You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get eating chicken soup when you’re poorly, or drink a hot chocolate with marshmallows on a day so cold your nose is going to freeze and fall off, or snuggle up next to the fire in your oversized fluffy jumper and fluffy socks when the rain lashes against the window pane outside……that pure unadulterated feeling of satisfaction. That warm hearted, palm tingling, soul soaring sensation ….THAT is how I felt at the end of reading The One Real Thing.
It begins with Dr Jessica Hartwell and fate bringing her to Hartwell after she finds some old love letters and wants to return them to their rightful owner. Whilst there she falls in love with not just Hart’s Boardwalk but the people that live and work there too.
‘The stars were brighter here than in the city. They weren’t obscured by all the city lights. They were beautiful. Goose bumps suddenly prickled my scalp and a little sigh escaped me. Maybe Bailey was right. Maybe there was magic here.’
When Jessica first bumps into Cooper (literally) you could feel the frissons and sparks leaping off the page and from the very beginning of the book you want these two to make it.
There are so many parts to this book. Samantha is so clever to be able to weave character upon character, story upon story, layer upon layer. It is so unbelievably complex and yet so easy to read. You just keep on unravelling the story, like pulling at a thread, and not just with Jessica and her mysterious background but with Cooper’s life as well.
‘He pulled back just enough so I could see his love for me, open, beautiful, and so incredibly heartbreaking that the sobs I’d been holding in burst out’
It is a beautifully crafted piece of work. And any author that manages to include one of my favourite words of all time ‘hodgepodge’ into a story is automatically on a winner!
I am over the moon that there will be more to come as I fell in love with every single character that belongs on Harts Boardwalk in one way or another and am craving to know more about their lives. I was totally engrossed in it from beginning to end, I did not lose interest for a second. In less than 24 hours I devoured it as I would had I been starved of chocolate for a year, and by the end I was a chocolate drunk, dribbly, euphoric mess!
*ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*