Cover Image: 500 Miles from You

500 Miles from You

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(ARC): This book was awesome! Jenny Colgan is quickly becoming a favorite! And I love how I am able to catch up with previous characters from Scotland!
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I didn't realize when I started Jenny Colgan's 500 Miles from You that it's actually the third book in her Scottish Bookstore series. I found out when I read the other reviews that Nina and Zoe, also transplants to Kirrinfeif, were the main characters in the first two novels. This one works as a stand-alone, which I appreciate as a reader. I suspect that there will be future books about Kim-Ange and Jake and perhaps Cormac's relative Larissa who also lives in London and takes him out to the hottest clubs and Yazzie who Cormac casually dates while in London. (Side note: I hope the author considers a different name for Larissa as it is much too close to "Lissa," and she's a minor character in this story.)

When I finished this, I was thinking of giving it 2 stars, but as I thought about the review, I realized there is a lot to like about Lissa and Cormac's story. Lissa's PTSD and the way it manifests feel very real. She struggles at work, she has a hard time talking about what she witnessed, she struggles with the personal attachment she had to the victim and his family, and she feels like she's being punished by being sent to Kirrinfeif. In reality, her boss seemed to genuinely give her a chance to heal away from where everything took place.

Cormac embraces the opportunity to practice in London for several weeks. In a way, he also becomes a victim of Lissa's PTSD because she takes out her "punishment" on Cormac--not sharing notes about patients, not leaving him any information about his responsibilities, being terse with him in her communications. Cormac is friendly and goes out of his way to engage in conversation with the people he meets, much like he did at home, but he finds that people tend to be more isolated and cautious with strangers in London, much like in any big city. Nevertheless, when he feels like he offends Kim-Ange, he attempts to make amends by paying her a visit with chocolate, which opens the door for friendship between the two.

What I like about this book is the way the author describes the scenery and the "tone" of the different locations. The scenes in London are fast-paced, without color, with almost a staccato feel, while the scenes in Kirrinfeif are slow and filled with greenery and flowers, and people move at their own pace. Lissa's journey comes full circle, and the secondment in Kirrinfeif is exactly what she needs to heal and learn what she really wants.

What knocks it down for me is the romance aspect. I know that people can fall in love long-distance. That's exactly how my own relationship with my husband started, so it happens. It works. But we don't actually get to see much of that in this story. Lissa and Cormac have a handful of interactions via messaging for work and then by text, but we never get to see them develop that relationship. We never really see them falling for each other. They have exchanges about their respective patients with tidbits thrown in that show they're starting to develop a friendship, but we don't get to see it turn into more than that. We just get told near the end of the book that they're thinking about each other. If this book is meant to be a romance, I want to see the romance. Give me more of the text messages, emails, maybe a phone conversation, thinking about each other before they go to sleep at night. We don't get any of that here, and that was a disappointment for me.
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Ughhhhh this book killed my book vibes. I was so bummed out about this one because it sounded so cute! And it fell sooo short! Like you know when you read a book, and your just anticipating something to happen for the longest time and nothing ever happens....until the END! Thats what happened. 

Our lead characters don't even meet until the last 5 pages and the previous correspondence between them held no chemistry. Both just complained back and forth.

I didn't like the POVs, and the couple didnt like each other. there was no chemistry between them. 

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC!
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A long distance romance that offers views from both sides.  The contrast between urban and rural village locations is very well done.  The main characters are well developed and likable.  They work through some tough issues, but they manage..
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Really jealous of the characters in this book - during a time in which I can't travel, reading Lissa and Cormack's story makes me feel like I'm on holiday in the UK. This book is delightful! The alternating points of view is a fun touch, and I love exploring each city as Lissa and Cormack adjust to their new surroundings. It is a bit slow at first; I wish they had crossed paths earlier (instead of only communicating online). Overall, this is a perfect and uplifting book club pick!
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Jenny Colgan always writes books with memorable chracters and beautiful landscape imagery.   Colgan's latest book, 500 Miles From You, is another great read.   It's a sweet , romatic version of country mouse meets city mouse.    I love how Colgan grabs the reader from the start and rolls with the plot by intertwining the lives of two wonderful characters in beautiful places.   Fans of Colgan will devour this one; it's a perfect summer read!
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I have enjoyed this series by Jenny Colgan, set in a little Scottish village and London.  She has a way of describing the setting and the characters that is engaging and makes you want to be right there in the village, away from the hubbub of an overstimulating world.  I found the plot compelling and believable, as the main character manages to begin to recover from a traumatic experience and find beauty and peace in her life again.
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This had a good premise, kind of like the film The Holiday but with a twist. The main characters were cute, though I could have had a little more time between Lissa’s 180 regarding the town. 

The medical stuff may be a bit off-putting to some but it was fine to me. I really loved Kim-Ange! 

