The Year of Starting Over: A feel-good novel about second chances and finding yourself

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3 reviews

About this ebook

I adored this book. It is ideal escapism at its best… There is so much to fall in love with in this story... An absolutely fabulous read that I couldn’t put down… One of my top reads of 2019!’ By the Letter Book Reviews, 5 stars


What if – to find yourself – you had to run away?

Last year was meant to be when Holly got her happy-ever-after. But stuck in a job that’s going nowhere, and a relationship that feels more like it’s going backwards… this year Holly has decided it’s time to change her life. She just has to:


– End the relationship with the commitment-phobic boyfriend

– Go on a proper adventure

– Learn to be herself again

– Definitely, categorically not fall in love.


Cramming her belongings into her little yellow Mini, Holly drives on to a ferry bound to Spain, to stay at a remote farmhouse near a beautiful village in the Andalusian hills.


But the day she arrives she nearly crashes her car into a gorgeous guy on a motorbike. He’s called Matias and their paths keep crossing, much to Holly’s irritation. Because as she learns to speak Spanish from the locals, finally starts laying out plans for her own design business, and sips sangria in the sunlit village square, Holly is beginning to remember who she is and what she wants.


So she won’t allow herself be distracted by Matias. Because this year – for Holly – there are more important things in life than love. And she won’t let yet another bad relationship ruin everything… will she?


A moving and uplifting romantic comedy about living each moment and learning to trust yourself again, for fans of Jenny Hale, Debbie Macomber, and Sophie Kinsella.


Readers are loving The Year Of Starting Over:

‘I absolutely, totally and utterly flipping well loved, no make that ADORED this book… one of my top reads of 2019.’ Ginger Book Geek, 5 stars


‘This book was wonderful!! I absolutely loved it!... I was hooked! This took me less than a day to read I was that enthralled by it. The pages just couldn’t turn fast enough! … A fabulous heart-warming read full of friendship, love, romance and humour. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would!!  Highly recommended.’ Stardust Book Reviews, 5 stars


Funny, romantic, lovely A story that just makes your heart soar… I absolutely loved every moment of this book and the little dog in the book is the cutest thing ever. Loved it.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars


Glorious escapism with the most perfect ending, which left me with a smile on my face and a warm, fuzzy feeling that all's right with the world.’ Rona Halsall


Like a breath of fresh air. [The] character development is spot on, and the characters begin to feel like friends.I Eat Books


A joy to read from beginning to end… a delightful bit of escapism and the perfect antidote to a cold winter day.’ Goodreads reviewer


A real feel-good read about finding yourself… I was gripped by [Holly’s] journey right till the end. Perfect for curling up in an armchair by the fire, or reading on the beach.’ Goodreads reviewer


‘If you're looking for a fun story that will inspire you to embrace change and love life, then this is the story for you.’ Living Life with Joy, 5 stars


‘I read this in one sitting as I couldn't put it down… Inspiring… This is definitely a novel which resonated with me.’ Ellesea Loves Reading, 5 stars


‘I loved how tender and uplifting the novel was, and I absolutely fell in love… Cosy, fun-filled and poignant.’ The Writing Garnet, 5 stars


‘Simply magical… The plot welcomes you in like a big warm hug… everything you could possibly want and more from a book. I loved every moment’ Stacy is Reading, 5 stars


Ratings and reviews

3 reviews
Gaele Hi
February 8, 2019
Having read Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel by King and loving the nuanced characters, opportunities for self-discovery and growth, I wondered if she could create a similar magic with new characters and an entirely new setting. I needn’t have worried though, the character of Holly was everything that one could hope for: and her opportunities and ability to share her own growth and happiness with those around her was enchanting. Having spent a few years in a relationship that was wholly one-sided, and ignoring her own desires, comfort and even the basic respect one should be able to expect from her partner, she’s had enough. She’s always felt that Scott was with her because she’s compromised everything, and ignored his immaturity and selfishness. But when he expects her to collect him at the airport after a ‘last minute’ jaunt to Amsterdam, she’d had enough. It wasn’t bad enough that she was still grieving from the loss of her grandfather, but feeling as if she was drifting without any real purpose. Her best friend suggested a list of ‘what you want to do’, and giving herself a timeframe to accomplish them – and with a bequest due from her grandfather’s estate, nowhere to live after leaving her partner, and no real ‘ties’ to anything in England, she takes an offer from a friend who relocated to the Andalusian region in Spain to help them renovate their house and outbuildings before starting their artist’s retreat in a few months. From the moment she arrived, Holly has been spreading her wings: learning Spanish, painting and varnishing, expanding her own designs to create her own fabrics, meeting the neighbors little dog and meeting the neighbor, Matias. Well, they both got the wrong end of the stick – Matias thinking Holly is simply like all of the other women he knows – grasping and wealth obsessed. He’s renovating his aunt’s cottage for resale as she’s moved into an apartment in town, and he’s splitting his time between that and his gym – a gym he’s opened in lieu of (and to the consternation of) his parents – his father wanting him to join the family firm of attorneys. Matias doesn’t want to solely practice law however, after a serious accident left him depressed and it was the physical trainers who got him back to health and happiness – challenging him when nothing else did. The rift between he and his father bothers them both, and he’s not quite sure how to remedy it. But, Holly has a lightness and way about her that makes him want to help her – spending time with her is something he looks forward to, and enjoys despite his repeatedly stating he wants no relationship. Slowly but surely King takes us through Holly’s steps to completing her list – a huge step requiring a ton of bravery that didn’t really occur to her – and we get to revel in the delights as she comes to fully grasp and grab at her own life and confidence with both hands. Not only the designs, but the little town, the vistas and even the weather come alive, and everyone seems to bloom and blossom in the story. From the success of Holly’s designs to her growing connection with Matias and the retreat having many satisfied customers – there is growth for everyone here and it will leave readers with a touch of jealousy in wanting to have the opportunity to do what Holly did, but smiles and everything feels very possible and plausible. A lovely read that is just the ticket for days when the winter days too long. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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Georgina Mills
September 29, 2019
Great read. Nice feel good book. Has given me the desire to make changes in my life.
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