Unexpected Lessons in Love by Lucy Dillon | Blog Tour Review #UnexpectedLessonsinLove

Published by Transworld/Black Swan
Available in ebook (5 December 2019) |paperback (9 January 2020)
416 pages
Source: Copy provided for review by the publisher

ABOUT THE BOOK

What happens when ‘I do’ turns into ‘I don’t know’?

Jeannie always wanted to fall in love, and now she’s finally got the whirlwind romance she dreamed of. Dan’s gorgeous, he’s a successful young vet, and he flew her to New York and proposed on Brooklyn Bridge. Jeannie has to remind herself this is actually her life. It seems too perfect, too magical, to be real. Yet it is.

But now she’s on her way to the wedding she can’t shake off the tight sensation crushing her chest. Is it just nerves . . . or is this all happening a bit too fast?

Jeannie has one last chance to shout, ‘Stop!’ But just as she grabs it, a twist of fate throws everything she knows into the air like confetti. What Jeannie learns about Dan, about her own heart, and about the power of love itself, will change her world for ever . . .

MY THOUGHTS

After meeting online and a whirlwind romance, Dan proposes to Jeannie on a romantic trip away and then suddenly all too soon it’s the day of the wedding and in the car to the church last minute doubts get to her and she has one last chance to put the brakes on. However those actions have repercussions that she never could have imagined and thus we go to the heart of the story.

I have to admit I didn’t like Jeannie very much at first.  I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t make that decision much earlier than on your actual wedding day – on the way to the church, and although it wasn’t her intention I thought it was cruel.  But Jeannie did and, honestly, once I got to know her, I did grow quite fond of her and want everything to work out in whatever way she wanted.

There is so much depth and substance to this story. I was totally absorbed by Jeannie’s dilemma and in the circumstances she finds herself in, together with those of the people around her.  There are some wonderful characters who begin as secondary to the story but who end up playing major supporting roles and I very much enjoyed getting to know them.

As I’ve realised with Lucy’s books, there is always a dog or two involved and a large part of the story involves a thread about puppy farming and a dog rescue charity with which Jeannie becomes involved via Dan’s new boss’s wife, Rachel.  I loved this part of the story and to see see animals which have been mistreated slowly begin to trust humans again and find loving homes. Working with the charity and helping with the dogs was an important step for Jeannie and things began to make sense for her.

This is not just a story about Jeannie and Dan.  Other people’s hopes and dreams (the wedding dress charity event was an inspired idea) and shows how complicated and imperfect love is.

Unexpected Lessons in Love is an emotional read but it is heartwarming and uplifting too. The unpredictability of the story makes it stands out from other reads in this genre. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.   

My thanks to Hannah (formerly from Transworld) and Hayley for the tour invite and to the publisher for the review copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lucy Dillon grew up in Cumbria and read English at Cambridge, then read a lot of magazines as a press assistant in London, then read other people’s manuscripts as a junior fiction editor. She now lives in a village outside Hereford with an old red Range Rover and too many books.

Lucy won the Romantic Novelists’ Association Contemporary Romantic Novel prize in 2015 for A HUNDRED PIECES OF ME, and the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2010 for LOST DOGS AND LONELY HEARTS.

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