If Only by Angela Marsons

Today it is my great pleasure to be joining the tour for the brand new rom-com from Angela Marsons – If Only. Yes. You read that correctly. The queen of the police procedural, the creator of Kim Stone, is only treating all of her lovely readers to a rom-com. I love Angela’s work, both crime and otherwise, so how could I resist reading this one too? Answer is, I couldn’t. My thanks to publisher Bookouture for providing an advance copy of the book and to Kim Nash for inviting me to join the tour. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source; Netgalley
Release Date: 06 July 2021
Publisher: Bookouture

About the Book

“I want Michael Hunter to fall so deeply in love with me that he can’t bear to be more than fifty feet away,” Cher declares to her best friends over cheesecake and wine. But what if she’s searching for happiness in the wrong place?

As Cher types up letters about overflowing rubbish bins in a job she hates, she dreams of Michael Hunter. He’s gorgeous, smart, funny and he’s about to become her new boss. But he barely looks at Cher except to ask for a coffee refill. How can she get him to notice she’s the perfect girl for him?

While Cher ignores the warning from workmate Dan that Michael is bad news, her friends have their own problems to fix. Sarah is longing to start a new life with a man who won’t commit, and bride-to-be Deb should be looking forward to her wedding, but her future mother-in-law is turning it into a nightmare from hell…

If only her fiancé could see it that way. So, when one summer evening, over several glasses of wine, Cher, Sarah and Deb stumble across an old book and decide to cast a wishing spell, they don’t think for one minute that it will come true. It’s just three best friends having a laugh and throwing some herbs around the garden. Or is it?

Totally unputdownable, absolutely full of laugh-out-loud ‘I’ve so done that’ moments, and plenty of emotional twists and turns that will keep you refilling your wine and racing through to the end. The perfect romantic comedy for fans of Shari Low and Sophie Kinsella.

My Thoughts

What many readers of the Kim Stone series possibly don’t know is that Angela Marsons, Queen of the West Mids crime scene that she is, also has form when it comes to the old Women’s fiction too. I read and loved her two none crime titles, Dear Mother and The Forgotten Woman, so it wasn’t so much of a leap of faith for me to pick up this title as it was a moment of wondering what delights she would be serving up this time. What I found in If Only, was a warm and often funny story of life, love and friendships, delivered through the eyes of three close friends, Cher, Deb and Sarah.

I think that any woman reading this book will find something to identify with amongst the friendship and day to day madness that makes up our three protagonists lives. Unrequited love, illicit affairs and cold feet, or at least strong doubts about forthcoming nuptials, maybe even just getting trollied on cheap booze whilst setting the world to rights. Most of us have been there are some stage. Perhaps not chucking the contents of your spice rack around the garden whilst trying to cast spells, but that’s a minor detail …

I really did like all three of the women in this story. Yes … it can be argued that Sarah should know better and being ‘the other woman’ is never a good look on anyone, no matter who they are. But she still had redeeming qualities, her love of her friends for one thing, and you do get the sense she is trying, even if the object of her affections is really not the perfect answer she hoped he’d be. Then there is Cher. Bless her. She’s the kind of woman I’d likely slap to be fair, mooning after her boss and missing the obvious. Whilst bubbly, there really is that sense that she doesn’t understand her true worth and, once again, the object of her affections is far from being the perfect guy either. Then there is Deb. Confident, strong and absolutely with her perfect match. She’s straight talking, forthright … and so absolutely full of doubt and insecurity about her twice postponed wedding that I found myself rooting for her. And for her to slap her soon to be mother in law. Can you tell I have a limited tolerance of typical female behaviour patterns …

The story is full of humour, a particular scene featuring Sarah and her family a stark reminder why you should never go swimming whilst drunk (no pun intended). But aside from those times when you will be chuckling along with. the friends, maybe even at them, there are some very tender and romantic moments too, the author kicking it up a notch when a certain someone finally makes his feelings for one of the three. friends very clear. But the moral of the story? Well, be careful what you wish for. Do the friends get their heart’s desire? Well, maybe they do, maybe they don’t, but tempting face has consequences and it’s very important to always read the small print when doing a deal with fate.

Funny, romantic, with a Lindsey Kelk kind of vibe (yes I’ve read the odd pastel covered book in my time!) its undoubtedly just a cracking good read. Fans of the author, and fans of rom-coms are going to love this. If you like audiobooks, then it is brilliantly narrated by Alex Tregear who really brings the friendships and their individual dilemmas to life. Definitely recommended.

About the Author

Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 4 million in 5 years.

She lives in Worcestershire with her partner and their 2 cheeky Golden Retrievers.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 28 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone and the translation of Dead Souls, La Verita Sepolte, recently won the prestigious Primo Bancarella award.

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