Monday 28 March 2016

That's What Friends Are For - Marcie Steele

Best friends tell each other everything… right?

Sam and Louise have been best friends since they hung their coats side by side on the first day of primary school. Now in their thirties, they’re still just as close, but life is a little bit more complicated …

Sam loves running her market stall with Louise by her side. They’re right at the heart of the community – and always one step ahead on local gossip. But Sam’s marriage is in a bit of a rut, and handsome stranger Dan has her wondering if the grass might be greener …

Louise is the life and soul of every party, but she’s hiding a broken heart, and worries about her beautiful but secretive daughter Charley. All she wants is someone to love – but could Mr Right be just around the corner?

Just when Sam and Louise need each other most, they suddenly have reason to wonder whether they ever really knew each other at all. Can the two best friends put the past behind them, and help each other find love and happiness again?

An emotional and uplifting tale of love, secrets and the importance of having a best friend.

What did I think?

Marcie Steele, aka Mel Sherratt, has done it again!  With such a colourful cast of characters, I jumped into the pages of this fantastic book and didn't want to leave it.  Along with the lovely characters, there's also a bitch and a man-tart to make this book so much more than chick-lit.

Louise and Sam are brilliant characters, working on Sam's bustling fruit and veg market stall.  They have known each other forever and are best friends who tell each other everything...well almost everything.  Louise has kept the secret of Charley's parentage from everyone including Sam, leaving the reader to jump to conclusions as to who Charley's father might be.  As usual, I had my money on completely the wrong horse!

Sam is also struggling with marital problems, after marrying her childhood sweetheart, Reece, but doesn't tell Louise the extent of her problems.  When she meets Dan, and he shows a keen interest in her, Sam wonders whether her marriage is worth saving after all.  I was willing Sam to speak to Louise properly about her issues; we all know a problem shared is a problem halved.

With Louise's siblings, Ryan (the man-tart) and Nicci also on stalls in the market it really gives the sense of a close knit community. With everyone looking out for each other and willing to do anything for each other, I had a small tear in my eye towards the end when the market family came together to make a dream come true for one of them.  

As well as the adult issues in the book, through Louise's daughter Charley, it also looks at teenage problems such as raging hormones, the dangers of meeting strangers on the internet and cyber-bullying through Facebook.  

That's What Friends Are For left me surrounded with a warm glow - it's definitely a book to lose yourself in and has as many dramas as an episode of Eastenders.  A fantastic feel-good book that reminds us exactly what friends are for.

I received this e-book from the publisher, Bookouture, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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