**BLOG TOUR** The Year of Starting Over by Karen King

8th February 2019

What the publisher says:

What if – to find yourself – you had to run away?

Last year was meant to be when Holly got her happy-ever-after. But stuck in a job that’s going nowhere, and a relationship that feels more like it’s going backwards… this year Holly has decided it’s time to change her life. She just has to:

– End the relationship with the commitment-phobic boyfriend
– Go on a proper adventure
– Learn to be herself again
– Definitely, categorically not fall in love.

Cramming her belongings into her little yellow Mini, Holly drives on to a ferry bound to Spain, to stay at a remote farmhouse near a beautiful village in the Andalusian hills.

But the day she arrives she nearly crashes her car into a gorgeous guy on a motorbike. He’s called Matias and their paths keep crossing, much to Holly’s irritation. Because as she learns to speak Spanish from the locals, finally starts laying out plans for her own design business, and sips sangria in the sunlit village square, Holly is beginning to remember who she is and what she wants.

So she won’t allow herself be distracted by Matias. Because this year – for Holly – there are more important things in life than love. And she won’t let yet another bad relationship ruin everything… will she?

A moving and uplifting romantic comedy about living each moment and learning to trust yourself again, for fans of Jenny Hale, Debbie Macomber, and Sophie Kinsella.


What I say:

Holly has become a shadow of herself as she has tried to live up to her boyfriend’s expectations for how she should dress and behave.  With an inheritance from her beloved Pops on it’s way to her bank she decides that she has had enough of being taken for granted by Scott and heads off to Spain to stay with her old friends from college, Fiona and Pablo.

Before she even arrives at their house she comes across the moody Matias as he almost hits her little yellow Mini whilst riding his motorbike at high speed.  Her next encounters with the brooding Spaniard are no more promising.

Thankfully as part of her “to do list” Holly has decided that she does not want a relationship with anyone, let alone her grumpy new neighbour.  Gradually the two do become friends.

I enjoyed this book enormously, cheering for Holly when she made the right choices, picturing myself in the Spanish sunshine alongside the characters and also thinking about what I should have on my list of things to achieve this year.

There are no surprises, it is a romance novel after all, but the story is an enchanting one which draws you in from the outset.  The characters are all likeable, even Matias, and there is a certain amount of relief at the ending.  Holly develops and blossoms along the way as she rediscovers herself and settles into her new life.

Rating 4 out of 5


About the author
Karen King is a multi-published author of children’s books, YA and romantic fiction. She has had 120 children’s books published, two young adult novels, six romantic novels and several short stories for women’s magazines.

‘The Cornish Hotel by the Sea’, published by Accent Press, became an international bestseller, reaching the top hundred in the Kindle charts in both the UK and Australia, and #2 and #3 in Holiday Reads respectively. Karen recently signed a two book contract with Bookouture, the first book ‘Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel’ was published in November 2018.

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