“Maybe he wasn’t here because of the lights – maybe they were here because of him …”
It’s been over eighteen months since Molly Gilchrist has had a man (as her best friend, Caro, is so fond of reminding her) so when she as good as stumbles upon one on the moors one bitterly cold morning, it seems like the Universe is having a laugh at her expense.
But Phinn Baxter (that’s Doctor Phinneas Baxter) is no common drunkard, as Molly is soon to discover; with a PhD in astrophysics and a tortured past that is a match for Molly’s own disastrous love life.
Finding mysterious men on the moors isn’t the weirdest thing Molly has to contend with, however. There’s also those strange lights she keeps seeing in the sky. The ones she’s only started seeing since meeting Phinn …
Source: Review copy from Choc Lit via NetGalley
In a small village tucked into a crook of the Yorkshire Moors there are two people who are running hard away from their lives – and somehow end up colliding, with a little help from some mysterious lights, a crotchety horse and some stalwart friends. This romance is steady, a little slow in places, but sweet and fun, surprisingly serious at times and with a touch of whimsy to round it out.
Molly is in hiding from her ex-fiancé, spending her days helping out at her friend’s stables, writing articles for a walking magazine (that’s a magazine about walking, not one that walks around) and riding Stan, the lazy horse who will sink his teeth into anything in search of food. I liked Molly, she’s nice and she’s funny, and she has a very good reason for running out of London. She also has a few issues relating back to her childhood, which have coloured all her relationships with men.
Until she meets Phinn, of course. Because Phinn isn’t like other men, and not just because she finds him stark naked and unconscious on the moors. No, Physicist Phinn is smart, incredibly smart, but also incredibly insecure. He’s spent his life being valued for his brain and undervalued as a man. He’s not bossy or strong or in charge of anything, not even himself. He too has some serious relationship and childhood issues, but also more than a hint of depression. He’s not your usual romance novel hero, but I couldn’t help falling for him a little.
Of course there are times when I wanted to shake the pair of them, either individually or at the same time. Despite both being attracted to each other, it takes a very, very long time for their relationship to get anywhere – even into friendship. They’re both so wary, not to mention emotionally messed up, both trying to come to terms with recent events and the way their lives have changed and how their deep-seated problems have effected their lives that it’s a wonder they ever get anywhere. Best friend Caro is clearly a saint and deserves many medals for putting up with Molly as she does, while Phinn’s mate Link… well, he’s a special case all on his own.
My absolute favourite part of the book, however, was Stan the horse. He’s brilliant. Full of character and humourous moments. He reminded me of a few horses I’ve known and I absolutely loved him. I was less certain of the mysterious lights, but they add a nice touch of whimsical charm to everything, and I loved the gentle digs at Brian-Coxesque TV shows.
In all this is lovely and sweet and fun to read, perhaps a little slow in places but that’s not always a bad thing. It has a touch of magic, a sprinkle of science, some romance and plenty of good friends, rolling together to make an enjoyable read. This is my first Jane Lovering book, but I doubt it’ll be my last.
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