Originally published: 29 June 2020 (eBook); 6 August 2020 (paperback)
Author: Laura Jane Williams
Published by: Avon
Length: 352 pages
Reading dates: 23-26 June 2020
She’s single. But it can still be complicated…
Penny Bridge has always been unlucky in love.
So she can’t believe it when she meets a remarkable new man.
Followed by another.
And then another…
And all of them want to date her.
Penny has to choose between three. But are any of them The One?
I know a lot of people loved Our Stop by Williamson last year, so I was keen to read The Love Square! Penny is a chef in her early 30s and is single. Living in London and running an upmarket café called The Bridge, she is happy enough but wonders what life will bring, having survived breast cancer in her 20s. When pastry chef Francesco, arrives in her life, she starts dating him, but only 3 weeks in their relationship, her Uncle David has a heart attack and she feels obliged to move to Derbyshire, to take over the running of his gastro-pub, something he has always hoped she’d do.
Penny and her sister Clementine, have an exceptionally close relationship with their Uncle – he brought them up after their mum died of cancer and he is like a dad to them. He has always wanted her to take over the pub one day, but she has been reluctant, loving her life and business in London. Another complication is that her sister Clementine, has offered to be a surrogate so that Penny can have a baby, using the eggs she saved from when her cancer treatment left her infertile. She feels she can’t ask Francesco to take on a child so early in their relationship, so when David has his heart attack, she decides to walk away from Francesco, knowing the time just isn’t right and they decide to be friends.
Penny soon settles into life at the pub, enjoying the challenges that running a larger establishment entails. Meeting an old school friend one day, Thomas, she ends up having a fling with him. Flashy and a little shallow, he works in the music industry so isn’t around much, but Penny enjoys his company.
And then another man comes on the scene! Priyesh is a local wine merchant, older and divorced. Penny initially doesn’t like him thinking him smarmy, self-centred and boring but after a drunken encounter at a Christmas party, she ends up in a (mostly sexual) relationship with him.
When Francesco, asks if he can come and visit, she agrees, happy to have his friendship again. But she soon realises she is in a love square and has to decide what she must do.
I really enjoyed everything about this book! I’ve really enjoyed reading more romantic books recently and this one is a great look at modern relationships and a character who has a lot of sex! I also loved how the sex wasn’t always straightforward – despite there being a huge attraction between Penny and Francesco, they initially have to work at making the sex great!
Penny is a great female lead too – despite having had cancer, she has a positive outlook to life, and I love that ultimately, she wants a child over a relationship if she can’t have both. The relationship between Penny and her sister is brilliant too – I love how close they are.
Heart-warming and romantic, I really enjoyed this story. It was cheerful and positive, and I loved Penny as a heroine. I also liked the fact that none of the men were perfect – all had their imperfections (which made it more real) but I still had a favourite! Perfect for lovers of Beth O’Leary and Marian Keyes, I’m definitely going to push Our Stop to the top of my TBR.
Thank you to Sanjana at Avon for inviting me on the blog tour, and to Netgalley and Avon for the review copy.
About the author
Laura Jane Williams was born in 1986 in Derbyshire, England. Her 2019 debut novel Our Stop was an international hit, and she is currently adapting it for screen. Her non-fiction includes Becoming, Ice Cream for Breakfast, and The Life Diet, and she has contributed essays and articles to the Telegraph, the Guardian, Marie Claire, the Independent, Cosmopolitan, as well as to a collection by Stylist Magazine, Life Lessons from Remarkable Women. She was previously a columnist for both Grazia and Red.
The Derbyshire angle gets me straightaway! I’d be interested to see how the location is depicted.
Fab review! I definitely love the sound of this one. xx
Lovely review!! xx
[…] real feel-good novel, this is my second book by Laura Jane Williams (I read The Love Square last year) and I have thoroughly enjoyed them both. Perfect to read in the garden now we are […]