I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Reach For The Stars, the new release from Colleen Coleman. Thanks to Kim Nash from Bookouture for inviting me to be a part of the tour and for providing the advance copy for review. I’ll be letting you in on my thoughts in a short while, as soon as we’ve taken a look at what the book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
When Evelyn Dooley married her high-school sweetheart, James, she thought she was set for life. Now she’s twenty-eight, single, and fleeing to Dublin from her hometown to avoid the gossip surrounding their break-up. And all because of a test-your-relationship board game.
This was not in her five-year plan.
Then a chance encounter with gorgeous musician Danny leads to an unlikely friendship, and soon the pair are running music nights together in one of the oldest pubs in Dublin. For the first time Evelyn is following her dreams rather than someone else’s – and sparks are beginning to fly between her and Danny…
But when her savings run out and home beckons, Evelyn has to choose. The safe, comfortable life she left behind, or a new adventure with Danny? Will Evelyn flee back to the familiarity of her ex, or reach for the stars and take a leap into the unknown?
A laugh-out-loud, feel-good story of friendship, second chances, and romance, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lindsey Kelk and Marian Keyes.
If you are looking for a book which can make you smile and laugh, one that can warm your cockles while also breaking your heart, then this one may well be it.
Faced with the breakup of her marriage and a career which is going nowhere, Evelyn takes a gamble and heads off to Dublin to top and tail in a small apartment she will share with her younger sister. Unable to find work as a teacher, Evelyn takes the first opportunity which comes her way – working in an old time boozer which has seen better days. Faced with the prospect of the pub being closed, Evelyn sets about turning the place around. With the help of a few friends, including musician Danny, Evelyn is about to go on the adventure of a lifetime, taking her far from the future she thought she’d have into a world of possibilities, as long as she can open her mind, her heart and find a little bit of good old fashioned Irish luck.
Regular followers of my blog will know that I seldom venture far from the world of crime (literary of course) and that when I do, it has to be a darned good book to capture my imagination. I was really taken by the blurb for Reach For The Stars and so when the opportunity came round to read it, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. And I am so glad I didn’t.
This is a wonderfully entertaining story, full of characters who you absolutely root for at every turn. From bar fly Christy to pub landlord Colm, Evelyn is blessed by making some wonderful friends along the way. I loved the easy camaraderie between the pair, and the authentic feel of their friendship, relaxed and casual in a way that only Irish folk really seem to inhabit. Their friendship provides some truly light moments, but also one of the most poignant too. You need to read to understand why.
There is Evelyn’s younger sister Tara. She doesn’t feature much, but in the short glimpses we have of her, you can sense the closeness of the two sisters and her positivity really impacts Evelyn in such a great way that you can’t help but smile. In complete contrast you have Ruby, the grand-daughter of the girls’ landlady. Completely misunderstood and struggling with everything from life to school, all she really needs is somewhere to belong and a true friend. Ruby’s story is moving, Evelyn’s friendship a literal lifeline for the young girl. Truly heart-warming.
And then there is Danny. The musician playing on the street corner opposite the pub who captures not only Evelyn’s eye and ear, but her heart too. She arrived in Dublin determined to start again, without relationships, but it’s amazing how quickly plans can be derailed when you find the person who may well be your soulmate. Their relationship is beautifully drawn, finding just the right balance between sweet and entertaining, the two characters complimenting each other so completely, the chemistry so clear, that what happens is totally inevitable.
There are still surprises in there for them both, nothing can ever be that plain sailing now can it. Faced with tragedy, the possible loss of the pub that they worked so hard to save and an unexpected development, their relationship faces strains which would test any couple, let alone one where they have only known each other a matter of weeks, and where both of them have very different visions of their perfect future. It adds that element of romantic tension that you are looking for in your book; the conflict which could drive the couple either way. You can only hope that in the end, one or both of them sees sense.
Do they save the pub? Do they have their happily ever after? Does Ruby ever find the place where she belongs? Well… You’ll have to read the book for yourself, won’t you.
Funny, uplifting and heart-warming, with more than a hint of Irish charm, fans of rom-coms are going to love this. A top read.
Reach For The Stars is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Colleen Coleman is an Irish-Canadian novelist. She is the winner of the much-coveted Novelicious Undiscovered People’s Choice Award launched to find the next ‘chick-lit star’. She spent over ten years working as a teacher of English and Philosophy before finally taking a deep breath, scrunching her eyes shut, putting her pen to paper and vowing not to lift it again until she wrote the words The End. As a result, her first novel was born.
Colleen lives between London, Ireland and Cyprus with her very patient husband and very, very chatty twin daughters. Don’t Stop Me Now, her first book was released in March 2017.
Make sure to check in on some of the other blogs taking part in the tour