Author: Sara Craven
Published: January 2014
Reasons I Might Actually Remember This One: I knew I was going to love this from the first line: “Octavia Denison fed the last newsletter through the final letter box in the row of cottages and, with a sigh of relief, remounted her bicycle and began the long hot ride back to the Vicarage.” This book is so retro I feel like I’ve been time-travelling, and I loved every perfect minute of it.
I don’t think I can adequately convey the tone of this book; it really needs to be read and savoured. But I’ll try. Tavi, the heroine, is not only a vicar’s daughter but is the kind of vicar’s daughter who cooks (plain, delicious-sounding home-y meals) and does village errands. Also she works for a pittance for the most awful woman I’ve encountered in fiction in a long time, a kind of mean-spirited shrew who runs a private school.
And. AND. Tavi is secretly dating this woman’s son, and initially I thought it was a secret because he was a spineless weasel and was hiding her from his mother. But it’s so much more awful than that: he’s banging the former rich girl of their village, who has spent the previous eighteen months married to someone else, and is hoping to divorce profitably, so she’s instructed Patrick the Cad to pretend to date Tavi.
So into this heartrending situation is plunged a former Rock God. Jago falls in love with Tavi at first sight and spends the whole book courting her, which she’s too proud/dense to notice. She’s got that peculiar kind of stiff-necked pride that causes her to undervalue herself and suspect people of feeling sorry for her, and I remember being precisely this sort of ass myself when I was a teenager. But she also suffers a bit from that romance-novel-heroine disorder that makes her put up with way too much crap from the wrong people (her boss, her supposed boyfriend) while bristling and snapping at the hero (who never once treats her badly). So aside from sympathizing with her, I also wanted to beat her over the head with something.
Still. She’s just pitiable enough that it’s hard to hate her (too much like kicking a puppy), and the hero is wonderful; so is the vicar, and the hero’s mysterious “Barbie” (not all that mysterious, I worked it out AGES before the heroine did and I suspect I was meant to).
My Other Boyfriend is a Cad
My Boss is his Bitch of a Mother
Rock Star Invades Village
The Vicar’s Virgin Daughter
Horrendous Rich Girl
Ghastly Divorce Complete with Photos
Village Church Needs Repairs