Book Review | “Please Don’t Stop the Music” (Book One: Yorkshire Romances) by Jane Lovering #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 26 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#ChocLitSaturdays banner created in Canva by Jorie.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and I feature Romance & Women’s Fiction authors during @SatBookChat:

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how to promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “Please Don’t Stop the Music” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

a bit of back-history on this sequence of roms:

I started reading the Yorkshire Romances with the sixth installment of the series: Can’t Buy Me Love as I have been wanting to start reading the stories by Ms Lovering for quite an age at that point. I felt it was a good place to start – to get familiar with her quirky humour & become acquainted with her style! I had intended to read more stories within this series and am thankful I can pick up where I left off this Spring through my readings of Hubble Bubble and Please Don’t Stop the Music.

As you’ll notice, these are all one-off stories which can be read out of sequences as it is not a series where each story conjoins into the new one – the setting is what unites the stories together, therefore, despite my preference of reading ‘series’ in order of sequence, in this particular instance I get to have the happy folly of moving in and out of the series per each story which feels it ought to be ‘read’ next vs having to stick to the order of publication!

The Yorkshire Romances in sequence:

{please note: all of these are stand-alone; only the setting unites them}

To properly recap my ruminative pre-reading thoughts about the series,

kindly visit my Spotlight w/ Notes!

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

Why I enjoyed my readings of ‘Hubble Bubble’:

Quite immediately I was charmed by Hubble Bubble – how you can grow lost in the humour and wit of Ms Lovering whilst trying to acquaint yourself with the current cast of characters. They’re blessedly flawed, genuinely open about their character traits and otherwise, have had the pleasure of random moments bridging them all together in a way that truly does feel believable.

There are some seriously lovely comedic moments sprinkled throughout this novel – such as the moment where Megan brought her newly beloved dog (Rufus) with her to the woman’s group and scared the ever-loving minds of the cats therein something crazy! Laughs. The wit and satire is peppered round the edges of the headier subjects being explored – such as Kai’s search for identity but really what he’s keen on finding most is emotional wellness, forgiveness and a proper sense of who wants to be rather than the bloke he’s become by default. Megan by far makes me giggle – she has the most outrageous adventures and yet, she lives a rather ordinary life! She just happens to have the luck of being in the midst of a particular drama and the outcomes of such is quite hilarious!

For all the levity of this Rom Com, it is more of a dramedy due to the journals of Kai’s self-examination of his soul and his emotional health. There are a lot of darker shades of relationship issues being explored including self-projecting pessimism and the ways in which people choose to self-destruct their connections before they allow themselves the joy of living in the moment of seeing a relationship develop organically. There are moments where I truly can say the context was difficult to read – as Kai truly pushed me a bit for what can be accepted for someone whose going through as much as he is – the hardest part truly is why he allowed himself to spiral into such a state of self-hate and loathing for a mother he never knew and for circumstances he never was explained. As this personally set-up a sequence of his patterns in life which were hard to read, as on one hand you can agree his past is hard to put to rights by heart and mind but why would that kind of past lead to his other behaviour issues is harder to reconcile.

Equality in Lit:

Nicholas, Holly’s brother has special needs – yet the compassion and the protectiveness of Holly’s presence in his life is refreshing. In some ways, I think her brother gave her purpose but also, an air of distrust of men as she didn’t want to complicate her life further than it had already become by being her brother’s keeper.

Kai shows the darker side of adoption – where due to different experiences and life moments within his after adoption care in foster homes, he truly had deep seeded emotional angst to where it affected his perspective on women and life in general. He had a lot of psychological issues – all of which are openly disclosed and discussed.

Holly on the other hand is one of the rare examples of how women can purposely disconnect their emotions from their rational mind. She had a hard road due to Nicholas but it’s how she approached living outside of having a special needs sibling which truly became the backbone of the story alongside Kai’s own journey towards self-healing. The two of them had dual purposes in the story-line and thereby expanded the depth of what Ms Lovering was trying to say and accomplish by showing their sides of how toxic you can live through your relationships.

