Monday, 30 July 2018

If You Love Me, I'm Yours by Lizzie Chantree
Release Date: 9th July 2018
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books.
Genres: Romance/Humour

 ‘If you love me, I’m yours…’

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down. 

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

Chapter One
Maud closed her eyes and prepared to jump off the emotional cliff she was teetering on the edge of. She shuffled forward until she felt sick with nerves, took a deep calming breath and waited.
‘Oh, Maud...’ her mother sighed. ‘Not again.’
Maud cringed at the familiarity of those words, and in her mind, she stepped off into the void and plunged into the icy darkness without a whimper. In reality, she was still in her lounge, but being around her mother made her feel like an abject failure and the words she uttered sliced through Maud and filled her with doom. Her mum pushed her to the edge of reason on a regular basis. She wished that for once her mother could try harder to be nice. Surely it couldn’t be that difficult to be grateful for the anniversary gift she had been given and to offer a smile, even a fake one, for the sake of her child? It was the same every year and Maud was finally ready to surrender and stop trying so hard to make them understand her and compliment one of her paintings. It was never going to happen, she realised with a heavy heart.
Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, sensible clothes, a sensible love life... if you counted two overbearing exes and a one night stand who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he had started! She was ok with not fulfilling her dreams or being outrageous and carefree, she just wanted her parents to pay her a compliment, just once, after years of disapproval and disappointment.
Maud knew that as far as her mum was concerned, she was the most amazing parent who encouraged her daughter to have a responsible career until she settled down and found a ‘suitable’ husband. Granted, Maud was a very good, well-liked and adept teacher’s assistant in the local primary school, but every time she pushed against the boundaries set by her parents for their perfect daughter... ‘Oh, Maud!’
It was ridiculous, she was twenty-four, thought Maud. She wished she had a big glass of wine to slug back, but her mother would disapprove of that too, suggest in horror that she was a ‘wino,’ and hand her the number for AA, which she would have readily available in the little brown Filofax she carried everywhere in her patent handbag. The woman was a menace.

I was so thrilled when Lizzie Chantree wanted me to organise a tour for her again. Her book Ninja School Mum was an absolutely brilliant read so I was really looking forward to reading this new book. And, she didn't disappoint. What a brilliant book.

Maud is one of those people who just seems to blend into the background, living her sensible and steady life where her self confidence is in her boots. She's not passionate about much, except art! Unfortunately her family do not share her enthusiasm. Dot is a bit of a black sheep in her very artistic and over the top family and can't paint! So, she makes the best of a bad situation and becomes an art agent.  Her brother of course is an adored artist who has people falling down at his feet. However, his world is one of insecurity and emotional detachment after tragedy turns his world upside down.  Life it appears will take them on a new journey when little paintings are left on park benches with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The trio become caught up in the media's desire to find out who the artist is and friendships are tested to the absolute limit.

I love books with a plot that involves friendship, love, personal change and growth. I particularly love it when the characters are tested to the limit. Friendships, love and confidence all take a knock and the main characters are forced to step out of their comfort zones and confront aspects of their lives they have chosen to bury or pretend weren't happening. Its a story about taking a leap of faith and laying yourself on the line even when it feels like the most terrifying thing to do.

The book was evenly paced with fabulous interactions between the characters. At times I wanted the romance element to be more fiery and fast paced rather than the slow build up to it but it was absolutely the right thing for characters and actually fitted in pretty perfectly with how they themselves viewed themselves and indeed life. Sometimes bruised hearts and trampled on confidence can do that to you. The characters were completely relatable, particularly Maud and if I could have reached into the book and slapped her mother I would have! I felt an affinity with her Maud and wanted to hug her so much.

Lizzie Chantree has managed to tug at my heart strings throughout the course of this book that made it difficult to put down. I love her writing style and I'd highly recommend this book. A brilliant and engaging story.   

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Award-winning inventor and author, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. 



3 Responses so far.

  1. Thank you for being part of my book launch tour for, If you've me, I'm yours. I'm thrilled you loved the book so much and the review brought tears of happiness to my eyes, because you understood the characters and storyline so well and enjoyed it!

  2. Love he book cover. Gorgeous and appealing. Sands out on the bookshelf

  3. Maud sounds like down to earth and relatable heroine. Looking forward to read this lovely story.

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