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Book Review: Strawberry Sky by Jan Ruth

Strawberry Sky

Grown-up, romance-plus, contemporary fiction.

I was looking forward to this – the third book in the Midnight Sky series having read and enjoyed the two earlier ones.

I wasn’t disappointed. The main characters, Laura and James, had been through a lot in the first two novels, but the start of Strawberry Sky sees them married and ready to get on with their lives.

But now there is a set of new challenges for them to overcome. James is still recovering from the serious injuries he received in the second book and Callum Armstrong, the man believed to be responsible for those injuries, is still around and making his presence felt. James and Laura are also trying to establish a new business at their riding stables and then there’s the matter of Laura, desperate to have a baby but failing to conceive.

As in the earlier books, Laura’s sister Maggie and her family also play a major part in the story as their problems continue to impact on both Laura and James.

The supporting cast, including Rob the vet, and Laura’s assertive friend Carla, as well as the employees at the stable continue to feature strongly. And there’s a brilliant new addition of a young woman who comes to work at the stables and who has quite an effect on Laura.

So there’s plenty to keep the reader turning the pages. As always Jan Ruth’s characters are credible, three-dimensional and fascinating, and the setting of the Welsh mountains and countryside is beautifully drawn. As in the earlier books the healing power of being with horses features strongly too.

Yes all the features of a Jan Ruth novel are here – main characters who’ve lived long enough to have significant back-stories, stunning settings, and a satisfying and well-handled plot.

All in all a first –class read.

Incidentally you don’t have to have read Midnight Sky and Palomino Sky first in order to enjoy Strawberry Sky, but I recommend you do – just for the sheer enjoyment.

Back Cover Blurb: Maggie is devastated by her daughter’s plans, but Jess is determined to remove the past from her life no matter the upset it will cause. James is no longer running from his past, but a multitude of unresolved issues are set to catch up with Laura. As an orphaned foal and a motherless teenage girl slip seamlessly into her life, are they key to a positive change or an omen for impending danger? Armstrong is a troubled young man and a trail of minor events ends in a catastrophe no one could have predicted. Can the family ever recover, or should they simply trust in destiny?

Strawberry Sky is published by Celtic Connections and is available in paperback and as an e-book.

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