-quoted from my review of Hubble Bubble

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

On my connection to the author:

I happily have had the pleasure of interacting with Ms Lovering through #ChocLitSaturday the chat off/on for two years; up until when she had to take a hiatus from joining us in the Autumn of 2015 or thereabouts. I am always thankful when the ChocLit authors can find a niche where they feel comfortable chattering with fellow ChocLit authors, Romance novelists, book bloggers, readers, and other bookishly chatty spirits who alight on Saturdays! Ms Lovering always knows how best to give us a heap of laughter, a wicked good smile and happily make #ChocLitSaturday (now #SatBookChat) a lovely place to be!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reading her novels. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. This is also true when I follow-up with them on future releases and celebrate the book birthdays that come after their initial publication.

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

Book Review | “Please Don’t Stop the Music” (Book One: Yorkshire Romances) by Jane Lovering #ChocLitSaturdaysPlease Don't Stop the Music
by Jane Lovering
Source: Direct from Publisher

How much can you hide?

Jemima Hutton is determined to build a successful new life and keep her past a dark secret. Trouble is, her jewellery business looks set to fail – until enigmatic Ben Davies offers to stock her handmade belt buckles in his guitar shop and things start looking up, on all fronts.

But Ben has secrets too. When Jemima finds out he used to be the front man of hugely successful Indie rock band Willow Down, she wants to know more. Why did he desert the band on their US tour? Why is he now a semi-recluse?

And the curiosity is mutual – which means that her own secret is no longer safe…

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

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 9781906931520

Also by this author: Can't Buy Me Love Cover Reveal, Little Teashop of Horrors Cover Reveal, Can't Buy Me Love, Hubble Bubble

Also in this series: Can't Buy Me Love, Hubble Bubble

Published by ChocLitUK

on 1st February, 2011

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 301

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Ebook, Audiobook (CD & Digital) and Large Print

Converse via: #JaneLovering, #YorkshireRomances + #ChocLit

About Jane Lovering

Jane Lovering

Jane was born in Devon and now lives in Yorkshire. She has five children, four cats and two dogs! She works in a local school and also teaches creative writing.

Jane is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and has a first class honours degree in creative writing. Jane writes romantic comedies which are often described as ‘quirky’.

Her debut Please Don’t Stop the Music won the 2012 Romantic Novel of the Year and the Best Romantic Comedy Novel Award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Novels: Please Don’t Stop the Music, Star Struck, Vampire State of Mind, Hubble Bubble, Falling Apart, How I Wonder What You Are and I Don’t Want to Talk About It.

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

My review of please don’t stop the music:

The first thing I loved about reading Please Don’t Stop the Music – is how lovely it was to find two creative economists pulling together to make it in the world! Both Rosie and Jemima are crafty gals – one makes greeting cards the other turns out into belts! I’ve noticed the style of belts Jem creates in funky upscale boutiques stateside, as I oft find my eye catching the creative genius of others – especially as a lot of the custom upcycled wearable arts on this side of the Pond truly are ingenious for where they source their materials and how everything becomes a new dimension of ‘found art’!

Jemima was between a rock and sorting out her life on her own terms when she loses a key account which was her main source of income to sell her designs. You have to believe when life throws you this kind of curve ball, you can be crafty and tenacious about how you want to address your response! Loads of artists get put down and put in place before they find commercial success – yet what shapes and defines them is how they respond to the negativity which alights in all of our lives when we least expect it! Her bestie Rosie is struggling to find her own rhythm of synchronicity now that she’s a new Mum with a young little lad in tow; if you look at them from the outside, they make quite the pair of women who are refusing to define themselves by tradition. We need more women like that – who reverse course on convention, stand on their feet and carve out the future they wish to live rather than to let society dictate what it feels a woman’s life should resemble.

Ben is a hard nut – he doesn’t want to broach too much about his personal affairs, in public or private but you gather the sense he has a good reason not too! He shoulders a lot emotionally, that much you can tell by his mannerisms and body language; but it’s his quiet reserved state of relating to other people which mark a question in your mind about what his story could involve! Not quite one to warm to on first meeting but there is something about him – something which begs you to find a reason to seek him out again if only to better understand his quirky nature!

