Friday, 8 July 2011

Starting Over by Sue Moorcroft

I was sent this book to review by Choc Lit, along with a lovely bar of chocolate to nibble on whilst I read along.  My first taste of Choc Lit, and it was delightful!
New home, new friends, new love. Can starting over be that simple?
Tess Riddell reckons her beloved Freelander is more reliable than any man - especially her ex-fiancé, Olly Gray. She's moving on from her old life and into the perfect cottage in the country.
Miles Rattenbury's passions? Old cars and new women! Romance? He's into fun rather than commitment.
When Tess crashes the Freelander into his breakdown truck, they find that they're nearly neighbours yet worlds apart. Despite her overprotective parents and a suddenly attentive Olly, she discovers the joys of village life and even forms an unlikely friendship with Miles. Then, just as their relationship develops into something deeper, an old flame comes looking for him ... Is their love strong enough to overcome the past? Or will it take more than either of them is prepared to give?

Quite simply, this is chick-lit at its best!  It’s understandable how it has reached number 3 in The Small Publishers Top 20 Fiction List and why it is one of Choc Lit’s top 10 bestsellers. 
I’ve not read any of Sue Moorcroft’s books before, but I absolutely adore her style of writing.  I felt an instant warmth to the characters.  The way of village life was put across very well, and I found the book very visual; I actually think it would make a wonderful film!
When I first started reading the book, it struck me that it was going to one of those predictable storylines.  After all, it begins with Tess accidentally driving her car into the back of Ratty's breakdown truck.  After an initial thorny meeting, it is clear that these two strong characters are going to end up together at some point.  Yes, it is relatively predictable: they have their ups and downs, but there are a couple of twists along the way which aren’t at all forced to keep your interest. The book is paced exceptionally well, and most importantly the ending is one that is satisfying so that you can close the book with a smile on your face (and not one of those, “but what actually happened!?!?” moments that leave me extremely frustrated!).  In fact, I smiled a lot throughout the book - mostly brought about by Ratty!! Who wouldn't want a man like him in your life to chase you across fields, and pull you into a strong embrace!  Choc Lit's slogan of "Where heroes are like chocolate - irresistible" certainly works exceptionally well for this book!

This isn't just a love story, there are heart-warming moments centered around village life, friendship and family life (Angel's children, in particular the way Jenna calls Tess 'Teth' and Toby calls Ratty 'Watty' melted my heart every time!).  It also explores the parent-adult child relationship extremely well, and is something I think most of us can relate to.

I see from Sue’s blog that she is about one-third of the way through the first draft of her latest book, Dream a Little Dream.  This is also set in Middledip (the village that ‘Starting Over’ and ‘All That Mullarkey’ are set in).  I look forward to the release of this book, and in the meantime will get my hands on a copy of All That Mullarky.  You can keep up to date with Sue at her blog here and Choc Lit here.


  1. I am reading LOVE AND FREEDOM by Sue Moorcroft right now!

  2. Ooo, do come back and let me know what you thought :)


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