Book Review | Trying my first taste of #RomCom by Sue Moorcroft, “Starting Over” is the first of #Middledip series! #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 1 August, 2015 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “Starting Over” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

On wanting to read Moorcroft’s trilogy:

I joined Twitter in November of 2013, and one of the very first ChocLit authors who tweeted me a reply was Ms Moorcroft! It was always my intention to pick up her serial stories involving the small towne of Middledip, as you can see from this brief exchange back then how curious I was about one of the cars featured in the book trailer!

Time grew away from me, and if you fast forward to July 2015, Ms Moorcroft dropped in on #ChocLitSaturday much to my delight! I have been attempting to soak inside this RomCom since the book arrived by Post a few months ago; between then and now, my health was affected and mother nature decided to vex me something fierce with a battery of lightning storms which all but crippled my electronics and ability to blog! July blinked out of sight before I even knew how many hours I had lost watching the severe storms roll in and roll back out again!

I knew when I first read the premise of Starting Over I might enjoy a lovely reprieve inside a romantic comedy, as too oft I find myself picking up dramas; nothing wrong with that, except that I do miss a book that reminds me of the lighter sides of life and romance. It’s quite a good thing to remember to find stories that make you laugh and make you think about their characters in a way that is a pure uplift of spirit. I used to read more lighter faire in Romance but somewhere along the way, the historicals and the dramas (esp war dramas) swept me up into their epic narratives and haven’t quite let me go!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.Book Review | Trying my first taste of #RomCom by Sue Moorcroft, “Starting Over” is the first of #Middledip series! #ChocLitSaturdaysStarting Over
by Sue Moorcroft
Source: Direct from Publisher

New home, new friends, new love. Can starting over be that simple?

Tess Riddell reckons her beloved Freelander is more reliable than any man – especially her ex-fiancé, Olly Gray. She’s moving on from her old life and into the perfect cottage in the country.

Miles Rattenbury’s passions? Old cars and new women! Romance? He’s into fun rather than commitment.

When Tess crashes the Freelander into his breakdown truck, they find that they’re nearly neighbours – yet worlds apart. Despite her overprotective parents and a suddenly attentive Olly, she discovers the joys of village life and even forms an unlikely friendship with Miles. Then, just as their relationship develops into something deeper, an old flame comes looking for him…

Is their love strong enough to overcome the past? Or will it take more than either of them is prepared to give?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Published by ChocLitUK

on 1st November 2009

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 336

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback, Audiobook, Large Print, & Ebook

Lovely interview with Ms Moorcroft |

Read the full history on behalf of this series about Middledip!

{ the Middledip series }

No.1 Starting Over (this review!)

No.2 All That Mullarkey (Book Synopsis)

No.3 Love & Freedom (Book Synopsis)

No.4 Dream a Little Dream (Book Synopsis)

No.5 Is this Love? (Book Synopsis)

Converse via: #ChocLit, #SueMoorcroft & #Middledip

To follow her Street Team key in #teamsuemoorcroft!

About Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft is an accomplished writer of novels and short stories, as well as a creative writing tutor. She’s also the fiction judge at Writers Forum and a regular guest on Sue Dougan’s Chat Room at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Sue’s Choc Lit novels include: Starting Over, All That Mullarkey, Want to Know a Secret?, Love & Freedom, Dream a Little Dream, Is This Love? and Darcie’s Dilemma (ebook).Love & Freedom won the Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was shortlisted for the 2013 Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Middledip is as quirky as most small townes:

Middledip’s quirkiness reminded me of why small townes are so very fetching to reside in; they are the kind of places where even a short walk will warrant the populace to know who you are and where you’ve come from before you alighted fully into residence in their towne. A bit of a looking after you kind of vibe permeates these kinds of townes where genuine curiosity on your behalf and a kind concern for your safety walk together.

My Review of Starting Over:

Tess is attempting at all costs to find a way to ‘start over’ and reclaim the life she wanted to lead before everything turnt for naught. Quite early-on we’re disclosed the sorrowful bits which led to why she’s unwed and not yet a mother. Not one to sit lightly on her sorrows, Tess has a bit of gumption in her bones, where she likes to prove (first to herself) she is capable and willing to do more than what is expected of her. A bit shy and introverted Tess findings Middledip both refreshing and a bit daunting; as she knows they’d prefer her to be a bit more open about herself; speaking a bit more freely when someone in town comes to chatter over tea or such. It feels as though Tess is struggling against herself; where part of her yearns to move forward and a part of her feels ready to pull out the brakes, stop the inevitable if for a short spell of reprieve.

The local mechanic at the garage implores her to seek a tempered tolerance for his brass ways of connecting with her; not that Ratty is overly malicious or rude; quite the contrary Tess is the one who came off as being indifferent and cold! Ratty is simply a bloke who took up residence in his passion (here this refers to classic cars, restorations, and all things inter-related to cars!) and found confidence in his work, for which he became well-known. Tess is a bit turnt off causal acquaintances and there lies the rub with Ratty, as despite his lack of charm, she cannot quite find herself akin to being herself around him.

This of course only lasted until the hour arose where Ratty gave Tess something to consider in regards to his personality and the manners in which he treats women. Tess has a lot of baggage from her ex-fiance and the plight of most singletons who find certain men are not as keen on respecting boundaries; part of her re-growth into her new life was attempting to shed the memories of the past whilst embracing new experiences in the present. To take a full-step forward whilst entertaining a bit of spontaneity and re-defining her work as she accepted a most delightful series of stories involving dragons! My own fondness for dragons was happily consuming the short bits of insights towards Tess’s illustrations and happily cheered her on as she made progress towards her deadline!

