Friday 10 October 2014

Review ~ Vicki's Work of Heart by Rosie Dean

Rosie Dean brings you another quintessential romance to warm your cockles as the winter draws in! Stay tuned to catch the romantic comedy author visiting blogs-a-plenty over the coming weeks, with reviews, guest posts and a giveaway!

Title: Vicki's Work of Heart.
Author: Rosie Dean.
Genre: Chick Lit.
Publication Date: March 26, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US

What if you found yourself stranded at the altar, knee-deep in your absent fiancé’s gambling debts?

Vicki Marchant, humble art teacher and jilted bride, seizes her freedom by leaving teaching to paint – in France. It’s her time. Nobody is going to get in the way of her ambition – definitely not a man.

Vicki learns two things: some men are difficult to resist, and choosing the right one is not always easy.

I loved the concept to Vicki’s Work of Heart and the opening chapter hooked me straight away. Jilted at the altar by her coward of a fiancé, Vicki loses her heart and is, as you would expect, feeling pretty down and out. However, rather than spend any more time wallowing in self-pity, with the help of her best friend she heads off to France in the hope of focusing on her paintings, something she has a lot of passion for, and making a better life for herself. I was glad that this move happened quite early on in the book and I didn’t have to sit through page after page of Vicki’s heartbreak. The way she chose to leave her old life behind and make the changes for the benefit of her future was empowering and inspiring, and I was fascinated to see how everything would turn out.

Straight after Vicki’s move to France, we meet Christophe, the charming Frenchman Vicki is going to be staying with. I was shamelessly swooning over him instantly and was intrigued by what was causing him such a distraction. The way things were revealed over the course of this book really kept me turning pages and some parts were a little unexpected and added that element of surprise to the story which I enjoyed. I also love the way Rosie really builds up a picture of each character and setting in this novel – her descriptive writing really set my imagination going and brought this book to life without ever getting the feeling it was flat or one dimensional.

Vicki’s Work of Heart is ultimately told from Vicki’s perspective but we do get a little insight into Christophe, and journalist Daniel too. Though I thought this book started off really promising, once Daniel was introduced, I started to get a little frustrated with Vicki’s character and how she seemed to change so quickly once he was on the scene. I don’t think this was the way Rosie had intended the reader to feel and I do think it was probably just me, but instead of spending my time working out whether Daniel could be trusted or not, I spent my time finding Vicki a little irritating – maybe because I loved the conversing between her and Christophe at the beginning of the book which then seemed to get lost along the way. Vicki came to conclusions very quickly, often the wrong ones, and also seemed to always have an issue with someone or something when I could barely work out what her problem was. I struggled to connect with her and so the middle of the novel was less enjoyable for me.

The book did pick up again and I thought it ended on a high. What I loved about Rosie’s writing throughout the book was how it had all the elements of the traditional chick-lit novel but it was done more subtly. Rather than over-the-top humour and over-the-top drama, everything flowed much better and the book felt genuine and easy to get involved in. I especially liked the humour and moments such as Vicki and Christophe working together to avoid causing a scene when vegetarian Vicki is faced with chicken on her plate, and when we get to see Vicki’s fear of horses, really stood out for me. I also felt like Vicki’s change of artistic subject throughout the novel represented a positive message – how making little changes in your life can bring some focus and direction and lead you to a better future – and I’ll be looking forward to more books by Rosie Dean.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK


I’ve been writing stories since I was a little girl, when I was especially industrious and produced dolly-dressing books, complete with a typed story, a dolly to cut out on the back cover, and paper clothing with tabs on. I even sold a couple.

After growing up, I studied ceramic design – gaining a ‘degree in crockery’ as the man-in-my-life likes to call it, which I once put to good use as an Art & Pottery teacher.

Deciding I didn’t want to spend my entire life in the classroom, covered in clay and paint, I escaped to the world of corporate communication, where I wrote training courses and marketing copy.

Now I’ve given it all up to write, full-time. When not writing, I love to cook and to read, I even read in the car (talking books) and have notched up countless unnecessary miles as a result.

Not one to spend hours in the gym or pounding the pavement, I prefer Yoga and Pilates, which means I can tone and tighten whilst watching TV.

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  1. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing, Sophie.

    I'm so glad you liked the style - I sometimes find relentlessly OTT humour and drama in chicklit exhausting.

    And I'm glad you fell for Christophe - I had a pretty scrummy guy in mind when I wrote him.

    I really appreciate your feedback.

    1. You're welcome, Rosie. I do too and so I appreciated it didn't feel overdone in Vicki's Work of Heart! Loved Christophe, too.

  2. Oh, yes, Rosie, an inspiring hero is usually based on someone very mouth-watering. In this case, being French just adds that extra gloss. And I love your voice, so crisp and clear as the action speeds along. Then comes that little twist that makes us keep reading.

  3. Thank you, so much, Beth.
    Glad you enjoyed it.


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