Mary Jane Baker comes to the blog today with a lovely story about a tiny Yorkshire town and the people who want to make a splash with hosting a leg of the Tour de France in
A Bicycle Made for Two
A lovely story that takes the statement “it takes a village” to heart when it comes to Lana and Tommy Donati, and far from what I expected. First off – grab the tissues, for Baker will have you in tears in the early part of the book- the love of Tommy and Lana for their father, in his last battle with cancer is truly heartwrenching, you’ll feel every moment of pain, love, fear and even little niggles of guilt that Lana feels when she finds someone who makes her actually feel something other than the stress and pressures. Surprising for a story that proposes laugh out loud moments and heart – but it works. Beautifully.
Lana and Tommy have had only their father as a parent after their mother’s death when they were small. The village of Egglethwaite did, however, step in and function as extras – giving them support, love, confidence and even a place where they felt safe despite the changes. But with their father’s diagnosis when Lana was 17, things changed and they became the caretakers as their father’s health declined. Now, their father is gone and they are struggling with what comes next, along with their own worries about romance, acceptance and just how to fulfill their father’s legacy.
When Stewart appears after a year’s silence – Lana is furious: hurt, angry, confused and completely enmeshed in her own fear about yet another person leaving, she’s understandably unwilling to give him a second chance. All the while, she is pushing her brother to go for it with Cam – the man who runs the fish and chips shop – because Tommy’s regular diet of chips is unhealthy and his shyness and tortoise-pace even more so. Once they decide that making a bid to host a leg of the Tour de France Grand Depart – already planning to run through Yorkshire – both Tommy and Lana have to fight with their own tendencies to hide from romance or it’s possibilities, and their own struggles with th myriad townspeople and their rather eccentric ways become a laugh-out-loud series of missteps, proper steps and a rather circuitous path to the grand happy ending!
Add in a spoilt, semi-local actor, a former bike racer, one colony of endangered bats and the bat-shite crazy woman who manipulates social media and her vitriol for Lana and the town’s plans – you get some truly clever laughable moments, a ton of true heart and plenty of moments to love. Oh – and don’t forget Deano – the off the chains eccentric chef at their medieval themed restaurant with his penchant for naming his pans, chasing the senior sexpot and a temperament that rivals the star of the old comedy Chef!, you won’t be disappointed with this book – and you’ll be amazed (as I was) at the level of heart, love and nuance that Baker infuses in a story that feels real and plausible, if a bit odd.
Title: A Bicycle Made for Two
Author: Mary Jayne Baker
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy, Setting: Britain
Published by: Mirror Books
Published on: 5 April, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon
A romantic comedy set against the backdrop of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire.
In a lost corner of the Yorkshire Dales, Lana Donati runs a medieval theme restaurant, Here Be Flagons, with her brother. When she hatches a plan to boost business by getting the Grand Départ route to pass through their village, the small community must work together to convince the decision-makers they’re Tour material. Not easy when the cast of characters involved includes Lana’s shy, unlucky-in-love brother Tom, man-eating WI chair Yolanda, bickering spouses Gerry and Sue, arrogant TV star Harper Brady, and Lana’s arch-nemesis, former pro cyclist turned bike shop owner Stewart McLean, whose offbeat ideas might just cost them everything.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.