I didn’t warm to Ratty or Olly; Ratty felt a bit too, wells for lack of a better word ‘rat-like’ as in ‘rat fink’ or a rake if this were the Regency. Mind you, he had his positive qualities, he aided Tess when she needed medical assistance on more than one occasion; including during a time where it was a bit embarrassing for both of them, given the circumstances. However, despite his chum exterior around Tess when they were in mutual company, he ebbed hot and cold. Even a bit neutral and outright exhaustively vexing! The redeemable qualities he had was being tender-hearted and a defender of honour when the needs arose yet I couldn’t help but question his loyalty or his true reasons for being interested in Tess. Olly doesn’t even merit being mentioned; he was the worst of the worst as far as boyfriends and fiances can go; his heart as black as coal!

For the first time I felt a bit off-center whilst reading a story; I think because in this particular case, the story flowed out quite British, and I was a bit lost in the bits where I should have laughed, as the humour passed me over. It is writ in a very open-honest approach at life between two people who are interested in each other, but perhaps not as interested in being together. They vacillate a bit in their choices between friendship and relationship; trying to debate where they fit and how they can get-on properly if they were to be a proper couple. In this, I appreciated how Moorcroft treated her characters as they were both muddled and seeking a way to live a life they both felt could be their own; without the standards shirked against them by parents or peers.

On the contemporary small towne world Moorcroft created:

One of my most cherished delights in reading ChocLit novels is the curious addiction I have to learn new British words and phrases; half of them slang and/or modern variants we might not use on this side of the Pond! I was not left to wait too long in whilst reading Starting Over as a few popped up right after the initial introductions we were given to Tess! The jolly good humour for me is finding out which words and/or phrases ring true over here yet in a different way from my British cousins! (yes, Jorie does have British cousins!) Methinks one of the more original versions of referencing the accordion doors is to call them “folding doors”! Seriously – my joy is tipped to the extreme nestled into a ChocLit novel! Not only do I get the benefit of reading a wicked good Romance novel (hence this tweet from #ChocLitSaturday!) but I get to expand my cursory knowledge of British English! Champion, I tell you! Champion!

I liked how Moorcroft centered her story in a small hamlet of a towne that is easily navigated by walking and intersects on people’s lives where a good cuppa tea and a conversation are easily spent during an afternoon. It’s the type of place you can linger at a neighbour’s house (if you wanted) or curl up in your work at a space you’ve created for yourself at home. Hours melt into seasons and all is quite right with the world whilst your caught up in the friendships you only previously hoped you’d find. It has a warm touch to a setting and even a few shady characters on the fringes of the main plot; enough to realise even small townes have their troublesome moments.

Fly in the Ointment:

There is a high frequency of strong language throughout the story, and in some places, I felt a bit too predictable because some of the characters who like to use a certain word in haste or in anger (to fashion it another way it’s a type of mushroom) lapsed back on using this each chance they could. Blessedly, most of the strong language is flittered through the novel and not overly done; but certain chapters have more of it than others.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Book Trailer for “Starting Over” via SueMoorcroft

Inspired to Share: This book trailer is more like a scrapbook straight out of the pages of ‘Starting Over’ where you can recognise the towne and the essence of the characters who live there! The music is slightly cheeky with a quirky tone and to me that suits Middledip well!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This book review is courtesy of:

ChocLitUK Reviewer

My next ChocLit review will be Zana Bell’s Fool’s Gold!
Previously I was introduced to her style of historicals by way of Close to the Wind!
And, visit my ChocLit Next Reads List on Riffle
to see which stories I fancy to devour in 2015!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Don’t forget to Replay the Bookish Chats via #ChocLitSaturday by visiting us on Nurph!

Til soon, I hope we’ll see you chatting with us! Spread the joy of #ChocLitSaturday to your bookish friends, all are welcome! Visit my post on #ChocLitSaturdays vs #ChocLitSaturday for more information! And, the words I expressed about #ChocLitSaturday on my spotlight for The Wild One by Janet Gover. Remember you can also drop in on the conversations are your able too!

Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

In closing, you might enjoy this transcript of writerly advice by Ms Moorcroft!

{SOURCES: Cover art of  “Starting Over”, author photograph for Sue Moorcroft, author biography, book synopsis, and book reviewer badge were all provided by ChocLitUK and used with permission. #ChocLitSaturdays Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo. The book trailer for “Starting Over” had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Tweets embedded due to the codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

I’m a social reader, I tweet as I read!
{ share if inspired }

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 1 August, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, England, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Indie Author, Life Shift, Loss of an unbourne child, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Second Chance Love, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Unexpected Pregnancy, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Health, Women's Rights

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2 responses to “Book Review | Trying my first taste of #RomCom by Sue Moorcroft, “Starting Over” is the first of #Middledip series! #ChocLitSaturdays

  1. janelovering

    I am feeling so left out! The last few Saturdays I’ve been away from home and I’ve soooo missed my fix of Choc Lit Saturdays! But it sounds as though you are having a great time without me :(
    Lovely review of Sue’s book, Jorie.

    • Thank you, Ms Lovering!

      I appreciated your compliment on this one, as I was surprised after what I had heard about Ratty prior to reading his debut, I simply wasn’t as swept away with him as others have become. In regards to the chats – our little circle of chatters has been a bit sparse, however, we’ve pulled together and had quite a bit of fun despite our lowest numbers of attendees! I hadn’t realised everyone was travelling and caught up in conferences or finishing their latest stories over the Summer; however, I don’t mind the hiatus here or there, as my own Summer is shaping up to be quite chaotic be as it were.

      I miss seeing you in the chats; your presence has surely been missed — I look forward to when life calms a bit and we can all quite happily reconnect with each other! Til then, take heart – you’ll have a warm welcome when you return!

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