Is This Love? by Sue Moorcroft

It’s Sunday and I usually post “Self Care Sunday” as a way of recording what I’ve been doing to take care of myself and most importantly treating myself each week.  I started doing that because I was noticing I suck at that.  I didn’t post it last Sunday because my blog went down.  And I’m not posting it today.  Or at least not in it’s usually way.

Self Care Sunday today is a book review.  Because after a ridiculously busy few days I needed a lazy day today.  And it’s been the laziest of lazies.

I slept late.  I went out to brunch with my brother and sister in law. We all had a full English and then we decamped to the coffee shop opposite the one we were in for a quieter drink which we thought we’d get quicker than where we were. I prefer that one for drinks but I prefer the one we were in for breakfast so it was the best of both worlds. I read a massive chunk of a book. I took a nap. and then I read the rest of that book.  Which I’m now reviewing.

A few weeks ago I was chatting to an author via email when they mentioned a lot of my blog was familiar to them because they have a disabled relative (they specified they don’t talk about their family online so I’m not naming them to respect that). I mentioned my endless quest to find books with disabled characters done right. And they suggested Is This Love? by Sue Moorcroft.  They also put me in touch with Choc Lit who published Is This Love? and were nice enough to send me a review copy.

How many ways can one woman love?

When Tamara Rix’s sister Lyddie is involved in a hit-and-run accident that leaves her in need of constant care, Tamara resolves to remain in the village she grew up in. Tamara would do anything for her sister, even sacrifice a long-term relationship.

But when Lyddie’s teenage sweetheart Jed Cassius returns to Middledip, he brings news that shakes the Rix family to their core. Jed’s life is shrouded in mystery, particularly his job, but despite his strange background, Tamara can’t help being intrigued by him.

Can Tamara find a balance between her love for Lyddie and growing feelings for Jed, or will she discover that some kinds of love just don’t mix?

From reading the blurb on the back I’d been a bit concerned that I would find the way Lyddie’s disability was handled to be negative.  For the first chapter or two that seemed like it was definitely going to be the case.  But actually once I got into the book and things started happening that proved to be anything but the case.

Lyddie is disabled. It plays a relatively large role in the plot. But it’s not the be all and end all.  And it avoids all the “look at the poor little crippled girl” crap you’d expect.  Obviously there is some of that but that’s just life when you’re a crip, trust me.  I think a huge part of that may well be because we meet Tamara and her family at least ten years after the accident that leaves Lyddie with learning disabilities (I’m not sure how long because I’m not sure how old Tamara is in the book but she was 10 or 11 when the accident happened and has to be well into her twenties in the book at least)

A herd of Alpacas appear in the book.  I’m pretty sure that being a bit of an animal phobe if I actually got too close to some they’d freak me out but it did suceed in making me think it’d be nice to go and visit some.  I also came away from the book thinking that maybe I should look into yoga (Tamara is a yoga instructor). I think both are good examples of how much this book drew me in and kept me involved.

Along with the fact that I read this 300+ page book in pretty much two long sittings (the second was interrupted briefly to start some dinner) in one day it should give a clue as to how much I enjoyed it. In fact I thought I’d timed my dinner being ready so I’d have time to finish reading it before I needed to sort my food out properly.  I didn’t.  I had 17 pages left to read when the timer went off.  and for about 30 seconds I considered letting it burn because I really didn’t want to put it down, I needed to know how it ended!  I did put it down however.

This was the first Choc Lit book I read.  It was also the first of Sue Moorcroft’s books I’ve read.  It’s more than likely not going to be the last of either of those.  It was perfect for my lazy Sunday and I really enjoyed it.

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