Sunday 8 August 2010

Review: Turning the tide - Christine Stovell

Genre: Fiction
Pages: 336
Published: June 2010 Choc Lit

All's fair in love and war? Depends on who's making the rules. Harry Watling has spent the past five years keeping her father's boat yard afloat, des...more All's fair in love and war? Depends on who's making the rules. Harry Watling has spent the past five years keeping her father's boat yard afloat, despite its dying clientele. Now all she wants to do is enjoy the peace and quiet of her sleepy backwater. So when property developer Matthew Corrigan wants to turn the boat yard into an upmarket housing complex for his exotic new restaurant, it's like declaring war. And the odds seem to be stacked in Matthew's favour. He's got the colourful locals on board, his hard-to-please girlfriend is warming to the idea and he has the means to force Harry's hand. Meanwhile, Harry has to fight not just his plans but also her feelings for the man himself. Then a family secret from the past creates heartbreak for Harry, and neither of them is prepared for what happens next.

This one was another lovely story, and it had this kind of calm pace that fitted it. Things happened and all that (arson for instance), but there was a nice lingering feeling over it all. It was like you were there in this run-down town where people struggled to go on and there was no hope for the town. But then something started to build, and build.

The story is about Harriet, aka Harry who took over her father's boatyard when he died. It's not easy, and the bills are piling up. In waltzes Matthew Corrigan with big plans. He has bought a place nearby and is turning it into a fancy restaurant and now he wants her land to build luxury houses. She is not happy since this is all she has left and Matthew seems to be turning the whole town around to his way of thinking. But she is standing her ground, even when all falls apart around her.

Harry was one tough woman, she works day and night trying to keep the place alive, her only help is George, an old buddy of her dads. This place is everything to her, and later she does seem that Matthew is bringing life to town, but her land, she wants to keep it, and have it to be a seafront for everyone, not just a chosen few. She is stubborn, and underneath it all she is really vulnerable, but I come to understand her.

Matthew is all money and ideas. At times he charms me, at times I growl at him. But he really thinks this is best for all. He has a good heart in the end. And he is also fighting this odd attraction for the angry girl at the shipyard. They have such a hate love thing going on. Hating each other, but at the same time the attraction is there.

There is also the family secret in the book, and without saying anything more. It made sense, and there was finally peace.

There is a varied cast of characters in this book. The young woman who wants something more from life, the guy couple who owns the florists, and of course George, who wants the best for Harry.

It was a warm community and it was lovely to see it start to blossom again. As for romance, oh that was not an easy part, and Stovell really made them work for it, I mean really. But that was great cos like they were, all cat and dog, it had to be hard for them to see each other in a more romantic light.

The place is a character in itself, and in the end I am happy to see it survive, and wish it the best.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: Lovely and true to the book
Reason for reading: From the publisher
Final thoughts: A lovely book about a seaside town, a woman fighting to keep what is hers, and a man slowly loosing his heart.

PS. Milka over @ ReadReadRead is giving away this book. Open until September



  1. Sounds like a fun read. Nice review!

  2. Sounds like a heroine I would like but I'm not sure about the slow pace. Nice review.

  3. Thank you for your good wishes for Little Spitmarsh and all who live there. It's a place that's very real to me, as are its inhabitants _ I continue to think about them.

    Thank you for making the time to read their story and for such a lovely review. Best, Chris.

  4. By your description I can picture Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy as Harry & Matthew. It just seems like the kind of romance (the best in my opinion, but I'm old school).

  5. great review! sounds like this couple goes thru a lot to be together!!

  6. ***Hey honey*** Popping up over to see how you are doing! I hope you had a great weekend !

  7. Sounds like a good read, I love the books where the heroine works so hard, and the hero slowly loses his heart and it's beyond his control!

    Dottie :)

  8. Fiction Vixen, I hope that if you did decide to read Turning the Tide that you would find it a gripping read. The fuse is lit on page one with every plot twist and turn building the tension towards the final climax. Having said that it's probably not for lovers of 'crash, bang, wallop' fiction!

  9. *waves back to Chris*

    Thanks Mary!

    Not slow as in slow, it was more like you were in the eye of the storm and then you were not any more. Things sure happened, but there was still feeling that is hard to explain over it all

  10. Christine
    Thank you for stopping by :)
    The place did feel so real, like I could just go there and see how they all are doing now.

  11. DC
    Lol, I can see that now too. Oh those old movies are sure the best. That was romance

    It's not easy when one person hate the other and the other one wants to buy your land, but it does create great tension ;)

    Hi Cecile
    Thank you hon. I had a nice little weekend, too much rain and thunder though, blah. I hope you had a sunnier one.

    Hard worker for sure, and he always saw he at her worst. All muddy and oily with clothes that needed to be worn then. And that is what I like, him staring to fall even if she looks like a mess

  12. Thanks for a review of a book which was new to me.

  13. Mystica
    You're welcome, thanks for stopping by too

  14. I'm kinda of tired of women with men's names - a stupid pet peeve, I know, but still.

    Otherwise, sounds enjoyable.

  15. Carol
    Here there is actually a reason to why she is called Harry. It was her dads name, it's a man's name, and in the business she is in she felt they would take her more seriously then :)

  16. I think only you could say a book is calm and then mention briefly that there is a case of arson in it ;-)

  17. This is one of those books that I would probably like even though I wouldn't be drawn to it by the cover or description. Sometimes I am too quick to judge that way.

  18. Aarti
    Lol, I am weird ;)
    But there was this calm feeling, and then perhaps someone set something on fire. But it was the whole book, it was reassuring. No idea what I mean no either

    I know what you mean, since I love covers. And they do need catchy blurbs too, and ones that actually fit the book.

  19. This sounds sweet.

    "At times he charms me, at times I growl at him." <---this made me laugh :)

  20. Patti
    You'd growl too ;) And then melt into a puddle

  21. Thanks for explaining the reasoning behind Harry's name!

  22. I love books like this... small town, with a nice bone of contention between the main two protags..

    Love that..

    I'll check out this one definately...

    Thanks for the heads up...


  23. EH
    And it was a nice small town in England too :) So you'd feel right at home



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