AGE GROUP/GENRE: Women’s Contemporary Fiction
PUBLISHED: 6th June 2013
SOURCE: Proof copy received from the publisher.
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Sophie McBride has been in love with Adam Templar for as long as she can remember. Talented, brilliant and sexy, he shines like the sun over the tiny Lakeland village where she’s grown up. Now, at eighteen, she has her own big ideas and what’s more, Adam is home from university and has finally noticed her . . . really noticed her. When he asks her to a party, she dares to hope that all her dreams can come true, but what happens that night sets off a chain of events that bring heartbreak for Sophie – and lead to Adam leaving Langmere under the darkest of clouds.
Ten years later, no one is more shocked than Sophie to find him back in the village. Now an up-and-coming film director, he’s returned to make a drama about a notorious local poet and brought his glamorous cast, crew – and girlfriend – with him. As the on-screen drama plays out, can Sophie and Adam lay the past to rest or will history repeat itself?
It Happened One Night was an enjoyable read, and the first book I’ve read by Phillipa Ashley. Thank you to the publisher for sending me a proof copy to read and review.
I found It Happened One Night to be a slow-burning book, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. At the start we find out that Sophie and Adam are at the beginning of their relationship, both enjoying their first love. Then something happens one night, and there is a tragedy that’s hinted at. We don’t get to find out straight away what that tragedy is and I liked the fact that I was kept waiting to find out more because I was able to enjoy smaller, less dramatic parts of the story while I was waiting. I found myself desperate for it to be bedtime so that I could get back to the story and discover the big secret! I was definitely not disappointed when all was revealed, there were some unexpected revelations!
I liked Sophie. I thought she was strong, very independent and very loyal towards her family. The events that had happened ten years previously had forced her to make some very hard decisions and she was very selfless in what she decided to do. She put her family, not herself, first. I liked Adam, too. He had the potential to be the type of guy who washed his hands of Sophie and the situation they found themselves in, after all, neither his dad nor Sophie’s wanted them to be together and they were both very young. I wasn’t sold on him at first, I don’t know if it was the way he spoke to Sophie or the way he acted around her, I’m not sure, but I’ll admit that at first I assumed he just wanted to get her in to bed. As I read on and learned how he’d tried to fight to keep them together I definitely warmed to him and changed my opinion.
Adam’s return to the village after ten years was met with a lot of uncertainty from the people who knew the reason for him leaving. Sophie’s brother, Nathan, was not happy, to say the least. He was angry, and still blamed Adam for what happened. Sophie found herself reliving all those old feelings she had for Adam. She was left feeling confused, she still felt the need to be loyal to her family, and the fact that Adam had brought his girlfriend to the village definitely made things more difficult!
Speaking of Nathan, there were a lot of secondary characters that I loved, and one in particular that I loved to hate! Lily, Sophie’s business partner at The Sticky Muffin, was like a breath of fresh air! She was so funny and often scatty. Harry, the star of the series that Adam was in the village to make, played up to his image of charming, womanising playboy perfectly. We did get to see a softer side to him when he was there for Sophie to talk to. Sue, Sophie’s mum played a small, but important part, in the story, her revelations tied everything up and also cleared up lots of unanswered questions from the events of that fateful night. Then there was Victoria, oh Victoria, how I loved to hate her! I can completely sympathise with her in the fact that she obviously felt threatened by Sophie, after all Sophie and Adam shared a very important past but really, she was just so awful! Towards the end of the book there is a party to celebrate the end of filming and there’s an incident which leaves one of the characters needing an ambulance. Lily has provided a cake for the party that gets ruined in the chaos and all Victoria cares about is the cake as someone is lying unconscious on the floor! I mean, really?!
I enjoyed reading It Happened One Night and I was left satisfied at the end of the book. I felt that the characters were all finally in the places and situations they should have been, and everything was nicely tied up. I have already recommended this book to my mum who’s looking forward to reading it soon!
I first started writing when I was four, when I sent in a joke to The Beano. After leaving school, I went on to read English Language & Literature at Oxford. Since then, I’ve worked in advertising, journalism and PR.
I didn’t start writing fiction until 2005, after joining an Internet creative writing site. My first novel, Decent Exposure, a sexy romantic comedy set in the Lake District, was published in October 2006. It topped the Play.com Romance chart, won the RNA New Writers Award and was made into a TV movie called Twelve Men of Christmas which aired on the Lifetime channel in December 2009. It is now making its way to the rest of the world and/or on DVD.
And wow! How time flies when you’re having fun. I’ve now had five books published. My Little Black Dress books, thanks to my lovely readers, they’ve all reached Number One on the Amazon LBD chart. It Should Have Been Me also hit number four in the Malaysia Star fiction charts.
My books have been or are being translated into all kinds of languages including Thai, Turkish, Bulgarian and Russian. They are all being published in the USA by Sourcebooks and some are available in large print too. I was recently a judge for the RNA Love Story of the Year 2011.
I live in a Staffordshire village with my husband and daughter but I try to spend part of the year in the Lake District – walking, visiting literary locations and trying to track down the ultimate Lakeland pub and tea shop. I also love body boarding and have recently had my first surfing lesson.
Visit Phillipa at PhillipaAshley.com