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Book Review – ‘Gift Horse’ by Jan Ruth ~ @JanRuthAuthor

‘Gift Horse’ is Jan Ruth’s latest novel.  It was published on the 29th September 2018 as an eBook.  Jan asked me if I would be interested in reviewing her book.

I will tell you what I thought about ‘Gift Horse’ in a minute.  First though, here’s what its about.

 

Book Blurb

Imagine living eighteen years of your life around a mistake…

Caroline Walker’s daughter suffers a horrific riding accident. Her distraught parents wonder if she’ll ever walk again, let alone ride. And when Mollie’s blood group is discovered as rare, her husband offers to donate blood. Except Ian is not a match. In fact, it’s unlikely he’s Mollie’s father.

Eighteen years previously, Caroline had a one-night stand with Irish rock star, Rory O’Connor. Caroline fell pregnant. Deeply flawed boyfriend, Ian, was overjoyed. And Caroline’s parents were simply grateful that their daughter was to marry into the rich, influential Walker family.

Caroline turns to Rory’s friend Connor; and although his almost spiritual connection with his horses appears to be the balm she needs, Caroline cannot forget Rory, or her youth – both lost to a man she never loved.

Eighteen years on and after surviving cancer Rory lives as a virtual recluse in the Welsh mountains. Through his well-meaning but interfering sister, he is shocked to discover he has a teenage daughter. Or does he? As the truth begins to unravel, Caroline finds herself faced with a complex trail of moral dilemma.

Someone has made a terrible mistake… someone is going to get hurt…

 

My Review

I felt honoured when Jan Ruth asked me if I would review ‘Gift Horse’, especially as I have only read and reviewed a couple of her previous books. I really liked the sound of this book and it appealed to me straightaway. I also thought the cover was gorgeous.

This story is set in the present but goes back to the year 2000, giving readers a very good insight into how Caroline knew Niamh and how she met Irish rock star, Rory O’Connor. I loved Jan Ruth’s style of writing and I found myself totally mesmerised by the story. Her descriptions of Wales and Bryn Teg were just wonderful and I almost felt as I was there at times.

Most of the characters were genuine, some more flawed than others. It was really quite unfortunate how things worked out and I couldn’t help but feel for Caroline. The sad thing was that events wouldn’t necessarily have gone the way they did if it hadn’t been for a rather careless mistake being made. Poor Mollie was in hospital recovering from a riding accident and needed lots of support rather than her parents falling out. I actually think that Ian meant well but at the end of the day he couldn’t really give Caroline exactly what she needed.

Rory’s music sounded wonderful and I wish I could have heard it for real. I quite liked Niamh but I did feel that she interfered rather a lot, making things a hundred times worse for Caroline. So much heartache could surely have been avoided. In its own strange way though it was as if all that happened was meant to be. Caroline deserved true happiness.

The ending was just so beautiful and tender and it made me want to cry.

‘Gift Horse’ has got to be my most favourite of this author’s books so far. Jan Ruth is a truly gifted writer and I hope to be reading her novels in many years to come.

