About the author (as seen on Amazon)
With an insatiable appetite for other people’s business, Erica James will readily strike up conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. She finds it the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown-up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother’s compulsion.
The author of many bestselling novels, including Gardens of Delight, which won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, and her recent Sunday Times top ten bestsellers, Summer at the Lake and The Dandelion Years, Erica now divides her time between Suffolk and Lake Como in Italy, where she strikes up conversation with unsuspecting Italians.
Facebook: Erica James
Publication Date: 17 May 2006
Publisher: Orion Books
ISBN: Paperback 0-7528-7760-7
Pages: 496 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Copy provided by: Borrowed
Blurb (as seen on the back of the book)
Helen’s life has recently undergone a dramatic change. No longer a single independent woman struggling to make ends meet, she’s now married to a wealthy charismatic man. But with a manipulative stepdaughter to cope with its no bed of roses. So when she gets the chance to go to Italy- to see some of Lake Como’s finest gardens- she doesn’t hesitate.
Conrad isn’t the least bit interested in gardening. Still morning the tragic loss of his wife, he only signs up for the trip to Italy to please his elderly uncle. Before long he has to admit his motives aren’t entirely unselfish.
The last place Lucy wants to visit is Lake Como. And with good reason; this is where her father lives and she hasn’t seen him since she was a teenager.
Yet by the time they return home, nothing will be the same again for them.
So let’s start my review with my thoughts on the front cover of this book, the cover is done in very simple manner. I like the way the lady on the front is in black and white and her skirt is the only drop of pale green/blue. I would have liked to perhaps seen a beautiful garden with lots of flowers! I like the gold that shines and stands out beautifully. The pale green/blue of the title ties this in with the lady’s skirt. She looks so relaxed walking in bare feet and putting her hand through her hair.
Gardens of Delight by Erica James, say’s it all in the title it was so delightful to read. The story has a strong sense of new friendships, family, secrets, new-found love, unlikely relationships and of course beautiful gardens. As you know I am a massive fan of Erica’s books and this one was a complete joy to read. I felt truly enchanted by this story; the description is second to non because as you read you will see the image lay out before you, this and the intriguing characters to boot makes for a perfect read.
All the characters in this book that had my hocked to this book because each of them are so interesting and in individual way. Erica gives the reader the right information about each of them at the right time which always makes me turn the pages of any of her books not just this one. She also adds some mystery about each of them giving the reader knowledge early on that there will be answers as the story unfolds.
The story is centred around three characters Helen, Conrad and Lucy. Helen had just moved in to the village with her husband. Now Helen I really found interesting because before she met her husband she was a hard-working trying to make ends meet and now she doesn’t have to penny watch any more; because Hunter is a successful business man. She also has to take on older stepchildren and a grandmother who need special care, a new business and a husband that is never home. She sure has a lot to deal with but you know straight away that she has a good heart. The home she and her husband Hunter moved in to have a history with the garden. She feels compelled as she learns of the gardens forma beauty to bring it back to that; with the help of the previous owners note books and the lady’s dearest friend Mac. Does Hunter make her happy? How will she deal with country life almost alone accsept from a wicked stepdaughter? Does she succeed in bring the garden back to life?
Conrad I really found to be a closed book if you know what I mean, he kept his cards close to his chest but as the story develops you can defiantly seen his loosen up. The emotion of heart ach I felt at the beginning just radiated off him and compelled me to also read on and on! He like Helen has a good heart and he takes in his uncle Mac after he had health problems to take care of him. Will Conrad deal with and his heart ach and move on? if he does how with?
And the last character that I adored was Lucy. Bless her, She has to finally deal with the face that the father who left her and her mother when she was younger wants to have a relationship with her. She works at the local garden centre which is run but her best friends/ roommate father. Orlando and her have been friends for years but when Orlando sparks up a relationship of sorts with a newbie village she becomes jealous without realising. Will she take the olive branch that has been handed out? Will her and Orlando’s friendship last rocky waters?
And of course they are all pulled together on a trip to Lake Como to visit the gardens with the village gardening club. You actually feel like you’ve been there Erica I applaud you because you truly have a way with describing the scenery its enchanting!!!!
I thought this was a fabulous book and really recommend this book it’s a joy to read and you wont want it to end believe me! Erica you are an amazing writer and so good at your craft!
Today on Marie’s Book Boutique Gardens of Delight by Erica James gets a massive 5 sparkly stars ( if only I has more!!!!)
Also you can check out the review I did for Summer At the Lake by Erica here