Dangerous Waters – Anne Allen

Welcome back to another Guernsey Book novel by Anne Allen. I read this one accidentally when I was meant to read A Family Divided. And I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed this book right from the get go and was really intrigued by the combination of historically accurate information that was woven into the story in way that made it feel seamless.

We start off with our main character Jeanne returning to Guernsey for the first time in 15 years and she’s experiencing a panic attack due to the reminder of the death of her parents, which she witnessed. I can’t say I’ve experienced this myself but I can empathise with her because it can be quite difficult to return to somewhere that was tarnished with difficult memories. Unfortunately some guy decides to be a bit of a dick and accuses her of being drunk when she stumbles due to her panic attack. Luckily, she has some family friends on the island that she is staying with who support her upon her return. Even though she doesn’t seem to want to lean on them too much it’s good that she’s got them there for her when she needs them. Some people have a support system and choose not to use them, while others desperately need them but don’t have them. Out of both of these options, I’d definitely rather have the system and not need it so that when I need it I know it’s there for me.

She manages to get herself settled in her grandmothers cottage (she passed on and that’s why she’s returned) while she prepares the place to sell, since she has no intention of staying in a place with so many bad memories. While staying here she discovers a number of recipes going back to her French restaurateur ancestors which inspires her to write a cooking/ romance novel based on her families history on Guernsey Island during the war.

While researching for her novel and managing the renovation of the cottage she learns some dark secrets about her families past, including a love affair with a German soldier, while also working on hypnosis to regain memories of the night she witnessed her parents murder. I personally found this fascinating to read about because I have a little bit of a love affair with history and love learning about something I didn’t know about previously. During this time she dates her crush from high school until she starts to feel a little uncomfortable and stalked. At which point she ends things and accidentally ends up dating the guy who accused her of being drunk when she first arrived. And I can’t blame her for this given the relationship she got out of not long before coming back to Guernsey. Given that experience I’m all for date around casually, and when you feel ready commit. Don’t commit just because for once a guy is ready to commit! What if he’s crazy and you end up in an even worse position than you were in before? So it made me happy when she recognised what SHE wanted and followed her gut feeling, her head and her heart. Which luckily all agreed on the one thing, to dump the high school crush and move on to the nice guy you’ve been having lunch with.

One thing leads to another, and he ends up looking after her and protecting her from the people who killed her parents. The people who killed her parents even tried to kill her but luckily her love interest saves her and brings her to safety. I really feel for her when this happens, because not only is she terrified of being in a boat after her parents death. But the same people who killed her parents also try to kill her on a boat. And by a stroke of luck she’s able to call her new boyfriend to come and save her. After he saves her it doesn’t take much to sort out the mystery of her parents killers and bring them to justice.

And then as with any romance novel she wins the guy, her career kicks off and her family life takes a massive turn for the better. Although the following books don’t follow the same character’s; some of the characters we met in this book will also feature in the rest of the series. I’ve mentioned this in the “Family Divided” book, but I really enjoyed reading both these books and definitely plan to come back to this series to finish reading it. If you enjoy romance novels with a bit of history woven in you will probably like it one.

Thankyou for reading this weeks post, and I will see you next with for “The Wedding Season” by Samantha Chase. As always, please visit the actual post (I’d love to know how many people are reading these posts!), like, comment and share.

The Family Divided – Anne Allen

The Guernsey Novels Tour Banner

Welcome to my first ever Book Tour! I hope you enjoy it, so please like and share this if you’ve enjoyed the experience!

So I was silly enough to read the first book in this series before reading this one as scheduled so I’ve felt like I’ve been on a big deadline finishing reading this one to stay on track with my weekly posts. So I will be posting about the first week next week. So if you’ve liked the sound of this book and Anne’s writing, tune in next week to read more about this series.

Also, for those of you who may be new to my reviews be warned, I may spoil a few things but I also try to keep the mystery there for you so that you won’t know everything that happens if you choose to read these books yourself.

So into the book!

Reading this one I found that it did change who it followed from the first book, and when I was told about this series I was advised that each book can be read as a stand alone book and I agree with them. There were a few characters from the first book in this book as well so it was nice to see how their lives had progressed over time.

