I’m delighted today to be one of the blogs kicking off the blog tour for A New Life for Ariana Byrne by Liz Hurley. It’s also publication day for the book, so happy publication day, Liz! My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Tours for inviting me to take part and to the publisher for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
What happens after all your dreams come true?
Ariana Byrne knows how to survive. After becoming guardian to her four little sisters after their parents died when she was only eighteen, she had to grow up quickly. Now she’s in her twenties, stuck in a loveless marriage to Greg, trying to make ends meet for her young twins, William and Leo.
So when Ari is told that she’s actually the Right Honourable Lady de Foix, Countess of Hiverton, owner of a sprawling estate in the village of Saxburgh in Norfolk, her first instinct is laughter. Surely the girl who has to choose between food and keeping the lights on isn’t really rich beyond her wildest dreams?
She knows how to take care of her sisters and her children, but how on earth can Ari take care of an entire village? Can she fight off the circling land developers from Saxburgh, and stop her in-laws from grabbing all the money for themselves?
And while she’s struggling to settle in and settle down, she’s making new friends and new mistakes. Trusting her gorgeous neighbour, Sebastian Flint-Hyssop, may be the biggest one of all…
She’s swapped sink estate for country estate…but can a girl from inner city London learn how to become a Lady?
Take a trip to Hiverton Manor for the most uplifting novel of 2020 – guaranteed to put a smile on your face! Fans of Jenny Colgan, Trisha Ashley and Carole Matthews will love this romantic, feelgood read.
I was quite keen to take on the blog tour for this book because I thought that a light, fun, uplifting romance was just what I might need to brighten up these cold, wet, dull days. I wasn’t wrong, and this book delivered on every level.
The premise is bonkers of course, an orphaned girl brought up in inner London, mothering her four younger sisters after her parents’ death, living in a loveless marriage, finds out she is actually a duchess? Madness, but the author completely takes this tongue-in-cheek and runs with it entirely in this spirit, and produces a charming and fun story for any reader willing to suspend their disbelief and go along for the ride.
The character of Ariana is in the best traditions of romantic heroines the world over, feisty and determined, but with enough problems and insecurities to make her interesting. You will be rooting for her from the word go and cheering when things start to go her way. There are some appalling characters in the shape of her husband and in-laws that you will love to hate, and they produce some real laugh out loud moments in the book. Ariana’s twin sons are total dotes and I adored them, and then there were her sisters.
Ariana’s sisters are an interesting bunch, all with their own personalities and strengths and weaknesses. I loved the bits where the five of them were all interacting – I am the eldest of four girls so sisterly dynamics are kind of my thing – and I would like to have seen more of this. I did think that the author was setting up each sister to get her own story by the way they were portrayed here, and the author confirmed this in her end note, and I really look forward to finding more about them and see their relationships continue.
I really enjoyed reading about Ariana’s move from London to Norfolk and her transformation from rags to riches and how she copes. It was done with a lot of affection and humour and made for extremely enjoyable reading. The romance aspect was suitably full of tension, misunderstandings and tenderness (why do people who like each other never TALK?) and was resolved to my delight. The writing was upbeat, funny and flowing, all in all a strong debut.
This book is a great addition to the romantic comedy canon and I really enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a fresh new voice in this genre and I look forward to reading more about the de Foix sisters in coming instalments.
A New Life for Ariana Byrne is out today and you can buy a copy here.
This book is taking a tour of some fabulous blogs over the coming week so make sure you check out the rest of the stops:
About the Author
When I grew up I wanted to be an underwater archaeologist or an astronaut but I ended up in a library. Everyone laughed as I’m not a naturally quiet person but I loved it. I went on to become a professional librarian for the money and the glamour. Not finding quite enough of either my husband and I set up a bookshop. We didn’t find much there either so I started writing. Now I have loads of money and glamour but only in the pages of my books! In the meantime I dive and look at the stars.
Connect with Liz;
Facebook: The Other Liz Hurley