The day has come. I can finally share my thoughts on Kim Nash’s debut. I was excited when the e-copy landed on my Kindle. I was overjoyed when I started reading, knowing Kim would not let me down… And she did not. I’d like to emphasize the fact that despite knowing Kim as a person, a Bookouture fairy, and a friend, I read and reviewed this novel with an open mind, and it feels even better to be able to say OMG BUY THIS BOOK!
Okay, going ahead of myself! Let’s dive in!
Thank you to Rachel Gilbey for organising a wonderful blog tour!
Title: Amazing Grace
Author: Kim Nash
Publisher: Hera Books
Date of publication: 10/04/2019
Number of pages: 281
She’s taking her life back, one step at a time…
Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted.
Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary – and her perfect life fell apart. Now she’s a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks…
Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves.
So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness?
A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life for the better – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.
Life is full of events. A dentist appointment, a lunch with friends, a bad hair day, Mondays (I really hate them), a few free hours, or a work crisis.
Do we pay enough attention to those things? Do we remember to grab pieces of happiness whenever they appear?
Those were my thoughts a few hours after finishing Amazing Grace by Kim Nash. I was lying in bed at four in the morning, thinking about where my life was, pondering about the choices I’d made, all the while feeling soothed, warm and cosy in the remnants of the world I’d just stepped out of.
Grace is single mum to Archie, living in a beautiful house with her furry best friend Becks, and surrounded by lovely neighbours and a couple of good friends. Heaven? Not really. Scarred by the failure of her marriage with Mark, Grace has lost confidence and now puts her son at the centre of her world, forgetting herself in the progress. Does this sound familiar? It did to me. It rang so true that my heart ached for Grace. Raised by the strongest woman I know, who has always put my happiness first and never thought twice about putting me first, I felt tears prick at my eyes. Grace reminded me of my mother, and of so many women with big hearts and dreams trampled on by men who don’t realise just how lucky they are. Grace is so relatable that jumping into her life was like putting slippers on. Thanks to a hilarious, emotional, and smooth writing style, Kim Nash invites you to a familiar setting, and then she transforms it. Not with magic spells, but with positivity, humour, wisdom and hindsight. When you let life take over and become passive, it is easy to forget you are the boss, and that’s it is your job to find your path.
Of course, it is easier said than done. We all need a little help and I just loved being reminded that by opening our eyes, we can find what we need, right in front of us. Or in Grace’s case, on your doorstep (more on this later!). Reading Amazing Grace was like talking to friends, bathing in their enthusiasm and receiving buckets of energy springing from the pages. Like waves from the ocean of life, this novel is filled with all fate can throw your way – good and bad – but it never lets you forget that there’s light in the darkest times, as long as your heart is at the right place.
Romance is not a genre I read a lot because I usually find them too predictable and way too maudlin and pink. Amazing Grace is different. Amazing Grace is a rainbow. How would you react when a god-like guy rang your doorbell in every sense of the way, knocking you off your feet, and leaving you dreaming… Just for five minutes because you’re not someone who can attract such a guy, are you? Oh, I wanted to shake Grace and hug her at the same time. Then I realised I often think the same. Kim Nash brings Grace’s issues with subtlety, contrary to some old shrimp during the first chapter – and with understanding, taking us through the motions of what it’s like to have been ripped off your confidence. Grace can count on Monica. Are there powerful enough adjectives to describe this storm of a friend? I don’t think so! I want a Monica! The flamboyant lady has great ideas for Grace and she’s not ready to let her off the hook once her plans are on! Follows what must be my favourite string of online dating!!! From one disaster to the other, Grace is reminded that she is a jewel just waiting to shine, and slowly but surely, I watched her get out of her shell, like a turtle escaping her cosy comfort zone, and I discovered new sides of Grace, the funny, brilliant, and how-so-cute woman who had been hiding away.
Comes into the picture one of the yummiest guys I’ve met! Meet Vinnie, a charming and down-to-earth gardener who doesn’t need more than seconds to realise Grace should be more than a client… I don’t fall for guys in books. Well, I do, but it takes a lot to convince me. You know I prefer thinking the boyfriend/husband killed the cat!!! But here, Vinnie made me melt faster than ice cream in summer. I need to thank Kim Nash for setting very high standards for the next guys who will come into my life!!!!
But. Yes, there is a but. If no one can deny the spark between Grace and Vinnie, Grace is first and foremost a mother, and her new relationship with Vinnie, along with the changes she has made in her life, are bound to affect her son Archie. The author deals with parenthood and more particularly single-parenthood in an strong, beautiful way. I am not a mother, but I could understand Grace’s choices, her doubts, and her need to protect Archie. As if things weren’t complicated enough, when her ex-husband Mark comes back into the picture, begging for another chance at family life, Grace faces big decisions. Grace’s struggle between being a woman and a mother, doing what would be best for Archie, or for her, was so difficult to watch that I felt my heart being pulled apart, knowing what I wanted Grace to do, and what her mind was telling her to. Grace’s life could be ours and this made us close very fast. Until the very last page, I laughed with her, I worried with her, I thought with her.
This novel has given me strength and a big smile, a smile sometimes tinted with salty tears, and lots of happy thoughts to cherish.
Amazing Grace is uplifting, funny, and just what you need – the G&T on a Friday night, the cherry on top of your dessert, the perfect dress that doesn’t make your bottom look bigger than it is. Kim Nash offers us the warmest of debut novels!
Now, get yourself a copy and fall in love with Kim Nash’s gorgeous’ writing!
Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at http://www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.
Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.
When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.