Cover Image: To Love and Be Loved

To Love and Be Loved

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Member Reviews

TO LOVE AND BE LOVED - Amanda Prowse

SLOW - 2.5 stars

Plot - 3 stars - After being jilted at the altar, Merrin leaves town to begin life again, despite the fact that she loves her hometown and would rather remain there.  

Writing - 2.5 stars - Prowse usually builds a story that shows people's underlying personality and how they grow and learn to handle problems.  But this book simply felt as though the characters had lost hope and weren't able to figure out how to work together.  I found lots of repetition and simply wanted things to move forward.

Characters - 2.5 stars - There is clear familiar camaraderie between the members of Merrin's family and friends.  They joke around together and clearly enjoy each other's company.  However, in the small town in which they live, there is plenty of gossip, which Merrin might understandably want to leave behind.  I don't have a sister, but Merrin and Ruby's relationship seems uncomfortably antagonistic.  And Bella has a sarcastic humor that didn't appeal to me.  We don't really get to know Digby all that well, even after the disaster at the wedding.  He's more of a catalyst rather than a main character, creating the situation that caused Merrin to change her life.  I just couldn't warm up to anyone.  They all felt like a clique that I wasn't part of, and I didn't think they worked together well despite the fact that they thought they were so close.

Title - 3 stars - This book is about love, of all kinds, I suppose--Merrin loves Digby, she loves her hometown, the family all loves each other.  The title is part of her father's letter and really made things clear to Merrin.

Cover - 2.5 stars - An unattractive cover with dark colors, which is surprising since Merrin seems to love her hometown and would naturally think of it as more attractive than that.

Overall - 3 stars - Generally, I'm a fan of Prowse, but this one was a miss for me.  There is lots of repetition, with Merrin being sad about leaving home, but worried about coming back.  She misses her family desperately and purposely didn't return for her grandmother's funeral, but it all seems unnecessary.  Despite her being nervous about being talked about, it's not all about her, so I didn't understand her overreaction. This book is built around a difficult situation, and I think it's meant to show how Merrin and her family overcome adversity by working together, but it was depressingly sad throughout and felt more discouraging than hopeful to me.
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I liked this but parts didn't ring true. Well written and easy read but just hard to believe parts. No spoilers but if that was my daughter.....!!!
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Another great story from the wonderful Amanda Prowse. She has created characters and places that are so believable that you feel like you know them and would love to visit.
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Another good read by Amanda
Read in two days was that good
This lady doesn’t disappoint 
Can’t wait for her next book
Thanks NetGalley
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This is another thoroughly enjoyable read from Amanda Prowse, she never fails to disappoint. Merrin loved Digby, He is wealthy, she is not. They're young and smitten. All she wants and has ever wanted is to marry him and become the mother to his children, but on their wedding day, when she'd on the cusp of saying 'I Do'!, she learns that he is not coming, and her world falls apart.  The tale progressed then with Merrin's struggle to pick her life back up again and move on. She find work and moves away, only to have to return again, with a very handsome man on her arm, when he sister's wedding comes around. Amanda is so talented in displaying human emotion that it's impossible not to feel all of Merrin's turmoil. This was a really enjoyable read that I highly recommend.
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This was the loveliest escapist romance that I have read in a long time. Now I can't wait to read Amanda Prowse's other novels!
Merrin loves Digby, the wealthy son of a snobbish upper-class family but there is a huge class difference because Merrin's Mum cleans for the family. This comes to a head and Merrin is left humiliated with the small, beautiful village people of St Charles in Cornwall gossiping about her. She adores her village (and the descriptions are idyllic) but she feels that she has to leave. This involves reinventing herself with a new career - but can she find love again?

Merrin finally discovers that you can run away from home, but you can never run away from yourself. She returns to her beloved village but she suffers a lot before she can find peace and understanding. There is a lot of sorrow in this novel, but it's ultimately uplifting, and the characters even stay with you.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

EDITION	Paperback
ISBN	9781542024785
PRICE	£8.99 (GBP
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This is the story of Merrin Kellow and her family.   They live in Port Charles, in Cornwall and the Kellow family are always drinking tea!

