Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Single all the Way - Elaine Spires

About the book...
Single All the Way is the third in the Singles’ Trilogy. The first book Singles’ Holiday was set in Antigua and the second Singles & Spice set in India. In this book, Travel Together Tour Manager Eve Mitchell is planning a quiet Christmas at home to rest and relax before a special New Year. But she soon, very unexpectedly, finds herself in the depths of the Essex countryside looking after a singles' group which contains some old, familiar faces and some pleasant - and not so pleasant - new ones.

With its country walks, quizzes, disco and black-tie ball, the Christmas and Twixmas Break passes quickly, but just as they think it's all over the plot takes a twist and we learn some dark secrets... 

About the author...
Elaine Spires is a novelist, playwright and actress. Extensive travelling and a background in education and tourism perfected Elaine's keen eye for the quirky characteristics of people, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with the readers of her novels. Elaine spends her time between her homes in Essex and Five Islands, Antigua (W.I.).

My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour organised by Kim The Bookworm for Elaine Spires and her latest novel Single all the Way which I am more than happy to do.

Eve a tour manager for a singles holiday company is enjoying her first, hard fought, christmas off - relaxing in front of the tv, with a meal for one and a box of chocolates until she gets a call from her boss.  Another tour manager has gone AWOL leaving a group of singles unaccompanied at a beautiful old pub/hotel in the Essex countryside.  As Eve is the only tour manager not working over christmas and practically living on the doorstep of the venue she is sent to save the day.

What a lovely book, if like me, you like to dig below the surface to uncover the real people/situations you'll love this book.  As you can imagine a group of people opting to holiday alone over the christmas period is going to provide deeper stories than would first appear on the surface.  It seems that everyone has a backstory from the guests, to the tour host and even the staff at the hotel!  What you see is certainly not what you get in most cases! But, the relaxed atmosphere of being in calm, beautiful surroundings with good food and drink, surrounded by strangers who are all in the same boat really sees the layers being stripped away and we get glimpses of the real people underneath.

This was a book that had it all - it was touching, it had moving stories that are so true to life I couldn't help but feel choked, turn the page and in the next breath I found myself laughing out loud and at times even cringing with pain and embarrassment. 

This is a fantastic read, about relationships and people.  A book about discovery, about putting others before yourself. It's a book that demonstrates the various ways people behave when they are taken outside of their comfort zone.  It looks at how different characters gel when on the surface they appear poles apart, the setting and ambience relaxing the mind and demonstrating how the most unlikely people support each other and find friendship when the chips are down.

I love reading about people, especially those with complex characters and this book was full of them. Elaine's descriptive skills are second to none, I could clearly envisage every person and setting. The Blue Boar is a pub/hotel that just has to exist (please) - it came across as a warm, inviting place to be and Eve tour manager extroadinaire is so efficient I just wish I could go on a holiday with her.  Each and every character was just perfect in every possible way - with my opinions about them changing with each chapter.  Add to the mix, christmas and snow and you really do have the perfect christmas read.

Normally a book with so many characters would be hard going and confusing but this book is anything but! By the end I felt I was reading about my friends, we got to know them all so well, with an odd one crossing over from the first two books in this series. Each one playing off another, batting back and forth with the trials, tribulations and quips following alongside.  I highly recommend you head to Amazon and download a copy for yourself, you will not regret it.

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