I think Jemima was thrown for a loop, too, whilst meeting him for the first time! Felt so providential finding his little store tucked away in this hidden space of York; only to feel a bit remorseful for trying so hard to find a new home for her artwork. The hardest bit to life is moving forward – of daring to believe in what you hope the future will yield without every being truly sure if your walking the right path to arrive where you wish to be! Such is the state in which we find Jem, as she’s determined to prove the market will hold her art in good favour but how to get it sold when everyone you seek out dismisses you or questions the price of your product!? Quite telling though about consumers!

On her second meeting with this bloke, you really had to question what he was going on about – his whole attitude could use some adjustments, but it’s how he acts without remorse, impulsively presuming others will go along with his lead (such as when he blatantly stole a kiss!) and then, at the end of it all – writes in his journal about his ‘presumed epiphany’! I definitely agreed with Jemima about this bloke being a tosser! You can’t feel like you’d want to do business with him yourself – he’s just full of himself at this junction of time, completely devoid of being understanding of someone else and to be perfectly rounded: he just doesn’t seem to give a toss about anything or anyone at all – including himself! Oy!

By Jemima’s third meeting with Ben, all bets were off on everything she believed she understood about him up til this point! Her heart was truly with her roommate – a girl so maxed out on economical stress and the woes of single mumhood to where her support system was nonexistent without Jem by her side – sorting out a bloke with social issues was asking too much out of her except to say, he continuously intrigued her company! Thus, what do you think she did to entertain seeing him again? Invited him to dinner through a proxy invite initiated by Rosie (her roommate!). Aye. Just when you thought Jemima might just focus on her buckles and art, without having to complicate her life, she not only rounds in on her personal life but decides to give caution to the wind and accept his offer of ‘filling in at his shop’ whilst he carts off to the appointments he’d rather never accept again (with his psychologist).

Hmm… have you ever read a novel and felt you hit an immediate right turn, where rather unexpectedly you were given a plot twist so strikingly dire in strength of voice, you almost questioned what you had been reading up til that particular point of revelation?! This is what I was contemplating when I learnt a smidge of the past Jemima was hiding from the world – specifically, from us, the readers of her story.

The character I didn’t warm to at all is Saskia – she’s a right sorry person all round, as she makes choices which affect other peoples’ lives without directly having the kind of impact on someone else she was intending to pull off. She does make amends – takes her half an age – but in the end, I felt she should have handled it all rather differently. Rosie is the one you feel the most pity for at the end of the novel – talk about a poor hand to be dealt! Yet, even though everything in her life is happening the wrong way round, she has the courage to see it through!

It took me a bit to catch-on to what was happening in the background of this novel, as not all the pieces were knitting together the way they generally do – a bit of a puzzler plot-wise, as I made a few wrong choices in what was truly causing the strife for most of the characters! Then, once the revelations started to happen, I thought the best surprise of all is what was bothering Ben and why Jem had the hardest time trusting men. In their own way, they became the healing force for each other – of sensing what needed to be said, of what needed to be discussed and in effect, they helped each other write a better ending to each of their stories.

The layers of this novel are covertly concealed in such a way, you have to wait for Jemima and Ben to reveal the bits of themselves their most comfortable with showing each step of the way. For both of them, the past is a haunted mine field of emotional anguish, strife and the kind of adverse life circumstances neither wants to re-address much less remember in great detail. Ben has a wounded soul, Jemima has a mind unwilling to reset itself against past hurts – both of them equally have issues with redemption and finding solid footing in the present. They each seem to want to undermine their progress by not allowing themselves to move forward – stepping out of the shadows of their previous lives and realising, at some point, everyone has to embrace forgiveness if they are truly meant to live free of the past which has a choke hold on their reality.

