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All You Need is Love–teddy bear shop setting

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Goodreads

All You Need is Love

by Jessica Redland

Boy meets girl, but everything after that is a complication in All You Need is Love. Some of the characters you’ll love, and some you’ll want to send packing. Jemma lives in London with three flatmates; the four are devoted friends. Due to her mom’s health problems, Jemma feels compelled to return to her hometown of Whitsborough Bay. Scott, who travels a lot for his job, and Jemma have a chance encounter and are immediately drawn into a relationship. Sam, a neurologist, has recently moved to London to escape memories of his much beloved Nikki.

The plot is much more interesting than it sounds in a skeletal summary, but almost anything above the basics would give away too much and ruin the reading experience. There are huge issues of secrets and trust. Grief and how to deal with it is another major theme. There are certainly happy moments in the book, but it deals with a number of hard challenges too. Often characters in this book respond to these difficulties by blunting the pain with alcohol which, not surprisingly, makes situations worse rather than better. The characters have moral decisions to make. One, in particular, involves adultery which one character proclaims she would never knowingly do to another woman and her family. Yet, she did take the offender back for a second chance. Either the author or the character is inconsistent in this one instance. Although I did not like the way the author jumped around in time and between characters prior to uniting the two plot lines, in general, it was an interesting read. As a bonus, if you like teddy bears, you’ll get warm fuzzies from the setting.

I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Boldwood Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Category: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

Notes: There are a lot of casual vulgarisms—both British and American—in this standalone novel.

Publication: March 11, 2021—Boldwood Books

Memorable Lines:

She seemed to move from anger and frustration to listless disinterest in the space of a day, and back again. It was like having a hormonal teenager in the house, lashing out at anyone and everything.

Time seemed to slow down. The chatter, laughter and clinks of glasses faded into the background and it felt like there were just the two of us in a bubble on our own as he waited for my reaction, an expression of hope tinged with fear in his eyes.

How funny that we were from the same small seaside town yet we’d found each other in the third largest city in Europe.


13 Comments

  1. Carla says:

    Great review, Linda. I love that Jessica’s books have some serious issues and are emotional, but always end uplifted and hopeful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WendyW says:

    I haven’t read anything by Jessica Redland yet, but I need to as I think I would enjoy her stories. Terrific review, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t heard of this author, the teddy bear theme is a fun element!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nancy says:

    I have not read Jessica Redlands… I’ll keep an eye out!
    Thank you for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gretchen says:

    I have heard good things about this author, but have not yet read anything by her. I appreciate authors who handle serious issues well. And I also appreciate when authors show the consequences of character’s actions and don’t gloss over them. Sounds like an interesting read.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This book sounds like it is very true to life for a lot of people. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

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