As promised, here I am again, so soon after my last review. I chose to read the next book because there was quite a lot said about it in one of my writing groups. Whilst I admit to sometimes being quite stubborn and determined to choose my own books, I felt it was about time that I strayed from my usual path and tried something a little different for a change. Well, this was definitely different – and not in a bad way – at all. In fact it was a most entertaining read, I’m glad to hear that there are many other offerings by this author as she has a very original and amusing style of writing.
The next book under review is The secret world of Juniper Grace by Livia Ellis. (I gave this 4 stars)
In the real world, Juniper Grace is a shy English professor by day and the author of steamy novels by night. Her unfortunate love life compels her to weave her fantasies into her stories, using friends, neighbours and former partners as her protagonists. When a new guy moves in next door, the shy writer watches him in secret as he jogs through the neighbourhood and wanders naked around his home and garden. Seeing how she is clearly smitten by this newcomer, her friends seek to unite the pair, and use her upcoming birthday party to set things in motion. Meanwhile, in her latest piece of writing, Juniper uses her own name for the main female character, a supposedly meek and uninteresting governess, who is seduced by her employer and enjoys a raunchy and explicit relationship with him and his manservant.
The comparisons with her own life are easy to see, yet the differences are just as evident, particularly on the relationship front. Juniper, the professor, has clearly morphed into the governess, and ramps up the sexy shenanigans to compensate for her own lack-lustre love life. Her fantasies are constantly interrupted by her friends, who are trying to instigate a meeting between Juniper and the new guy.Their hapless efforts are both embarrassing and amusing, you can feel Juniper cringing awkwardly when she realises the full extent of their enterprise. Yet her self-consciousness and discomfort are set aside when it appears that he has understood the joke and is as keen to get to know her as she is to know him. Finally, her life is imitating her own art and we see the real Juniper about to embark in her own true life fantasy.
As the prelude to what promises to be an engaging and witty series, this first story is bang on the money. The ‘story within a story’ element shows great skill on the part of the author and the two plots run alongside each other effortlessly. A fun read that was over far too quickly, much more is expected …. please!