I recently took part in a week long readalong to celebrate publication of this gorgeous book with the publishers One More Chapter. Thank you so much to Claire Fenby at One More Chapter and Ella Allbright for inviting me to take part. I really enjoyed following the activities and chatting to the other bloggers involved, as well as reading this lovely story which was kindly gifted to me via Netgalley.
The blurb …
Leila’s charm bracelet tells a story of love, a story of loss, a story of hope.
This is the story of her … and the story of Jake.
When Leila Jones loses her precious charm bracelet and a stranger finds it, she has to tell the story of how she got the charms to prove she’s the owner. Each and every one is a precious memory of her life with Jake.
So Leila starts at the beginning, recounting the charms and experiences that have led her to the present. A present she never could have expected when she met Jake nearly twenty years ago …
My review …
I loved the concept for this story which starts when someone finds Leila’s precious charm bracelet and Leila has to prove that the bracelet is hers by telling the story behind each charm. Leila and Jake are around 12 years old when they first meet as children and become friends. They feel a strong bond straightaway, as they both have to deal with trauma in their childhoods; Leila has been abandoned by her mother and Jake’s dad is an abusive drunk. Leila moves away and they come in and out of each other’s lives for years. Jake always seems to turn up at the right time for Leila, like some sort of guardian angel, and he sends her a charm for every significant event in her life.
I completely fell in love with Jake’s handsome, strong and caring character and the main plot of the story is the ‘will they, won’t they’ romance between the two. Leila’s character is very frustrating as she was constantly pushing Jake away, but understandably so as she is afraid of commitment and uses anger as a way of protecting herself from abandonment, but it is Jake who understands her better than anyone and wants to help her to heal.
The supporting characters are just as charming, from Leila’s dad, who does a fantastic job of raising Leila alone, to Leila’s lovely group of female friends.
The setting of the story plays a big part in this book and you can tell that the author loves the pretty coastal town of Dorset. The beaches and coves are wonderfully described and they are a place of sanctuary for Leila throughout this story.
Leila and Jake take us on an emotional journey through the years and you really do need to keep the tissues handy for this one as the author writes about different forms of abuse and grief expertly and sensitively. The story is very well written all round and once I’d started, it was very hard to put down. Fans of romantic fiction will adore this heartbreaking love story.
About the author …
A self-confessed reading addict, Ella Allbright writes commercial women’s fiction set in her beautiful home county of Dorset. Her first novel in this genre, The Last Charm, was published on 21st August 2020 by One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins, and she’s currently hard at work on her next book. Ella is represented by agent Hattie Grunewald at The Blair Partnership, who represent J.K.Rowling.
Ella also writes at Nikki Moore, the author of the popular #LoveLondon romance series. A number of the novellas featured in the Top 100 short story charts on Kobo and the Top 20 in the Amazon UK bestsellers Holiday chart, and in 2018 the collection was released in Italy. Her first published work was the short story A Night to Remember in the bestselling Mills & Boon/RNA anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply. Her debut romance Crazy, Undercover, Love was shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award 2015.
When not writing or reading, she can usually be found working in her HR day job, walking the family’s cute beagle puppy or watching a Netflix series!
You can connect with Ella/Nikki on:
YouTube: Nikki Moore
Thanks for reading!