The Kellow family are the backbone of Port Charles, where everyone knows everyone else’s business and as her wedding day approaches Merrin dreams of raising her family there, in the bosom of her family, where there is a “photo opportunity at every narrow twist of cobbled street”.  Merrin’s relationship with Digby Mortimer isn’t quite as it seems though, and we see Merrin fleeing her favourite corner of Cornwall.  Amanda Prowse has a wonderful ability of making her readers feel that we too are invested in Merrin’s story whether it is the description of the wonderful Port Charles or the way Amanda illustrates her characters with her words.  I loved To Love and Be Loved and and I would love to know what happens next -  to Merrin, her family and her friends!
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Authentic characters and setting….a very moving story.  
Many thanks to Amazon Publishing UK and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Amanda Prowse is one of the authors that I have to read all of her books. Her characters are full of depth and emotion and pull you in from the beginning. You become immersed in the lives of the characters and can easily relate to them and feel their emotions. To start this book, Merrin is young and in love. Her future is bright and full of hopes and dreams. It all comes crashing down and she is humiliated. She feels like she has to escape her small fishing village, or she will never be able to get past the pain. She leaves her family, friends, and life as she knows it, but can she escape her past? Will she ever heal? When tragedy strikes, she must return to the village. Will she be strong enough to face the gossiping? She begins to remember what life was like before she fled the village. She begins to find herself again and face her fears. She finds out that not everything was what she thought it once was. People are not always what they seem to be. Can she make peace with her past and finally find the happiness that she so desperately wants?
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I really liked this a lot, so 4.5 stars.

Merrin and Digby have this great love. She can't imagine life without him but on the day of their wedding something tragic happens. Merrin is so humiliated and can't stand the idea of everyone talking about her she packs up her car and moves 160 miles away to work in a castle/hotel. It's a romance so, of course, I knew there were be a happy ending but the getting their was enjoyable. I thought the characters were richly developed, everyone needs a friend like Bella and personally, I could do without Merrin's sister, Ruby. She was too quick to argue and take offense and she never grew on me.

The main setting is Port Charles in Cornwall. In my mind I kept seeing Port Wen from Doc Martin and it really did sound idyllic. I can certainly understand why Merrin missed it so much.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for providing me the opportunity to read this lovely story.
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Merrin thinks she is living her best life.  As she is dressed and ready for her wedding she is left alone at the altar because the man she is to marry is a horrible mamas boy heartless coward.  In their small village Merrin feels such embarrassment and shame that she packs up and leaves with no plans to ever return.  Flash forward and six years later she has no choice, but to go home for a visit.  She wants nothing to do with the town, the stigma (not her fault and yet they stare at and talk about her as if it is all her fault and how could she have dared to believe that someone so above her station would marry her) and the uncaring obnoxious sister who blames Merrin for mostly anything she can think of.  I didn’t find anyone in this book terribly likable so it was truly hard to connect or care all that much for them.  It was an okay family drama. Not my favorite by this wonderful author.
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This book is excellently written and described but I just couldn't get into it when reading. I normally like this genre however it is not my favourite. For someone who loves this genre, you would love this book without a doubt.
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Unfortunately this book didn't quite live up to the authors previous works that I have thoroughly enjoyed. This particular story is a very slow burner and quite simplistic at times. A nice read but not my favourite.
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Straight away the beautiful book cover and Cornish setting appealed to me. I think one of my favourite things about the book was getting lost in the description of Cornwall and it's stunning coastline. 

In the book we follow Merrin's story through heartbreak and loss, be prepared for all the emotions and have tissues at the ready! Amanda writes with such a beautiful gentleness, I found myself at times holding my breath, angry and heartbroken but unable to put it down for long without rushing back to it.

The richness of the characters around Merrin, her family and the community in the little Cornish town made it a joy to read. I've found myself thinking of them a while after reading it, I would love to see a sequel following on with the characters lives.

Without wanting to give anything away, I just loved the ending! It was exactly the way it needed to end.
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I always know I’m in safe hands when I read a book by Amanda Prowse and her heartwarming and emotional new book To Love and Be Loved is no exception. Warm and moving, it’s a story with family at its heart that tugged at my heartstrings, taking me through a rollercoaster of emotions as I read.

