Cover Image: The Start of Something

The Start of Something

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Member Reviews

Miranda Dickinson delivers an endearing story of two lonely neighbors who find each other in The Start of Something.  Bethan, a struggling single mom to adorable three year old Noah, moves into an apartment across the street from Lachie, a soldier recently injured in a bad car accident.  In true romance trope, both are honest and kind, yet scarred from their past having trusted the wrong people. 

On a whim, Lachie leaves a note taped on his window asking about flowers Bethan recently put up.  So begins a series of back and forth window messages between the two - a cute twist on written interactions that’s not the overdone email or text.

I wanted more interactions between Bethan and Lachie, with the pace of the story feeling too slow at time. Their moments together (or thinking about the other) are sweet, especially when they are each giddy from seeing a response in the window.  It takes too long for the two leads to finally meet face to face. Then before we get to enjoy how cute they are together,  the big conflict between them escalates too quickly - which keeps them apart again. 

The cast of characters was quirky but wanted more nuance. Bethan, Lachie and their supporting friends were predictably lovable and funny.  The villains were underdeveloped, acting as unpleasant foils to the vanilla good characters, with no clear reasons other than to create conflict. Why was Darren so darn mean?

Overall, The Start of Something is recommended for romance lovers who are looking for a story about two good lonely souls finding confidence in themselves and - of course - love!
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With thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest opinion. 
I normally  love this authors  books but iam rather torn  with this.  it so reminds me of lockdown  that were still in, iam sure lots of people  will love it but not for me.
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I enjoyed this - the premise of notes in the window was a cute one, kind of Flatshare vibes, and I'm glad no attempt was made to relate it to the pandemic even though that's obviously the inspiration. A good cast of likeable characters (particularly the pets!) with a couple asshole side characters who get their comeuppance.
I found the actual formatting of the window notes a bit naff in my copy, so many of them had the basic Word/Outlook smiley face which I found a bit unrealistic. Who uses smiley faces at the end of every message, even if it's handwritten and to a stranger? I would have preferred doodles/descriptions of doodles.
Some of the story was a bit angstier than I usually go for and felt a bit longer than my usual reads but I definitely wanted to keep reading to see how it turned out.
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I received ab ARC from Netgalley in return for an honest review. 

I usually love this author's books but found this one rather disappointing.  A great premise - communication through notes on the window - but this went on for far too long and the story was so slow.  The meeting and 'misunderstanding' actually made no sense to me.  I really dislike the use of inconvenient misunderstandings (which could be straightened out by actually talking to one another) as a way of inserting conflict and obstaces into the story.   This one really made no sense because I truly did not understand why either party believed what they did. 

Bethann, the heroine had fought to make a life for herself and her son and was an attractive character but the author just piled on the angst until I kept thinking - really - and now this?
The hero's back story was equally angst-filled and made worse by his own lack of judgment and at times, he felt like an adolescent, not a grown man. 

I enjoyed it - a pleasant enough read, if over long,  but I was disappointed. I expected much more.
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Thank you to Net Galley, Harper Collins and Miranda Dickinson who very kindly provided me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely adored this book from start to finish, it was everything that you want in a cute romance story but it also had so much more to it. I will definitely be purchasing a physical copy of this book once it is released and I already cannot wait to reread it!

Our main characters Bethan and Lachlan are so loveable and I really enjoyed how Miranda portrayed their vulnerability from the very start, I think this added real depth to the characters and story. I also like how we saw Lachlan in many vulnerable moments because sometimes authors tend to brush over those parts for male characters.

I think that the plot was well paced and I liked how there were other things going on in both of the characters’ lives other than just the romance as this helped to fill the story out a little more and keep things interesting. I really liked how elements of each characters’ story and background were kept secret until later in the book, I think this created a sense of mystery and it added another layer to the novel.

The actual romance of this book is so cute and just put a constant smile on my face, I was rooting for the pair the whole way though! Even though the romance is sweet I do think that there is still substance to it and that it is written very well.

As with most romance books I had pretty much guessed the entire plot after reading the first couple of chapters but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of it in the slightest!

