Friday, April 26, 2013

Review & Spotlight: Saving Saffron Sweeting

Grace Palmer's British friends all think she's living the American Dream. But
her design business is floundering and when she discovers her husband
is cheating with her best client, she panics and flees home to England.

The tranquil village of Saffron Sweeting appears to be a good
place for Grace to lick her wounds, but the community is battling its
own changes. Reluctantly, Grace finds herself helping her new neighbours
as they struggle to adjust and save their businesses. However, not
everyone has the same opinion on what's good for the village. The
charismatic new man in her life may have one speculative eye on Grace,
but the other is firmly on profit. How will she navigate the tricky path
between her home and her happiness?

With gentle humour and generous helpings of British tea and
cake, Saving Saffron Sweeting explores one woman's need to define
herself through her career and community, before she can figure out who
should be by her side.


The whole office had fallen silent, but I saw that not everyone was watching us. Instead, some of them had turned to the far side of the room, as Rebecca stood and began heading our way. I realised most of them knew she had a part in this drama. And what about Rebecca? Was she half expecting this to happen? There I was, a total mess inside and out, and she appeared to be perfectly composed.
She came closer and I caught the eye contact between her and James. He had now turned paler than I’d ever seen, including the time he got food poisoning in Turkey and couldn’t stand for three days. As she walked behind the desks of her co-workers, most of them didn’t seem to know whether to freeze or flee.
‘Look,’ she said, ‘let’s not do this here.’ Not a blonde hair was out of place.
‘Where would you rather do it?’ I snapped back, but my voice was quivering. ‘Your bedroom? With my husband?’
James reached for me again, but seemed to change his mind and let his hand drop. ‘I know you’re furious right now, but it was just one stupid mistake in Vegas,’ he said quietly.
‘I don’t believe you! You’ve been in her bedroom!’ I was looking wildly from one to the other, sick with the thought of them wrapped around each other.
‘Well, actually,’ Rebecca had the nerve to put her hand on his arm, ‘it’s probably best that you know, Grace. It wasn’t a mistake.’ She glanced at me and I noticed for the first time an intense determination in her face. ‘I’m so sorry, we didn’t plan it this way. It happened after I hired you. But we can’t help how we feel.’ In her strappy beige sandals she was nearly as tall as James, and she barely needed to lift her pointy little chin upwards to gaze at my husband adoringly. ‘The thing is, I care about you and I want to be with you.’
A collective gasp flew round the office, almost loud enough to drown my yelp of pain. I could sense the techie crowd reaching for their phones to post Wild and crazy work love triangle on their Facebook pages. I felt like I’d been whacked in the ribs with a cricket bat, but I registered through my tears that James was shaking his head in defeat. The little pot slipped from my fingers before I could think of throwing paint in their faces. Instead, it added a permanent souvenir of the demise of my marriage to the carpet and his Hush Puppies. Rebecca sidestepped smartly and her sexy sandals escaped the shower. Too bad.
Failing entirely to live up to my name, I turned and fled with as much poise as a double-decker London bus.

Review Rating: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS

Review: What happens when your dream becomes a nightmare?

That's what Grace is facing when suddenly, her life isn't what it seemed.  Shocked by a betrayal, Grace has got to find a way to get past it and move on.

Grace is one of those heroines that you can't help but like! She's had her dreams handed back to her, but she takes it in stride, works hard on the next chapter of her life, and deals with it in the best way she knows how.

The story is a moving journey for Grace, about how she starts over, finds a new life for herself, and learns things about herself she never knew before. The characters are memorable and quirky. The dialog zings and the narrative is just full of fun and humor.  What an enjoyable story, and I'm glad I had the chance to read it.

Author Bio:

British by birth, Pauline Wiles moved to California eight years ago and, apart from a yearning for afternoon tea and historic homes, has never looked back. Her work has been published by House of Fifty, Open Exchange and Alfie Dog Fiction. Saving Saffron Sweeting is her first novel.

Connect with Pauline!


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  1. Thanks so much for featuring the book, Nikki. I love that you found the dialog 'zingy' - I think that's going to be my Friday word of the day!

  2. Loved the excerpt! This sounds like a fun book to read - Thanks for the spotlight and review

    1. Thank you, Maria. Glad you stopped by!