Nice village setting to juxtapose with London. A bit rushed in the end is why I can’t rate this higher. Too many things squished in the last 5% of the book. Overall a decent escapist read.
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500 Miles from You by Jenny Colgan
Lissa and Cormac are trading jobs, but they’ve never met. Lissa works in London as a nurse and witnesses a violent crime, which ends up in her developing PTSD and getting temporarily transferred to Scotland to do Cormac’s job, who’s sent to London to fill her shoes. This book is a romance but it does include some heavy issues. The turmoil that Lissa struggles with is a big part of this book. Each are dealing with their own troubled pasts, insecurities, and a struggle to adapt to their new temporary homes. On the other hand, this made me want to pack my bags and travel to Scotland immediately. The biggest complaint I have is that the end seemed very rushed especially after such a long build up. But I did really enjoy this and if you like “rom-coms” and Scotland I think you will too. I also don’t think it’s necessary to read the previous books in this series if you wanna jump right into this one.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this copy in exchange for an honest review!
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If you're looking for more stories about Nina and Zoe from the previous books, you'll most likely be disappointed. However, this is a wonderful and heart warming story that stands on it's on.
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When Lissa experiences a traumatic death during her work as a National Health Service liaison nurse (home visitor), she is sent to a remote village in Scotland for a three-month stint to recuperate. Cormac, her colleague there, is sent to London to take her place. Much of the book is about each entering a "foreign" location, finding it absolutely puzzling, then discovering all the joys it has to offer. The descriptions of London and Scotland are beautifully done, and the blooming friendship of two strangers through case notes, e-mails, then texts is fun. This is the 3rd book in the Scottish Bookshop series, and it a lovely story, with a great sense of place, interesting (and sometimes gruesome) nursing details, and enjoyable characters. I want to be there!
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I received an electronic ARC from HarperCollins Publishers through NetGalley.
This is the third book Colgan has set in the same town in Scotland though can be read as a stand alone. Characters from her Bookshop books interact in this story as well.
To start the book, Lissa, a nurse, sees a young man she knows hit by a car. She fights to save him but he dies of his injuries. This triggers some PTSD for her and the hospital proposes sending her to Scotland on a nursing trade. In the meantime, Cormack, a nurse in Kirrinfeif, connects with the hospital in London and agrees to a trade. The two swap jobs and homes for three months. So begins a relationship via emails and texts. Each feels isolated and out of their element to start but both are welcomed in to their communities. Eventually, they meet and the happy ending happens quickly in the last two chapters. Touching ending with a sweet though not unexpected event.
Colgan writes with plenty of description with an emphasis on character development. This story is told from both viewpoints - Lissa and Cormack - along with a third party narrator who sees it all. The jumps between happen quickly at some points. 
A charming and fairly quick read that pulls the readers in to both setting locations.
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This is the first work I've read by Jenny Colgan so the world of Kirrinfief is completely new to me but I'm in love with this quaint gem in the Scottish Highlands. I enjoyed the dual perspective of Cormac & Lissa as they both navigate their new lives in London & the Highlands and the fact that this book tackles heavier subject matter like PTSD. I would've enjoyed hearing more about Cormac's experience with it since the book focused more heavily on Lissa's but that's understandable since hers is the reason this job switch is in place. The book is a bit predictable and the everything gets wrapped up with a bow at the ending which sometimes can make me roll my eyes but honestly it has been a real struggle reading lately with everything going on in the world, and this book was the perfect escape--like a nice mug of tea on a cold night. I'm looking forward to reading the previous novels based in Kirrinfief to discover the origin stories of some of the characters that pop up in this book.
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A charming and sigh worthy conclusion to the Scottish Bookshop series.  Loved the romance and glimpses of London life while checking in with our favorite characters in Kirrinfief.
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London and Kirrinfief, Scotland - Present Day

Lissa Westcott is a nurse working for the National Health Service in a gritty area of London. As she leaves a patient's home after treatment, she witnesses a horrific incident that has left her, normally a strong person, a wreck. Concerned for her mental well being, as much for her physical safety, Lissa is sent to rural Scotland in an exchange program for three months. She will have to testify in court about the tragedy at some point. 

Cormac MacPherson is a nurse in Kirrinfief, a tiny village in the Highlands near Loch Ness. He, too, has had some history dealing with tragedy as an ex-military medic, so he wonders how going to London is going to help that? He's always been a small-town boy with little big city experience. 

Arriving in Kirrinfief, Lissa is immediately aware that her arrival has been anticipated by the tiny community who are all, obviously, Cormac's friends. He has kindly allowed her to stay in his cottage, and Lissa wonders how on earth she will survive so far from Starbucks and the London bustle. She also is required by the NHS to Skype with a psychologist to deal with what she witnessed in London. Her state of mind is far from calm, and she's not bothered to read Cormac's various emails about his patients and the area where she will be working. In fact, she hasn't done much to alert him as to his duties either. 

London is a madhouse compared to Kirrinfief, and Cormac is a bit surprised to find himself in Lissa's tiny room that she has in the nurses' home where she and others live. Her friends are somewhat helpful, but traversing the London streets initially has Cormac in a tizzy. 

Eventually, Lissa and Cormac text each other to ask questions. Lissa initially has some trouble fitting into the tight-knit community, giving the impression that she is aloof. But soon, making friends, she realizes that this is probably the best place for her to wrap her head around what happened in London. And she begins to wonder what Cormac is like after their texts turn humorous and a tad more personal. Cormac can tell that Lissa is relaxing the longer she is in his hometown, and fantasizes about what she looks like.

