regrets.
Three woman are brought together on this particular New Year's Eve. Gemma, who is hosting the glittering party for most of the villagers, happily married and still madly in love with her husband Spencer, mother to two children and proud mortgage-holder of a house 'with potential'.
Caitlin, grieving for her mother, at a crossroads in her life and wondering what to do next and Saffron who is hiding from the world in a rented cottage with a temperamental electricity supply and decidedly dodgy interior design.
These three women bond, they crack open some fortune cookies and consider their fate. Each one of them is determined that the next year will be the best, they are going to throw caution to the wind and take chances.
What follows is a year of unexpected happenings. There are accidents at work, teenage angst, returning Mothers, mothers who aren't what they seemed, babies, love lost and found and a whole host of intriguing, funny and wonderfully created characters to support the women in their lives.
From Bunty, the celebrity client who makes Saffron's life almost unbearable, to Bernie the pub landlord with a bad memory but a heart of gold. There's Spencer; the husband who can't deal with being out of action, and Max and Henry; the hard-to-get, easy to misunderstand but gorgeous men.
There's something about Lucy Diamond's writing that really appeals to me. She creates characters who just jump from the page, who are so real, with everyday problems and almost begin to feel like real friends. I was totally caught up with these characters whilst I was reading, I really cared about them and was rooting for them so much.
The story is so easy to read, with parts that are laugh-out-loud funny, and parts that will touch the reader's heart. There are serious issues that are dealt with sympathetically but not lightly. Each of the women have their own particular story, yet they are all weaved together so seamlessly.
The Year of Taking Chances is another triumph for Lucy Diamond, her fans will be delighted by this, and new readers will become fans immediately. This is a real treat, a story that will transport the reader into the world of the characters.
|Meeting Lucy Diamond at Waterstone's, Doncaster|
My thanks to the team at Pan Macmillan who sent my copy for review.
I've been lucky enough to meet Lucy a few times now, and she is a lovely as her books.
Lucy Diamond lives in Bath with her husband and their three children. One Night In Italy is her eighth novel. When she isn't slaving away on a new book (ahem) you can find her on Twitter @LDiamondAuthor.
She also has a website www.lucydiamond.co.uk