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Feature book: Finding Me and You

30 March 2022

Finding Me and You by Ella McLaughlin

Subgenre: holiday romance
Release date: 8 Dec 2021
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook and print
Length: 300 pages
RRP: $6.95 (ebook); $29.69 (print)

Chloe Clark is 28 and has anxiety issues. But she’s happy, living at Pearl Beach and working in Umina Beach, both on the east coast of NSW. She’s safely surrounded by friends and family—including boyfriend Craig, who’s supposed to be coming on a fourteen-day Mediterranean cruise with her. This will be huge! Flying overseas, and then connecting to the ship Pinnacle of the Seas! Chloe secretly hopes this will take their relationship to the next level.

To her intense dismay, Craig suddenly pulls out of the trip—and out of their relationship, choosing to go off with mates instead. It takes massive persuasion to get Chloe to board her flight, but she does … and lands in Barcelona.

There she meets a gentle Scottish man called Jack Maclean who’s also coming on the cruise—something which heartens the anxious Chloe. They instantly click, two lonely people, and it’s lovely.

From there the book takes us through every port of call on the cruise: from Marseilles to Malta. Lots of stunning places, all described through the scenery, places of interest, food and Chloe’s shopping. I seriously don’t know how she managed to fit all her shopping into her suitcase: clothes, lingerie, cosmetics, and many, many gifts.

When the cruise finishes there’s a further road trip together to Florence and eventually Paris (sigh).

But at the end Chloe returns to Australia, and Jack to his family fishing trawler business in Scotland. Will their sparkling holiday romance ever be anything more? How can it, with Chloe and Jack living at opposite ends of the world?

At times the book reads like a travelogue, which is great for armchair travellers longing to be on holiday (ahem, most of us at the moment). At the risk of sacrificing some of the travel descriptions, I’d enjoy more depth to the character development and the romance. Jack in particular was a true hero.

reviewed by Mary D

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

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