Travel to Yorkshire with Mary Jayne Baker to catch up with (or meet) the personalities in Egglethwaite in the second book in her Love in the Dales series with
The Perfect Fit
Set three or four years after A Bicycle Made for Two, there have been changes in the town of Egglethwaite, if most of the people remain. Becky Finn has returned to her childhood hometown as she awaits her fiancé, he’s still working as a lecturer in London, painting on the side, and hoping to find a job closer to the little Yorkshire town. A move that makes financial sense, and provides the environment that Becky wants to raise her children in: she’s doing the wedding planning (without a date), managing a small costume for hire shop, and photographing clients in her tiny studio, waiting, planning and clinging to a relationship that, from the start, never quite felt that it fit. Reuniting with her friend Lana, meeting her husband Stew, her brother Colin (now Lana’s brother in law) and Colin and Tom’s daughter Pippa: she’s brought right back into the community with an invitation to the town council meeting at the Temp – a community hall now desperately in need of refurbishment and repair, particularly since the funding for the building was cut.
Brilliant idea – a Panto, bringing back the amateur dramatics society that produced a Panto at Christmas, one of Becky’s favorite memories from childhood. Having an idea and actually being ‘put in charge’ she starts to spend more time with other townspeople and less time waiting on her nightly skype call from Cole, or her dining alone while perusing wedding plans. And the story here starts to resemble a panto in many ways – the conversations, outbursts, steps forward and back, and the return of Hunter Brady with his ‘glamour model’ wife and a cameraman in tow. When you mix in Deano as a director, his older brother Marcus, magician by trade, and Lana and Stew’s wait to hear about their own adoption, Becky’s own desire for a baby (or more) with Cole, and her father’s sudden transformation with Billy-Idol bleached hair and staying out all night, concerning and worrying his partner Cynthia who worries he’s having an affair, there seem to be so many things playing at the edges that things could be lost.
And here is where the writing and characters that Baker has developed so well comes into play, and everything seems to fit together, perhaps not comfortably, but it fits and makes sense – if you’ve lived in a small town. At the core is Becky’s attraction to Marcus, someone she’s pending a ton of time with as they re-wrote the original script, laughed and bonded as friends, and are as well-suited as anyone could think. But she’s got a fiancé who now spends all of his time at lectures or in the attic painting, her friends and family still wonder if he’s real (they’ve gone past asking her if he’s right) and the reality television show that is Harper’s brainchild shows everyone BUT Becky and Marcus just what a bond they’ve created. Utterly British in feel, the interactions, clearly present emotions and friendships, and the interactions of these people, most of whom have known one another for years gives just the right mix of accepting eye-rolls and true heart – from grumpy Santa to reigniting long relationships, YoYo’s attempts to ‘pink up’ the world and the inability for Deano to keep his cool for more than thirty seconds at a time, the story allows us to check in with characters so loved in the first introduction to Egglethwaite, see a new love develop, and bring the community together for a show that will be remembered for years to come.
“Well I’m not doing it,” Gerry said, folding his arms. “Red’s not my colour.”
Sue nodded. “Clashes with the blood vessels in his nose.”
“Come on, Gerry, why not?” Tom said.
“I’ll look daft, that’s why not.”
Lana snorted. “And yet, you and the Egglethwaite Morrismen’ll happily attach bells to your arses every first of May.”
“That’s different. We have to do that to summon the summer.”
“This is Yorkshire, Gerry. We don’t get summer.”
He shrugged. “Never said we were any good at it.”
Title: The Perfect Fit
Author: Mary Jayne Baker
Series: Love in the Dales #2
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy, Setting: Britain
Published on: 21 September, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon
After years living in London, costume shop owner Becky Finn is trying to build a new life for herself and fiancé Cole in her old home of Egglethwaite, a sleepy village in the Yorkshire Dales.
Keen to raise funds for the struggling village hall she loved as a child, Becky soon finds herself at the head of a colourful group intent on resurrecting Egglethwaite s Christmas pantomime. But, as she quickly discovers, there s more to panto than innuendo and slapped thighs.
As opening night grows closer, Becky starts to wonder if her embattled panto will ever make it to the stage and, with handsome co-star Marcus on the scene, if she s picked the right man for her after all.
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.