Originally released in 1983, my first introduction to Jean Saunders in this new edition of the title. A novella-length story that brings the feel of a longer book, please read on for my review of
The Language of Love
You may think that a book, originally published in 1983 would feel dated or old, but the story and the writing here is so tight and right, with issues that are both identifiable and easy to relate to that are offset by a sweetly romantic connection is as complex and nuanced as a beautiful floral arrangement. And that is particularly apt, as Annette, the heroine of the story is a florist, and her London shop is in demand for all types of special occasions.
Annette was newly married and still in the honeymoon phase when her husband Tony was lost when saving a child from drowning. Completely in love, Annette has used her widowhood as a shield, a defense mechanism to keep others at bay as she has raised Tony to a pedestal, never allowing anyone close. Now nearly ten years later and still just in her late twenties, she’s been stuck emotionally in that place: comparing every man (and there are many vying for her attention) to the perfection that she has clung to from her marriage.
Elena, a good friend from Holland has sent an emissary in the form of her brother Pieter, to convince Annette to come to Amsterdam and discuss her upcoming wedding plans, hoping Annette will arrange the flowers and be her matron of honor. But Pieter is unsettling and intriguing, setting Annette into a frenzy of guilt over her interest, fear because she is interested, and awareness of her own loneliness and desire for companionship, children and the love she once knew.
Slow to develop, Annette was difficult to not want to slap occasionally, so mired in her own fear and guilt, clinging to the image of a man, who while it is obvious she loved deeply, was not capable of the perfection she has bestowed upon him. While I first found Pieter brash and more than aggressive in his alpha-driven refusal to allow Annette to keep him at arm’s length. He’s older and knows his own mind, he finds Annette intriguing and delightful, attractive and he wants her. He’s already familiar with her story from his sister, but the opportunity to make her smile and happy is one he won’t resist. His approach, while showing Annette the possibilities available when she puts her fear aside and grasps on to life and commits to living the life she has, not the one she could have had with Tony, works a slow transformation on her attitude, her openness and recognizing her own desire for love in her life.
Far from feeling dated or out of place, the clear progression of Annette’s recognition of her own stagnant life, her desire for more, and the presence of Pieter, a live and very real man with his own clear-cut and clearly spoken attraction and desire bring the story a serious edge, all while allowing the moments and the beauty and ancient meaning of different flowers to speak loudly. Full of moments that are laugh or tear filled, the growth of Annette is a slow reveal, presented with flair. A wonderful story that will bring a smile to your face, and fill your head with plenty of flower filled images.
Title: The Language of Love
Author: Jean Saunders
Genre: British, Contemporary Romance, New Adult - Coming of Age
Published by: Endeavour Press
Published on: 8 January 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦Direct from Publisher
Every end brings a new beginning…
Widowed at the young age of twenty, Annette Granger vowed that she would never love another man.
Instead, she was going to focus her career and throw herself into making her business a success.
Eight years on, Annette is now running the most accomplished florists in London and although her professional life is soaring to new heights, the same cannot be said for her personal life.
That is, until the mysterious Dutchman Pieter Van Ness walks into her life, turning Annette’s world upside down.
Still devoted to her husband, Annette resists the gorgeous Pieter’s advances despite him awakening a hunger within her that she long thought dead.
Will Annette allow herself to be loved, and more importantly, will she allow herself to love again?
Filled with heart-stopping romance, The Language of Love is a moving tale about new beginning that will have you laughing and crying in equal measures.
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.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: