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.
“Meet Rose Feller, a thirty-year-old high-powered attorney with a secret passion for romance novels. She has an exercise regime she’s going to start next week, and she dreams of a man who will slide off her glasses, gaze into her eyes, and tell her she’s beautiful. She also dreams of getting her fantastically screwed-up, semi-employed little sister to straighten up and fly right.
Meet Rose’s sister, Maggie. Twenty-eight years old and drop-dead gorgeous. Although her big-screen stardom hasn’t progressed past her left hip’s appearance in a Will Smith video, Maggie dreams of fame and fortune — and of getting her big sister on a skin-care regimen.
These two women, who claim to have nothing in common but a childhood tragedy, DNA, and the same size feet, are about to learn that they’re more alike than they’d ever imagined. Along the way, they’ll encounter a diverse cast of characters — from a stepmother who’s into recreational Botox to a disdainful pug with no name. They’ll borrow shoes and clothes and boyfriends, and eventually make peace with their most intimate enemies — each other.”
You know that roommate you never want to deal again? The one you were paired with freshman year who snooped through your stuff and puked on your bed? That’s Maggie. You know the girl who studied so hard in middle school that everyone knew she was going to an Ivy League college? That’s Rose. When Maggie gets kicked out and has to crash at Rose’s place, along with a slightly stolen pug and an impressive shoe collection, they’re both reminded of how much they truly loathe each other, and learn to get over it. Sorta. Eventually.
I enjoyed reading about a character with a learning disability. It was a good portrayal, I think.
I really enjoyed the romance aspect of it.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. There was an interesting plot, I enjoyed how the characters were portrayed, and I felt like everything was wrapped up well at the end.
I enjoyed their grandmother too.
Jeers (possible spoilers):
The book moved a little slow. I guess that’s just part of the genre, but still.
Rose seemed a little shallow. There is more to a person than a history of being bullied and liking to read.
Not enough pug.
There was one POV of Jim that we didn’t need. At all. I didn’t want to know that he was fat and bullied and a bumbling virgin before he got attractive, that didn’t make me like him more, it made me like him less. Tons of people are bullied and they don’t turn out to be dickwads.
Would I recommend it?:
I bought it at Goodwill because it had a pug on the back, and I’d recommend you do the same. It’s on Amazon for $0.01, so you shouldn’t have trouble getting it cheap. It’s not the sort of book I’ve give raving reviews about, jumping in my seat to recommend it, but it was enjoyable and it kept me interested.