Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Summer at the Lake by Erica James

Hardback:  383 pages.
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Fiction.
Publisher:  Orion Books 2013

Source: Tywyn Public Library.
First Sentence: It had been a mistake to open the envelope.
Review Quote: The Hidden Cottage is a heart-warming, romantic story full of engaging characters, an emotional rollercoaster. (DAILY EXPRESS)
My Opinion: Pure Escapism

I have been enjoying Erica James writing since 1996, so definitely consider myself a long time fan of her particular brand of escapism.  Contemporary romantic fiction with characters that one can often identify with people you come across in real life. This time set in Oxford and Lake Como both places I was instantly transported to with the authors realistic descriptions.

The three protagonists of the novel meet in dramatic circumstances right at the opening of the story. A group of individuals thrown together by fate Floriana, Esme and Adam find themselves surprisingly becoming firm friends. Florianna is involved in an accident and it was Esme and Adam that had rushed to her aid.
As the relationships develop between this unlikely group the life stories of the three of them unfolds. The three had kept in touch after the accident and found despite the fact that they were all so different that there was a strong connection concerning relationships and broken hearts. It seems as if they are all going to be of help to each other with regards putting their pasts to rest. Woven together seamlessly the characters stories made for a very engrossing read.

In conclusion then if you are looking for contemporary fiction that is pure escapism then Erica James will satisfy your requirements. According to the Guardian  Summer at the Lake was one of the 100 best-selling books in 2014. 

 I have reviewed some of her earlier novels on the blog. They are Tell It To The Skies,  It's The Little Things,   Hidden TalentsThe Hidden Cottage and  The Real Katie Lavender

Author Profile

Erica James, née Sullivan was born in 1960 in Surrey, England, UK and she grew up on Hayling Island, Hampshire from the age of 4.  Now divorced, with two grown-up sons, Edward and Samuel, she divides her time between Suffolk, UK and Lake Como, Italy

 She began writing after attending a creative writing course at the Arvon Foundation, and published her first novel in 1996. In 2006, her novel Gardens of Delight won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award from the Romantic Novelists' Association. Erica James  is the author of sixteen best selling novels including her most recent, The Real Katie Lavender.

Apparently she has an insatiable appetite for other people's business and will readily strike up a conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. She finds it is the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother's compulsion.

The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the author's publicist and following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing. 

Goodreads - Author Profile  Erica James - Official Author Website  Erica James - Twitter

Amazon Author Profile   Erica James - Facebook  


  1. Linda , this book must of been written for me .. I live near Oxford and was at Lake Como last year and going again sometime soon (hopefully) .. Also went there a few years ago for 10 days ,, :-) Thanks for your review,

    I think she has moved from Cheshire now , think she lives in Suffolk now;

    1. Definitely one for you then Anne. I have updated my author profile as you are quite right, thanks for pointing out my error. :)

  2. Hi LindyLou, looks like a fab book! How about adding your review to the Books You Loved collection over at Carole's Chatter? Cheers

    1. It is indeed pure escapism Carole, thanks for suggestion.

  3. Lots of places I can relate to in your post. I remember going to Hayling Island as a child, my sister still lives in Surrey and I visited Lake Como last summer. This looks like a delightful summer read, I'll add it to my list.

    1. Hi Ann, I always find it interesting when one can relate to places the author has written about. Did you know I an a Surrey girl?

  4. Oh I have read this author before but not this particular tale, I have only ever read a few island ones but not this. Sounds good!


    1. If you enjoy Erica James writing I think you will like this one Lainy.


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