This is the UK cover. US cover is different, but I read the UK version.
Title: Since You’ve Been Gone
Author: Anouska Night
“How do you learn to love again?
In one tragic moment, Holly Jefferson’s life as she knew it changed forever. Now—to the external world, at least—she’s finally getting back on her feet, running her bakery, Cake. But inside, she’s still going through the motions befitting a twenty-seven-year-old widow.
Then she meets Ciaran Argyll. His privileged and charmed life feels a million miles from her own. However, there’s more to Ciaran than the superficial world that surrounds him, and he, too, is wrestling with his own ghosts. Will Holly find the missing ingredient that allows her to live again—and embrace an unknown and unexpected tomorrow?”
It involved cake. I enjoy cake. I now want to try to make Butterbeer cupcakes, but I don’t know if they’re a thing. (Those aren’t in the book, I just want some Butterbeer cupcakes).
Fergal was awesome. He’s the MMC’s dad. And he’s crazy.
It was an “eh” book. I read to the end, but I’m not really sure why.
I didn’t feel anything towards Ciaran. Maybe it’s because I have no idea how to pronounce his name, but probably more because he has no personality. He’s just there, and he’s hot and rich. And damaged from his past. So what? There was just no draw to him. I felt more towards the dead husband.
The book opens with a sex scene… about the dead husband and the FMC. I was confused for a bit about if he was dead or not or if there were time jumps or what was happening.
Most of the characters came off as being rather flat.
Nothing in the book made me feel anything. The only time I felt some emotion was when I learned that the husband died young, just because I have a boyfriend who I don’t want to die. That’s it. I didn’t laugh, I didn’t frown, I didn’t smile. Nothing. It was just “eh.”
Would I recommend it?:
No. If this is the kind of romance women want, I want no part in it. It was so meh. I want to feel something when I read a book, whether I’m laughing or biting my nails at whether or not the MMC and the FMC will get together. The book just seemed to drag out and keep going for no reason. I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone unless they were an avid baker, but even then I could find a better book.
Amazon Summary: “If you’d asked me a week ago, I would have told you that the best cupcakes were dark chocolate with chocolate cream cheese icing, that dancing in a crowd of magic wielders — the Adept — was better than sex, and that my life was peaceful and uneventful. Just the way I liked it. That’s what twenty-three years in the magical backwater of Vancouver will get you — a completely skewed sense of reality. Because when the dead werewolves started showing up, it all unraveled … except for the cupcake part. That’s a universal truth. ”
So Jade is a normal girl in a family of witches. She can’t really do any magic herself, but she can make cupcakes, so she has that going for her. Out of nowhere, she’s the suspect of a murder, and suddenly werewolves and vampires are hanging around, and it turns out that she may not be as normal as she thought.
It may have just been because I wasn’t really trying to figure things out, but I didn’t see any of the twists coming.
I liked the characters. I hated Jade’s name, but I’ve just always hated the name Jade for no reason.
I liked how the magic was set up, and how Jade was rightly afraid of the scary things.
I can’t think of anything bad about it. I read it pretty quickly, so I guess I would’ve enjoyed it if it was longer, if we’d have seen a little bit more, but I suppose that’s what the sequels are for.
Jade seemed a tad Mary Sue-ish. All the guys want her, she has blonde hair, tan skin (without ever being in the sun), and indigo eyes. However, I still enjoyed the story, she certainly didn’t fall flat or read like Bella Swan.
Would I recommend it?: Yes! It’s a great read, lots of fun. There wasn’t any sex or romance, and I think that really helped the story stay on track. As long as you can abide by the name Jade, I say give it a go. The first ebook is free on Amazon, not sure if that’s permanent or not, but for now it is.