Jilted and emotionally fragile: can Tess ever open her heart again?
Tess is a mess. Neurotic, unpredictable, moody and overly sensitive to rejection; not to mention the heartache and grief caused when her fiancť decided to send her an email telling her how marriage to her just wasnít for him Ė sorry. Afraid of life and the world, Tess finds refuge in hiding from lifeís stressful events by upping sticks, leaving London and moving to a tiny, quiet village; a village that proves to hold more than just a respite from her recent past, but slowly become home.
ďRattyĒ Miles Rattenbury, caught Tessís eye for all the wrong reasons. Rude, aloof, all hard muscle, strong mechanicís hands and emotionally impenetrable, he was precisely the sort of man that played around. Exactly the type that Tess currently despised because of her ex, Olly. Ratty isnít overly thrilled at meeting Tess, especially when their meeting came about from her pranging the rear of his truck with her Freelander. Pushed together due to the close proximity of village life, a terrifying ordeal involving an too-eager drunkard; Tess and Ratty tentatively walk the tightrope of forming a friendship, but is that all they both really want?
Full of the absurdities of life, Starting Over is refreshingly honest with its hero and heroine. Tessís neuroticism and inability to deal with uncomfortable situations makes her a lot crazy and yet stilled lovable. A message sure to bring sighs of relief to women everywhere. We just cannot keep it together all of the time. Comparatively, Ratty is made manly, with just enough roughness to keep him sexy and usually managing to say all the right things (even if they donít want to be heard). Of course, the muscular body and big, strong hands certainly help...
Moorcroft writes a thoroughly engaging, utterly believable, occasionally moving, often funny tale; with just the right amount of sauciness Ė where some over spice, Moorcroft gets the balance spot on. Chic lit can often be predictable, unrealistic in itís over romantic portrayal of the relationship between men and women and worse: entirely dependent on the rampant sex scenes. But with Moorcroft, or at least, with Starting Over, you get the sense that the blossoming relationship in all its little foibles, nuances and problems is the real core of the novel. Starting Over is pure self indulgence. And maybe it was just me, but donít worry if you shed a little tear at the end, we wonít tell if you donít.
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012