The book starts as Merrin is about to marry the love of her life. But then something happens to turn Merrin’s life upside down, causing her to leave everything and everyone she loves behind her. Now, six years later, a tragedy brings her home and she begins to realise just how much she’s missed her family and the small Cornish town she’s always called home.

But will Merrin be able to forgive those who hurt her and find the strength to put the past behind her at last? Or are some wounds too deep for her to ever be fully healed? As she tries to come to terms with what happened to make her run away all those years ago, can Merrin finally become the person she was always meant to be?

I loved this book so much! Merrin is a character I couldn’t help but fall in love with from the outset, her pain and humiliation palpable as her young love filled heart is torn to shreds. Amanda Prowse’s writing is beautiful, capturing my imagination from the very first page as I was instantly captivated by, not only Merrin’s story, but the story of her family and the larger than life, close knit community, of the small fishing town she calls home.

There’s a warmth to Amanda’s writing that brings her characters to life so vividly that you can’t help but live and breathe every emotion right alongside them. To Love and Be Loved is a story with family at its heart that is filled to the brim with heartache, love, loss and new beginnings.

To Love and Be Loved is a gorgeous read that brings Cornwall vividly to life. With a heartwarming sense of small town community spirit, it is a beautifully written family drama that I know will stay with me for a long time to come. Amanda Prowse’s writing keeps on going from strength to strength and To Love and Be Loved is quite possibly my favourite book so far!

A lovely but emotional read that I would highly recommend.
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Thanks to NetGalley, got to read this book by Amanda Prowse. Amanda's books are about relationships, how one copes through difficult situations and is very beautifully written, I have enjoyed Amanda's earlier book (Waiting to Begin). However this book didn't seem to touch my heart likewise. There was a lot of repeated statements on the beauty of the place where Merrin stayed, which was getting a bit boring. 

The main twist which came almost towards the end of the book was when Madam Mortimer visited Merrin, when the reader gets to know the story over generations and in totality, and the reason why what happened was for Merrin's best.
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I like this book. i like the character and her journey through growth. I like that it centers community and finding your way back home.
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As is usually the case with Prowse's novels, this book is gorgeously written and focused on the fragility and beauty of human relationships. She writes characters that are so realistic that they could be your friends or next door neighbours. It is this relatability that draws many of us to her tales. We can emphasise and feel for the people she portrays and become immersed in their worlds and problems.

To love and be loved is no different. Merrin is such a likable character and everyone who has loved and lost will relate to her dilemma and heartbreak. I so felt her pain and perceived humiliation. At times, I even cried alongside her. But I so wanted her to come out of hiding.

I also enjoyed the sisterly rivalry and childish antics that follow us into adulthood. She writes these with such insight and understanding. And the vivid descriptions of Cornwell were perfectly executed. They made me want to book a holiday and enjoy all the sights and senses for myself.

A heart-breaking yet uplifting story of family and love. Of the importance of seeking romance in the right places and being true to one self.
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Another fantastic book by Amanda, 
This is a great life affirming  story with a fabulous character in Merrin, It has me gripped from the start.
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The groom, Digby decides not to show up for his wedding to Merrin, leaving her torn to pieces. Immediately she's humiliated and the gossip of the small Cornish Coastal fishing village her family has lived in for generations. In Amanda Prowse novel, TO LOVE AND BE LOVED (LakeUnionPublishing), Merrin takes a drastic step to leave behind her shame and hopefully find happiness.

Merrin creates a new life by putting a hundred plus miles between her and the family and small village she loves. She misses her family and the town, but the hurt is too raw, so she can't return. She gets a good job, starts healing and forgetting about what happened to her. Six years later, tragedy strikes at home and she's forced to return.

TO LOVE AND BE LOVED is all about finding one's true self. Merrin is forced to make choices about her future and to take a good look at her past. What does she want for her life? Who does she want in her life? Can she forgive the people guilty of turning her life upside down? Is it possible for her old wounds to completely heal?

Families are complicated and emotions are difficult to deal with. This story is all about family, self-discovery and forgiveness. To be honest, I needed a couple of tissues to get through this book. I'm sure readers will find it a treasure.
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