I wholeheartedly recommend this book if you love cute romances that you never want to put down.
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Bethan has just moved into a new flat with her young son Noah. In the flat opposite lives Lachlan, and his cat and dog, who is recovering from a recent car accident. Two lonely, broken people. Bethan notices his cat in the window, Lachlan spots her moving in. A vase of flowers results in him sticking a sign in his window asking what flowers they are. This is the start of something…

I enjoyed this sweet romance. The characters were well written and each had their own issues holding them back. I was rooting for them to get together. It’s the first book by Miranda Dickinson that I’ve read but I’ll definitely read more.
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An enjoyable read, told in alternate chapters by both of the main characters - Bethan and Lachlan.
Bethan has recently moved into a rented flat with her small son, Noah. Lachlan lives in the neighbouring building, overlooking Bethan’s flat. He  is at home on sick leave, recovering from an horrific car crash that left him with terrible leg and pelvis injuries. And so with a vase of flowers and a note stuck to the window, their friendship begins at a time when they both need a friend.
A different story which I really enjoyed. The characters were believable and real. Perfect read for a rainy afternoon!
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Well what do I say? Wow wow wow. This was a slow start and I was not sure then bang it gripped me. A true love story. But the twists and turns of the main characters  Lachie and Bethan. . The window was amazing. .The setting of the book was my home area which made me my smile. Noah sounded cute. I loved how they both had secrets. Not going to spoil, just read it
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Lachlan and Bethan live in flats opposite each other. When Lachlan displays a question in his window, so begins a friendship with the potential for so much more. But will a misunderstanding between them put paid to their budding romance?

A lovely lighthearted story with great characters which made for an entertaining read.
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The Start of Something involves Lachlan an injured army captain confined to his apartment and receiving daily physio as he is unable to walk far.
Bethan has just moved into an apartment opposite with her young son. Trying to rebuild her life after her son’s father walked away leaving insurmountable problems.
Their kitchen windows are opposite each other and one day Bethan sees a message in Lachlan’s window asking her a question. Here is the start of two lonely people connecting.
Lachlan worrying if he’ll ever be able to walk well enough to stay in the army, Bethan constantly worrying if she can provide for her son are well told and interesting and have depth.
Unfortunately what didn’t work for me was the too slow blossoming romance that was basically a number of window messages going back and forth and a few meetings through a hole in a bush and suddenly they fall in love, which just didn’t ring true as they kept major secrets from each other not wanting to reveal anything unless it put the other off.
I  did find the book entertaining at times with a cast of characters to keep my interest, but I did find myself skimming pages. I feel these two should have met then developed the relationship, it would of made it more believable.
My thanks to net galley and publisher for the opportunity to review this book honestly.
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Ah, unfortunately, this didn't work for me. It's impossible not to compare The Start of Something with Mr. Right Accross the Street from Kathryn Freeman, released earlier this year.

Both are stories about neighbors who live across from each other and use their balconies/windows to communicate, sending cute messages from one flat to another. I think this is a very sweet premise, and although all the right elements were there the story felt clunky.

What I appreciated is how both Bethan and Lachlan were two lonely people who managed to find one another, when both were going through a defining period in their lives. Bethan was starting over and finally grasping her dream of taking care of her son and living in a nice apartment building. Lachlan has a bit more going on. He's recovering from an injury but is also dealing with an investigation and coming to terms with a toxic friendship.

In the world we live today, when it can be difficult to find meaningful connections, it was heartwarming to see their journey. But the main issue with The Start of Something is the pacing. The story is dragged out, it's slow on parts that should be shorter and really rushed on others that should have been more descriptive.

Also, both Lachlan and Bethan have a childlike innocence to them that feels forced and diminishes their character arcs. I believe the author was going for sweet, but the result was just far-fetched.
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A lighthearted read that captured my attention. I'm moving away from reading 
 romance but the cute cover and unusual blurb drew me in like a magnet. Another stylish read from Dickinson. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher.   I have enjoyed everything this author has written and this was no exception.   Great storyline and great characters.  Liked it.
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Bethan is Lachlan's new neighbour, and she brightens his day when she has flowers in the window and he has something to concentrate on besides the struggle with his physio.
Through messages in the window they grow closer to each other, but both are keeping secrets, so when they finally do meet things don't go as expected. Can they forgive each other.

A great read.
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I wasnt sure Miranda Dickinson could beat the brilliance that was Our Story but she has with this thought provoking and emotional story.

You could relate to both Lachlan and Bethan at various points in the book and feel their frustration at certain things they face.  
This book explores friendship,  family and love. It shows just how important it is to reach out and talk to someone, sometimes we all need a friend, not to do anything but just to listen.

I really loved it, it made me laugh, it made me cry but it was brilliant, although I'd definitely have tissues for the end!

The book sound track at the end after the Acknowledgements was a really nice touch as well.
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Miranda Dickinson has done it again! If you like her other stories you'll love this too. This has real life emotions, twists and turns off will they won't they, and drama that you're not sure how well be resolved. It was a lovely beach read and one I'd happily recommend
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Two people find each other almost by accident; Lachlan is stuck at home undergoing physio after an accident and Bethan is new in town and feeling a little lost, a little lonely and a little overwhelmed. 
One day Lachlan notices a vase of flowers in the window of the apartment opposite and is drawn by what he perceives as hope and a brighter future. So he writes a note and sticks it in the window. Will Bethan respond?
A lovely romantic and heartwarming book!
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