Thank you for a wonderful read, Jan.

~~~~~

‘Gift Horse’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

http://mybook.to/GiftHorseJANRUTH

 

About Jan Ruth

Jan Ruth lives in Snowdonia, a mountainous area of North Wales, UK. Jan writes contemporary fiction about the darker side of the family dynamic, often blending life in rural Wales with a touch of city business. Her style is best described as fast-paced and realistic, with a sprinkling of dry humour.

The real story began at school, with prizes for short stories and poetry. She failed all things mathematical and scientific, and to this day struggles to make sense of anything numerical.

Her first novel – written in 1986 – attracted the attention of an agent who was trying to set up her own company, Love Stories Ltd. It was a project aiming to champion those books of substance which contained a romantic element but were perhaps directed towards the more mature reader and consistently fell through the net in traditional publishing. Sadly, the project failed to get the right financial backing.

Many years later Jan’s second novel, Wild Water, was taken on by Jane Judd, literary agent. Judd was a huge inspiration, but the book failed to find the right niche with a publisher. And then Amazon changed the face of the industry with the advent of self-publishing. Jan went on to successfully publish several works of fiction under her own imprint, Celtic Connections.

After a brief partnership with Accent Press in 2015, Jan chose to return to the freedom of independent publishing.

Jan’s books are available globally via Amazon in paperback and for Kindle; and locally, you’ll find them in North Wales libraries and Hinton’s bookshop of Conwy.

 

Links

Website – http://janruth.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JanRuthAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JanRuthAuthor

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42090387-gift-horse

 

‘Away for Christmas’ by Jan Ruth

Congratulations to the lovely Jan Ruth whose novella, ‘Away for Christmas’ is out today as an eBook. Jan asked me if I would like to review her new book and provided me with a copy of it.

Set in Rhos-on-Sea, North Wales, this story starts off in December 2015. Christmas is meant to be the most wonderful time of the year but it doesn’t look as if it will be for Jonathan Jones. Losing his job just a few days before the festive period, Jonathan is really under pressure to get the novel he’s written published and for it to become a bestseller. But things aren’t that easy. To make matters worse his partner drops a bombshell of her own. The festive holiday already looks set to be a disaster.

Jonathan is bequeathed a failing bookshop in their seaside town and he starts to feel as if some of his prayers have been answered. However, it turns out that his publishing company are not what they seem. Then Jonathan’s ex-wife declares her romantic intent and he’s left totally confused as to what to do for the best.

Is everything lost or can the true meaning of words, a dog called Frodo and the sheer magic of Christmas be enough to save Jonathan’s book and his skin?

I firstly want to mention the cover which I adore. It is absolutely stunning and with its bright colours it looks so inviting. I almost wished that I could climb into it and walk into the bookshop. Somehow I think I would be stuck in there for hours.

This is the first Christmas story I have read this year and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the opening paragraph and I really liked Jan Ruth’s style of writing throughout. The way she describes things is wonderful and you can really picture scenes in your head. I enjoyed reading about Beachside Books and the progress made to restore it.

Jan Ruth is an experienced writer and so she is able to tackle the subject of the different avenues of publishing and book promotion very well. Jonathan’s burning ambition was to finish writing his books and to get them published. In a way it was as if losing his job opened up other options for him. Thinking everything was above board with the publishing company, he found out the hard way that they weren’t what they claimed to be. As soon as I read about them I thought, dodgy! They didn’t even liaise with him properly with regards to the book covers.

As well as the issues Jonathan faced with getting his books published, he was also having problems in his personal life. I read on with great interest wondering what would happen. I absolutely loved Frodo the dog. He sounded just so adorable. The last chapter left me with a nice warm feeling. Things had changed so much for Jonathan and I was really happy for him. I like how everything came together. There was even a little unexpected surprise.

‘Away for Christmas’ is a lovely read. It is the ideal book to snuggle down on the sofa with on a cold winters day.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

About Jan Ruth

The real story began at school, with prizes for short stories and poetry. She failed all things mathematical and scientific, and to this day struggles to make sense of anything numerical.

Her first novel – written in 1986 – attracted the attention of an agent who was trying to set up her own company, Love Stories Ltd. It was a project aiming to champion those books of substance which contained a romantic element but were perhaps directed towards the more mature reader and consistently fell through the net in traditional publishing. Sadly, the project failed to get the right financial backing.

Many years later Jan’s second novel, Wild Water, was taken on by Jane Judd, literary agent. Judd was a huge inspiration, but the book failed to find the right niche with a publisher. It didn’t fall into a specific category and, narrated mostly from the male viewpoint, it was considered out of genre for most publishers and too much of a risk.

Amazon changed the face of the industry with the advent of self-publishing; opening up the market for readers to decide the fate of those previously spurned novels. Jan went on to successfully publish several works of fiction and short story collections and after a brief partnership with Accent Press in 2015, has returned to the freedom of independent publishing.

 

Links

‘Away for Christmas’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – http://mybook.to/Away4Xmas

Website – http://janruth.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JanRuthAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JanRuthAuthor

 

‘Silver Rain’ by Jan Ruth

Silver Rain

Jan Ruth writes contemporary fiction about the darker side of the family dynamic.  She very kindly sent me a copy of ‘Silver Rain’ to review a while back.

After failing to save his marriage, Alastair Black decides to return to his childhood home at Chathill Farm for a while.  His brother George isn’t very welcoming though and would rather that he isn’t there.

Kate has recently lost her husband and is finding that she is increasingly being put upon by her daughter, sister and mother.  At over fifty years of age she is already beginning to feel that her life is over, until she meets Alastair that is.  He is everything she isn’t but there’s definitely more to him than meets the eye and it is up to Kate to find out what that is.

I really enjoyed reading ‘Silver Rain’.  Told by the two main characters, Al and Kate, I found myself feeling as if I knew them both.  I loved the setting of this story.  Chathill Farm sounded lovely.

It was obvious from the start that Al and Kate were attracted to one another, but things weren’t that straightforward.  In fact it was all very complicated.  For a start off Al had lots of skeletons in the cupboard, one of which was a bit of a shocker.  Al had a great sense of humour, but he was a very sad and lonely man.  I felt sorry for him and wished that he and Kate would get together.

I thought Fran was just so lovely.  She doted on the animals she took in at Chathill Farm.  If money wasn’t an object I reckon Fran would have possibly opened an animal sanctuary.

I’m so glad that I read ‘Silver Rain’.  I think it’s great that Jan Ruth has written a novel where the characters are that little bit older and I will definitely be checking out some of her other books.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

‘Silver Rain’ is available to buy on Amazon:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silver-Rain-Jan-Ruth-ebook/dp/B00GS87VW8/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453405859&sr=1-6&keywords=jan+ruth

To find out more about Jan Ruth and her books visit her website – http://janruth.com/

 

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