I reviewed Holding Back as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team. I’d like to thank Rosie for organizing the Review Team and Helen for allowing me to read and review her novel.
My Review: An Enjoyable Holiday Romance
If you fancy a pleasant journey and holiday romance in sunny Portugal in summer, this is a novel for you.
Laura is a dedicated teacher who helps her best friend from college at her husband’s family’s delightful hotel, in exchange for a room and the run of the place for a few weeks of her summer holidays. Although she’s contented with her life, she has some unsolved personal issues which are obstructing her chances of happiness.
Daniel is an assertive and hard-working hospitality company manager who is tiring of travelling and avoiding his ex-girlfriend.
Daniel and Laura meet at the airport, and later at the hotel where he’s a guest.
They’re both afraid of emotional commitment, yet missing a more meaningful relationship, and although they meet at the right place and the right time, for a romantic interlude, they’re both reluctant to take their unexpected attraction any further than friendship. However the intervention of their family back home, months after the holiday will give them a second chance.
I read it in one enjoyable sitting. The main characters are authentic and likeable, the plot is plausible and unassuming. The setting is idyllic, small coastal towns in northern Portugal, and the happy ever after ending brings a tear of relief to the eye. What’s not to like about it?
Let’s get to know Helen a little better:
What would you say to convince someone to read Holding Back?
If you like sunshine and an interesting location to go along with your romance, Holding Back is set in beautiful northern Portugal. I’ve had a lot of compliments about how well the setting is described, taking you on a ‘virtual’ trip there! In fact, it was the place itself that inspired the story. I’d visited that area of northern Portugal a couple of times a few years ago and those memories stayed with me until my imagination came up with the characters and story for Holding Back.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished a story set in the Loire region of France. It’s quite different from my previous two books, as it isn’t a straightforward romance. It’s contemporary women’s fiction with down-to-earth humour and just an element of romance. I hope to find a home for it soon!
What would you like readers to know about you?
When I’m writing, I work really hard on the characters and dialogue. You can have the fanciest plot in the world, but if your characters aren’t believable, the story just won’t work – especially in a romance. I don’t do a detailed outline at the start – I’ll have a basic premise in mind, and certain points or events that I definitely want to get to, but beyond that, I allow my characters to take me where they want to go. It’s more fun that way! I’m also a compulsive edit-and-polisher – I tweak and tweak until I feel my story is the best it can be.
Thank you for visiting my blog and telling us more about yourself, your novel and your writing process. It was a pleasure to have you in my Spotlight.
Find out more or contact Helen:
Website & Blog: http://helenpollardwrites.wordpress.com
Amazon UK: http://amazon.co.uk/dp/B00WRZ1PKA
Amazon US: http://amazon.com/dp/B00WRZ1PKA