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15 October 2016

Review: 'So Now You're Back' by Heidi Rice (2016)

Halle Best, TV's Domestic Diva, is proud of everything she's achieved.

Halle took her passion for baking and built her media empire alone after her ex Luke walked out on her sixteen years ago, leaving her a single mum to their two-year-old daughter Lizzie in a dingy flat in Hackney.

Now a bona fide celebrity success, she only speaks to Luke via her lawyer. But as he is threatening to write a tell-all book exposing some of Halle's deepest secrets, keeping him at arm's length won't be so easy anymore.

When Luke suggests a getaway to work through their past, Halle thinks he's crazy; if they can survive two weeks together it will be a miracle.

Yet reconnecting with her past, could be the only way to start her future.

'And now you're back from outer space...' I'm sure I'm not the only one who immediately starts to sing Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive' every time she sees the title of Heidi Rice's novel, right? 'So Now You're Back' was released in February 2016 and unfortunately I just didn't have the time to read it up until now. However, as I was slowly going through my to-be-reviewed list of books several weeks ago and stumbled upon this one, I didn't even look any further because it was definitely time to finally give this beauty a chance. Lovely book cover, promising book description, new author... And I happened to be in the mood for a romantic comedy, so I had my fingers crossed for an enjoyable read!

Halle Best has worked her ass off to finally get where she is today; combining the life of a popular and successful TV chef with that of a single mum to two kids, 18-year-old Lizzie and 10-year-old Aldo. Halle hasn't talked to Luke, her ex and Lizzie's father, for roughly 16 years and she prefers it that way. But when Luke suddenly decides to write an autobiography, Halle is forced to meet him face-to-face to make sure he doesn't write about her. Luke agrees to stick to Halle's rules, as long as she joins him on a couples retreat in Tennessee for two weeks where he wants to go for research purposes. Halle decides to do it, even if it's just to make sure she doesn't have to see or speak to Luke ever again after it. If she manages to ignore and resist him and his charms for two whole weeks, of course...

Heidi Rice's 'So Now You're Back' focuses on two main storylines: on the one hand we have single mum and TV chef Halle, who ends up going to a couples retreat with her ex Luke for a few weeks, and her 18-year-old daughter Lizzie, who stays behind in the UK to look for some romance in her life. The author created some wonderful characters to put at the core of this novel and I enjoyed reading about them, with a specific preference for Lizzie, whose story I particularly liked. There is also some great chemistry between Halle and Luke; the kind of chemistry that almost sparks off the pages, which is not something you find in each romantic comedy read, but Heidi Rice certainly knows how to put that into words and make sure the reader feels it as well.

While this book has a good set of characters and a promising storyline, I just felt as if not that much was going on. The story felt really slow-paced and the writing includes long descriptive passages and not that much dialogue. Sometimes this works in a book, but I couldn't help but be easily distracted while reading this one, and that was the case until the end of the book. I did enjoy it, but I would have enjoyed it even more if there had been a bit more action, perhaps another aspect to the storyline to focus on. Yet, I certainly plan on checking out more of Heidi Rice's writing in the future and am confident numerous women's fiction fans out there will really enjoy this novel, because overall I do think it's an enjoyable and easy-going read.
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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