Sunday, 19 October 2014

Once The Clouds Have Gone by KE Payne

When eighteen year old Tag Grainger left her home in the small Scottish town of Balfour she’d grown up in, little did she know it would be nine long years before she would return. When Tag does return, it’s under a cloud after the sudden death of her father.

Tag is thrown back into a life she never thought she’d have again. The fact that Tag has inherited a half share of the family business with her antagonistic brother Blair, almost sends Tag running back to her home in Liverpool.

Tag’s brother Blair, can’t forgive her for running out on the family. Her beloved nephew, Magnus who was five when she left, doesn’t remember her and to top it all, the townsfolk are all talking about how she ran off and speculating as to the reasons why. All Tag yearns for is to escape back to her mundane life in England.

When Tag and cafe manager Freddie Metcalfe meet, Tag feels the pull of attraction between them. Whilst Freddie is helping Tag take stock of her life, her family and the business, her own life isn’t running so smoothly. Freddie is hiding secrets of her own and trying to mend her own broken heart. The last thing Freddie needs is another heart break. Letting Tag in may do just that.

Will Freddie be able to help Tag with her family and the ailing business? Will Freddie be able to open up her heart? Will Tag listen to reason? Or will she run away once again? Will the clouds finally clear leaving the sun shining down on them both?

I’ve read most of KE Payne’s young adult books and thoroughly enjoyed them. This book is different. It’s a beautifully written story centering round a family with all the upheavals that can occur within families and a tender sweet, would be romance running through it.

The family described could be any regular family, the characters could be any of our friends, they are so real. I totally managed to lose myself in this story and from the scenic descriptions, lived it alongside of them all. This is the difference between the art of showing the reader and telling them. KE Payne has excelled herself with this book. I’ll be very, very surprised if it doesn’t win an award.

Both Tag and Freddie are flawed women in different ways. Both have been hurt in the past. Both need to let go of their pasts to enable them to move on and have a future, either together or not as the case may be. It’s their background stories that makes this present day story real and true to life. Their stories could happen to anyone. There is nothing remotely far fetched about them at all. As with all families, there are ups and downs. This is a real roller coaster ride of ups and downs, thrills and spills. A book I enjoyed from start to finish and could not put down.

As much as I enjoy KE Payne’s young adult books, I hope she will consider writing another adult romance soon. This book deserves it’s place amongst my favorite books in my re-read folder.

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