Monday, 12 August 2019

Review: When You Were Mine by Lisa Swift



Life is a love song when you find the right notes

Maggie and Ibby make up a happy – if unconventional – family. After meeting at university, they now live in the village of Applecroft on the beautiful West Country coast.

Okay, so Ibby’s gay and prone to disastrous dates, while couples’ counsellor Maggie spends her days helping people with their relationship problems despite having no sex life of her own. Nevertheless, they’re devoted to bringing up teenage daughter Amelia – the result of a drunken one-night stand when they were students – in a stable and loving family.

Until a face from the past – in the form of hard-partying rock star Jordan Nash – disrupts their quiet lives. As Jordan struggles with his personal demons and old secrets are revealed, can Maggie and Ibby stay strong? Or will bringing back the past threaten all that they’ve built in the present?

*Review copy received via NetGalley*


ebook


Full length novel


Third person, alternating pov.


Recovering drug addict.


No, it's a standalone.


Nope!


Yep!


Nope!


Nope!


Nope!


When You Were Mine is a beautiful story of life, love and second chances.
This is a story about family, an unconventional but solid little family and their friends who are every bit as beloved. It's a story about losing yourself and finding yourself. A story about what makes a  home and finding your home. It's a story about standing up for others and standing up for yourself. It's a story about acceptance and it is wonderfully written.

It was so easy to sink into this book and just forget that the characters weren't real.
Mags, Ibby, Melie, and Max, stole the show but Other Max, Nikki, Nat and Melie's friends each had their parts to play, and all felt like living breathing beings that left their mark.

The beginning of the novel effectively has two strands; one follows Mags, Ibby and their family and the other follows Jordan Nash.

Mags and Ibby are best friends who met at university.
They live together and they raise their daughter but they are not a couple.
Mags is single and not looking for love after her first love broke her heart and her subsequent relationships have been disastrous.
Ibby is gay and doesn't seem to be any more successful in the romance department than Mags.
Melie, their 13 year old daughter, is a typical teenage girl and is beautifully written. She's fierce and so grown up but also insecure and just a kid.
The three of them together are an awesome family that doesn't need anybody else (aka love interests for the parents) to function and be complete. They are complete and they're happy but there is always room for more.

Jordan Nash is a rockstar, front man of one of the UK's most famous bands and he's a cocaine loving broken mess of a human being at the beginning of the novel.
Lonely, friendless and completely burned out, he takes himself off to rehab and then begins to rebuild his life.

Eventually, you find out how Jordan Nash fits into the lives of Mags and Ibby and that is where the book really takes off.
Most of the twists and turns I guessed fairly easily but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story but I'll admit there was one big twist I didn't see coming and didn't like very much (thus 4.5 stars instead of 5!)
I was invested in the relationships throughout the book and was routing for Mags and Ibby to find their happy ever afters but, to be honest, no matter how happy Mags and Ibby are with their respective partners, or how nicely everything was tied up in the end, for me, Mags and Ibby are freaking soul mates and that's what I loved most about this book. You don't need to be romantically attached to someone to love them fiercely. You don't have to be married or related by blood to be family.
Love is love: sexual, romantic, platonic, familial. And the world needs more love.

Basically, this book made me happy, warm, and joyful.
I think people should read it. Read it lots.


I love the cover. I love how it captures the sense of family and love that infuses the pages of the book.

18 comments:

  1. I absolutely LOVE the sound of this one!!!! This is the first I’ve seen/heard of it, but between the synopsis and your review it’s just speaking to me. I love stories about non traditional/found families. And finding love in all its forms. And these characters sounds like people I want to know. I just went and preordered this one on Amazon. So glad I saw your review, Nicci!

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  2. This sounds like such a good read! I've never heard of it, but it sounds like something I should put on my list for when I'm in a reading slump. The characters sound fantastic!

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    1. The characters were awesome. I liked it a lot.

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  3. I really like the sounds of this one! I will have to keep an eye out for it at my library. *fingers crossed* Lovely review.

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    1. I hope they stock it! It's a British one but it should be available...

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  4. I love this review! You can tell how emotional it made you. And I love the premise.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. It really did! I kept grinning and giggling and it just made me happy.

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  5. I'm so happy this book made you warm, happy and joyful! It sounds like a twisted premise. ❤️

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    1. It was very cool. I just loved how real the characters felt.

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  6. This sounds exactly like my kind of read and the kind I like before I start my kick off to fall with stories about ghosts and horror and mysteries. Definitely one I will be adding to my pile!

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    1. I love the spooky/PNR/UF ones in the autumn... :)

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  7. I actually said, "awww", out loud when I read that last line of your review. I love friendship stories, and the one sounds really wonderful.

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    1. I hope you read it at some point Sam! :)

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  8. I love that you say the characters are the strength of this novel. From the synopsis I think that authentic characters would be vital to the story being successful and Swift must have written hers perfectly :-)

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    1. The characters were awesome and it was such a British book, lol. I don't know if that makes sense but I have no other way to describe it.

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  9. 100% SOLD. I'm buying this now. I'm not even kidding, I've pulled out my wallet and I'm opening Amazon right now. (As soon as this comment sends, it will be on my Kindle.)

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    1. Yeay! I hope you like it. It's very British.... :)
      I always get nervous over people liking a book I've loved and recommended, lol.

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