This book is the fourth book in the series so I fully plan to go back and read the second and third books. Which already tells you that I liked this book! (And the first one!) This book follows Charlotte; an English aristocrat, owner of a publishing company and a first time writer; and Andy a local architect. This couple is a little older than the first book, and I like how Anne adjusted her writing to suit them.

Charlotte is visiting Guernsey to recuperate so she can go home and focus back on her writing as she’s experiencing a pretty bad bout of writers block. While visiting La Folie she hears about Andy wanting to solve an old family mystery which has resulted in his father being shafted out of his rightful inheritance. Andy obviously isn’t so crash hot on the idea of some hoitey toitey rich English woman nosing around his families past but reluctantly agrees to let her research as Jeanne, a close family friend assured him that Charlotte is a great researcher and would be invaluable.

Given how reluctant Charlotte was to admit she was attracted to Andy and how much Andy resents Charlottes upbringing and money it felt impossible for them to come together. Especially as both had been married and burnt in the past. Having experienced being burnt in the past I can totally understand being reluctant to jump into something new and exciting. And Anne really does explore the various reasons for being nervous and the to-ing and fro-ing that happens when you meet someone new, and you don’t want to come across too strong but at the same time want to make sure they know you’re interested.

I really enjoyed reading how Charlotte had to battle with her own personal battles, researching the German Occupation for Andy, figuring out her feelings for Andy and interviewing the elderly to solve multiple family secrets hidden in Andy’s families past.

Throughout this book I felt myself cringing at the awkward moments between Charlotte and Andy, feeling for Charlotte with how her mum treats her since for a long time I felt I had a very similar relationship with my mum and at the same time was telling Charlotte that she was being an idiot and needed to just face her fears head on and embrace the changes to her lifestyle! Sometimes money, position and comfort aren’t everything in life and when it’s not you just need to embrace the change, roll with it and enjoy the ride. Which thankfully Charlotte decides to do.

While experiencing this roller coaster ride with Charlotte I felt myself I was trying to figure out what the hell happened with Andy’s grandfather and father to cause all the issues we’ve heard about. So when we finally find all the details out by the end of the book I felt like I should be jumping up and down in excitement and jubilation over FINALLY getting the answer I’d been craving since the start of the book.

The only thing I would’ve liked to get out of the book that I didn’t was to find out how it went with Andy’s dad’s claim to the family estate. Also, I would have preferred for the language used when characters talk to each other to be less formal and more colloquial since it just didn’t quite feel right.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you have enjoyed it stay tuned for next weeks post on “Behind the Door” by A. Gavazzoni and I will come back to “Dangerous Waters”which is the first book in the series in a few weeks.

On a final note, for those of you who regularly read my posts through your emails I would love it if you’d click on the links to visit the actual page. I know sometime’s it seems a little silly but I’d love to see how many of you are enjoying these posts and I can’t do this if you haven’t visited the actual posts. If you have the time, please do visit the pages so I know if you’re enjoying my posts as much as I enjoy sharing my thoughts with you.

Until next week, and don’t forget to check out the info below about the author, series and even a chance to win a holiday!

The Guernsey Novels

Anne Allen’s fascinating book series, The Guernsey Novels, comprises six standalone novels. All the stories in her novel series, take place predominantly on the island of Guernsey and are linked by characters popping up from one book to another.

They provide an ongoing story of a ‘village’ spread, so far, over 6 years. Each book is standalone with fresh new lead characters with their own links to the German Occupation during World War 2, having an impact on the present.

The Guernsey Novels are a mix of mystery, family drama, and love story and influenced by the author’s love of the island where she spent many happy years. Guernsey itself is always a main character in the books, offering a gorgeous backdrop to all the sorrows, joys and tragedies she describes.

The Guernsey Novels are available from all leading bookstores:

Book #1 Dangerous Waters

Book #2 Finding Mother

Book #3 Guernsey Retreat

Book #4 The Family Divided

Book #5 Echoes of Time

Book #6 The Betrayal

Author Bio

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. She was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea.

Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession Anne was a psychotherapist but has long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of her mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now retired from the ‘day job’, there’s more time to write and Anne has now published six books in The Guernsey Novels series. She will be publishing her seventh novel later in the year.

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