Epistolary moments:

I love finding moments of Epistolary inclusions in the fiction I am reading – either through the traditional routes of journals, diaries, letters and correspondences, postcards, telegrams or the lesser used variants of bits and bobbles of memorabilia or other assortments of ways you can insert contemporary technology into a story without making it feel cluttered down by the texts, emails and bubble formatted chat interfaces – there are ways in which today’s authors are happily re-defining how ‘Epistolary’ applies to Contemporary Fiction!

In Please Don’t Stop the Music, Ms Lovering continues her usage of a character who curates a personal and private diary (for mental health purposes and a method of working through their thoughts or emotional triggers of stress) whilst she also tucks in instances of other formats of communication by including pieces of emails to run concurrent and in-line to her narrative.

Fly in the Ointment:

Previously, I’ve known Ms Lovering said her choices in language usage differs through the stories she’s written from the past to the present yet, evenso I honestly wasn’t quite prepared for how inclusive it was in both Hubble Bubble and Please Don’t Stop the Music. By direct comparsion, the pages of Can’t Buy Me Love would now be considered ‘tame’ as compared to the frequency of how many times they are repeatedly used within the last two I’ve read. I definitely returned to ‘glossing over’ certain portions as the explicit vulgarity was peppered too much for my taste and it didn’t add to the story but rather blighted out a lot of words I simply did not wish to read in the context of the story.

on the comedic rom styling of Ms lovering:

You can’t possibly get through a Jane Lovering novel without having your funny bone tickled senseless and your sense of comedic phrases challenged! Mind, she has such a fierce style of banterment inclusive to her Yorkshire Roms, you nearly have to hug close to the context of her stories just in case you flutter past a corker of a paragraph which might take you for a lark of a surprise! Her stories are an uplifting joy – good to read them between dramatic reads and more intense story-lines as they provide you with a lovely repose where you can feel rejuvenated for having spent the hours inside them!

A lot of the comedic moments within Please Don’t Stop the Music surround motherhood especially the follies of the everyday and how trying to understand infants is a work-in-patience, fortitude and resourcefulness! The cheekiness of her timing to include the knackered moments of where Mums’ are pushed past the point of exhaustion, the dire straits of trying to pull an income off your art and the unexpected blessings of friends-in-arms who not only help you when your in need of unsolicited aide but of whom support you when things are going well, too!

Each of the characters Lovering is highlighting: Rosie, Jemima and Ben (technically also, Jason but he was my least favourite of the cast!) are not just works-in-progress, their adults trying to navigate their lives after disruptions of normalcy have intervened on their regular hours. Their lives have become altered and their navigating their futures as best they can whilst trying to keep their heads above water at the same time.

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

This book review is courtesy of:

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

In case you’ve missed my ChocLit readings:

Please follow the threads through #ChocLitSaturdays!

And, visit my ChocLit Next Reads List on Riffle (recently upated!)

to see which stories I fancy to devour next!

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

For my readers who are curious about my next #ChocLitSaturdays showcase – I am continuing my Spring ChocLit Reads this May whilst hosting our May #SatBookChat on Saturday, 26th of May!

If you’ve missed my previous ChocLit reviews this Spring, kindly visit:

Hubble Bubble by Jane Lovering (Yorkshire Romances)

Follow A Star by Christine Stovell (Little Spitmarsh)

Whilst I eagerly await sharing my thoughts on the 2nd of JUNE for:

♥ Sugar & Spice by Angela Britnell

Follow @SatBookChat for updates!

Tag us #SatBookChat to participate!

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

I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who picked up the same story to read.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Please Don’t Stop the Music”, “Hubble Bubble”, “Star Struck”, “How I Wonder What You Are”, “I Don’t Want to Talk About”, “Can’t Buy Me Love” & “Little Teashop of Horrors” as well as the book synopsis, author photograph of Jane Lovering, author biography and Choc Lit Reviewer Badge were provided by ChocLitUK and used with permission. Quote from “Hubble Bubble” selected by Jorie and is used with permission of the publisher ChocLitUK. Post dividers from the Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: ChocLitSaturdays Banner and the comment box banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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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)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Saturday, 26 May, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Britian, Brothers and Sisters, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Siblings, Vulgarity in Literature

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