Wish You Were Here by Phillipa Ashley
Publication Date: June 2011
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: Paperback, 304pp
(Received for review from Sourcebooks)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
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Excerpt from Wish You Were Here
Synopsis (Book Blurb):
Beth Allen has moved on...
It's been eight years since she and Jack Thornfield met on an exotic holiday and sparked up a seriously promising romance. But then he disappeared without a trace, and Beth's life got dreadfully busy, demanding, and altogether complicated.
Then Jack and Beth run into each other again... while she's applying for an exciting new job in London - at his company. For necessity's sake, but against her better judgment, she takes the job, and from that moment on, complicated doesn't even begin to describe it...
Phillipa Ashley has a knack for crafting contemporary romance novels that leave readers flushed and swooning. Her latest novel, Wish You Were Here is no exception. Set against the backdrop of London and Corsica, this book has a European feel that readers will fall in love with. Ashley's descriptions of both cities will have readers seeing the London fog and feeling the Corsican breezes on their faces. A great summer romance!
Beth Allen went on vacation never expecting to meet the man of her dreams. After a whirlwind romance in Corsica that ended with a marriage proposal Beth is beside herself. When Mr. Right, Jack Thornfield suddenly disappears without a trace, Beth is left heartbroken. When she returns home she finds that her father has had a stroke and with her sister still in school she's needed there now more than ever. It's been eight years since she's seen Jack and she has no idea he is the CEO of the company she has just applied to for a job. After she gets the job she's shocked to find Jack at the helm. They come to an uneasy understanding, where they sidestep their attraction for each other to have a working relationship. But is the magic still there? Will a trip back to Corsica renew their old love?
Phillipa Ashley does a wonderful job of identifying what her target audience is looking for with this book. Wish You Were Here is all about second chances and how the circumstances of life sometimes get in the way. Both main characters, Beth and Jack have some heavy personal issues come into their lives that drove them apart.
Jack basically fell off the earth and disappeared and Beth had no idea what happened to him. Jack is a very strong character and my only criticism about this book is the fact that he chose the easy way out in not contacting Beth after he suddenly exited her life. It just didn't seem in congruence with his character. He didn't seem the type to do that kind of thing. But that is the entire crux of the book. Everything hangs on the fact that he was there and then he was not. Though it is a pivotal moment, I don't think it takes away from the overall book. Ashley then shows the reader what kind of man Jack really is and lets them make their own conclusions on his behavior in the beginning.
I love second chance love stories and this one really hit the spot. One of the best parts of reading for me is escaping to some place I've never been and sinking into the sights and sounds that a book brings out. Ashley's descriptions of London made me wonder what it would be like to walk in the light rain on my way to work or see the fog rolling in. She gave the reader a sense of actually being there and walking along with Beth. Then with her descriptions of Corsica readers got to feel the wind in their faces and their toes in the sand. Ashley's attention to detail really made this a great read.
It's short and compact and would make a great beach read on a sunny day. The romance between the main characters is sensual and fulfilling. It's not rushed or full of too much fluff. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy contemporary romances and those who love chick lit from British authors. Ashley's style is smooth and she has a great ability to develop characters that readers can identify with. Who hasn't been heartbroken at one time or another in their life? Who hasn't made a bad choice that could have cost them their chance at love?
Wish You Were Here is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Check out my interview with Phillipa Ashley!
Phillipa Ashley studied English Language and Literature at Oxford University before working as a freelance copy writer and journalist. She lives in an English village with her husband and daughter.