This week I reviewed two novels by author L. Chapman from the U.K.
The Summer Deal by L Chapman introduces two young women—best friends—who are on one final holiday prior to starting their clothing business together back in London. Emily is the eccentric one, a relaxed free-spirit with the mind for business. Tillie is the artist, the designer who finds inspiration for her fashion design in everything. Tillie is organized, straight laced and looking forward to this holiday—best friends relaxing on the beach and getting inspiration from the sights. Her plans are quickly dashed when Emily falls hard for Shane, a man that is here for a stag party. Their hot and heavy romance leaves Tillie alone more and more often. It’s a bit difficult to appreciate Emily’s decision to abandon her friend so quickly on vacation but, finally, Tillie runs into Jay, one of the men also attending the stag party. Despite Tillie’s determination to avoid men completely they can’t seem to keep their hands off of each other. Ultimately, they make a deal to leave their passion at the beach—no strings attached. As their days together come to an end, we discover they both carry deep, painful secrets from their pasts. The question of course becomes whether or not Tillie and Jay will keep their ‘deal’ at the end of vacation and go their separate ways.
The story doesn’t provide much in terms of a description of the setting or the people of Tenerife which I would have enjoyed as I had never heard of the island. L Chapman’s style of writing took me a couple of chapters to adjust to due to it being in British English as compared to my native American English but I did enjoy the differences.
Overall, The Summer Deal is a fun, quick read. Tillie is a likeable heroine and you find yourself wishing her happiness. Jay meets the right criteria of a summer fling—tall, handsome and full of sexual energy. I will certainly look to read more romances by L. Chapman.
Healing by L Chapman tells the story of a young woman, Keisha Evans, whose life has been full of obstacles and tragedy. As a young child she was told she wasn’t smart enough to become a teacher. With determination she worked until she was able to bring in the grades she needed. Tragically, she lost her beloved mum in a car accident that also seriously injured Keisha. She was unable to continue at the university. Fast forward to today and Keisha is now at least partially filling her dream of working with children as a school secretary. She still misses her mum horribly but she has a new puppy, her own home and spends time out on the town with her best friend, Ashley. Unfortunately, just when Keisha feels she’s ready to get back on track with her life she is assaulted on her walk home one evening by a faceless man with a knife. Before her attacker can completely have his way with her she is rescued by another unknown man. Already traumatized, the cold and accusing manner in which Keisha feels the police and medical staff treat her makes her retreat further inside of herself. The remainder of the story details the fear and anxiety of trying to heal from her ordeal. Throughout, Ashley remains Keisha’s main support, gently assisting her to get back to her life. On one such outing the ladies go out to lunch and their waiter, Cam, happens to be the man that saved Keisha from her attack. Cam ends up asking Keisha out and they start a friendship that appears to have potential for more. When Ashley is then seriously injured in another tragedy we are introduced to another character, Dean, with whom Ashley appears to have started a relationship. Ashley’s accident leaves both ladies to recover at Keisha’s home together where they are now joined on a regular basis by Cam and Dean. We aren’t entirely certain where Cam and Keisha’s relationship is headed. The story ends abruptly with Keisha receiving a post that shatters the happy world she had been working on returning to.
As the reader I hoped for Keisha to find healing and happiness. Ashley is a wonderful, cheery character. Cam appears as though he will be a hero that we will all love. Dean is somewhat of an odd, but potentially likeable person. This story was more of an extended back story to what I hope will be a sequel that ties up loose ends, develops the relationship between Keisha and Cam, and truly finds a way for Keisha to find healing.