Ruby Oldbridge needs to learn to take her own advice.
A brilliant counsellor at work in York, she is however floundering in her own life. Her romantic track record is woeful, her finances are in a pickle, and she’s back in a house-share after splitting up with her useless ex.
But one thing Ruby is brilliant at, is helping other people find a way through their problems, and she excels at the job she loves, doing just that.
Happy-go-lucky, Mr Positivity, Zac Drewe also loves his job – the trouble is, it’s the same as Ruby’s, and the management have decided to ‘rationalise’ their department. There’s only room for one of them.
As the snow and winter close in on York, Ruby and Zac have everything to lose, and Ruby starts to wonder if the happy face Zac shows the world, might be disguising a sadder secret.
Set against one another, they are unlikely friends. But perhaps, if they could take the time to understand each other, they might discover that rather than rivals, they could be the best thing that ever happened to one another…
I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This is my first winter-themed book of the year and gives the reader so much more than a cosy winter read. Ruby and Zac are counsellors who find they both have to compete for the same job after a company merger. Told from Ruby’s viewpoint, we realise she is recovering from a bad break-up, being in debt and losing her home. Zac is outwardly positive and self-assured, but as the two are drawn into forced proximity, they begin to see the true person behind the facade and become friends.
The setting in a wintry York is wonderfully described and immerses the reader in this festive setting. The characters are flawed and relatable, all with stories to relate that add to the book’s authenticity. The story has a strong focus on mental health and its triggers which make it contemporary and relevant. There is a balance of humour and poignancy. The reader wants the characters to have what they deserve in life in this engaging story.
Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home.