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Synopsis: In the dead of night, Ayesha takes her daughter, Sabina, and slips quietly from her home, leaving behind a life full of pain. Boarding a coach to London, all Ayesha wants is a fresh start.
Hayden, a former pop star, has kept himself hidden away for years. He's only opened up his home to two people - Crystal, a professional dancer with a heart of gold, and Joy, an ill-tempered retiree with a soft spot for waifs and strays.
When Crystal asks Hayden if Ayesha and Sabina can stay with them, he reluctantly agrees and, as different as they may be, they quickly form an unlikely bond. So when enemies threaten their peaceful home, they will do all they can to save it and each other.
My Review: I have wanted to read this latest Carole Matthews book for ages and finally decided to bump it up the list. As usual Carole’s covers are enough to make you want to pick them up and when I read the synopsis I was even more eager to get started. We meet Ayesha and her young girl Sabina as they make their escape from their home leaving her brutal husband behind. As they board the bus to London Ayesha has no idea what will happen to her when she reaches her destination.
Immediately you feel empathy for Ayesha and as the chapters progress you get a real idea of how bad life has been for her. Her only daughter has been rendered mute due to the horrible home situation she has been subjected to. What Ayesha doesn’t realise is that she will end up sharing a house with a former pop star who has now become a recluse, along with the bubbly and caring Crystal and the elder lady Joy.
I just fell in love with Ayesha and Sabina and was egging them on from the very first chapter. What I didn’t account for was how much I would fall in love with the other characters. Hayden is the Popstar who has now become a virtual recluse, Crystal is a dancer who has her own murky past, and Joy is the slightly grumpy one of the three who underneath it all just wants her family.
The story itself is told at the perfect pace as we learn each characters story and their circumstances. It seems like the most unusual grouping of characters but it just works. I found myself reading this in just under a day and was truly disappointed when I had finished. If I am being 100% honest (and the only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars) the ending came as quite a surprise. I felt like there were another 4-5 chapters we could have done with to give it a less ‘abrupt’ ending. That aside, it is one of my favourite CM books I have read in a while and a thoroughly enjoyable read.