Both Lissa and Cormac have lots of emotional issues to deal with. How will they handle their new, if temporary, lives, and what will happen if, or when, they meet in person? There are some poignant events, but there is also plenty of humor as both Lissa and Cormac come to grips with their new jobs. Their emails and texts are fun to read. 

500 MILES FROM YOU is a fun, relaxing read that tells a sweet story.
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Nothing. Happened. In 400+ pages. Our lead characters don't even meet until the last 5 pages and the previous correspondence between them held no chemistry. Both just complained back and forth.

Weird perspective shifts, Cormac to Lissa, to a randomly omniscient narrator all within in one paragraph.

Too many loose unexplained ends, too many random medical case details, overly detailed areas that have nothing to do with plot or character development.

Scotland was the only good character. And Ned. Who is a hedgehog. 

 You don't have to have read the other titles in the series, but maybe you would enjoy this one more. A bumbling book.

Thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for the Advanced Reader Copy.
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500 Miles from You is a heartwarming read and I enjoyed every minute of it. Jenny Colgan is a wonderful writer and whenever she writes a new story I'm always jumping at the chance to read it! This one was as perfect as I had hoped it would be!

4.5 stars
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I love J. Colgan's books and have enjoyed this series and was thrilled to get an ARC from Net Galley and the publisher!  This is not technically a sequel to "Scottish Bookshop" but does feature some of it's characters and the village, FYI.  It focuses on two NHS nurses who do a job swap - one city and one country and fall in love in the process.  Wonderful story, settings and plot lines, although heavy at times from her usual material, Colgan does a great job here & I loved it & highly recommend!  Thanks again to Net Galley and Wm Morrow for the free e-book I received in exchange for an honest opinion.
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Lissa Westcott, a community visiting nurse in South London, is on the verge of a nervous collapse. After treating a patient in a not-yet-gentrified apartment block she witnesses a deliberate hit and run of a young teen she knows. In fact, he is related to a former boyfriend. Though she does her best to save him, she cannot. The accident continues to haunt her and when she is offered the opportunity to swap positions with another nurse whose practice is in a rural area she accepts. It is a chance for her to heal in a peaceful country setting and for her counterpart to see what life is like practicing medicine in a culturally rich, ethnically diverse, very expensive capital. Lissa accepts the assignment and  leaves for Kirrinfeif on the banks of Loch Ness and Cormac MacPherson heads for London and Lissa’s  tiny room and caseload. They exchange the clinical casenotes on patients, but neither is quite prepared for what awaits them.

Lissa find herself in a breath-taking beautiful setting and living in a quaint, quirky cottage. The townsfolk, wary at first, are welcoming and open when they get to know her. Cormac is first shocked by his patients who range from barely surviving in high rises without working elevators to wealthy drug users and anti-vaxxers in luxury penthouses . He is also shocked at the cost of living (a pint is seven pounds). Yet in a short time, he,  too, appreciates the lure of London: the history on every corner; the bustling crowds on the South Bank enjoying the Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre; the ethnic restaurants. And his email correspondence with the elusive and delightful Lissa.

Lissa and Cormac soon become more than just internet buddies. A bond forms over their mutual concerns for their patients and their appreciation of each others’ homes. Both wonder if the very real attraction can sustain a face-to-face meeting. Hint: This is Jenny Colgan novel…

What makes 500 miles so satisfying is the appreciation for both lifestyles, the richness of London and the beauty of Loch Ness. We meet new characters like Lissa’s neighbor Kim-Ange and revisit friends in Kirrinfeif. It was lovely catching up with the book mobile set. Nina and Lennox and their adored son, Zoe and her still-healing family, the pub and bookmobile patrons are all here.

A warm and poignant chapter in the hopefully continuing story of folks in Kirrinfeif. Recommended.
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This was an engaging, quick read from the get-go and one that gave me so much wanderlust to return to London and visit Scotland. At first, the dual viewpoints switching back and forth is a bit confusing without chapter headings, but other than that, their perspectives are quite obvious. Both Lissa and Cormac make compelling protagonists in their own right and I liked following their stories, quite compelling. Think "The Holiday" but with medicine, because that's basically the setup here as we follow two simultaneous fish out of water stores and slowly, very slowly, a friendship builds. But, the pacing and timing of everything feels completely honest and genuine and it worked. The novel is a love letter to small country life more than anything and I couldn't stop smiling, for the most part. The end does feel quite abrupt like after finally meeting, after several near misses, they just jump into a kiss and a relationship. And for a relationship that was so slow, authentic, and cautious, this just feels a bit forced to make sure we cram a HEA in before the book ends. Also, I wasn't the biggest fan of the epilogue and I'm not sure it was totally necessary in the first place. Sure, the part with the transplant family was so sweet, but other than that, nothing between Cormac and Lissa was resolved really, and that's where I wanted to see the romance unfold in the epilogue, based on the book's timing. Other than that, it was a very cute book that makes me want to head to the UK like right now.
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