Cover Image: The Start of Something

The Start of Something

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Member Reviews

This is an emotional and insightful exploration of loneliness. Lachlan is recovering from an accident, his life so different from his life in the army. Single mum Bethan needs friendship. Bethan and Lachlan are complex and relatable characters easy to like. Their friendship deepens as they get to know each other better. I like the balance of humour, poignancy and romance.

I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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I love Miranda Dickinson's books and feel this one is the best I have read. Wonderful narratives and descriptions. Highly recommend.
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Wow what a cute love story, written with love and the lockdown featuring quietly in the background!!. Beth and Lachlan are two lonely people looking for friendship while in strange and traumatic times in their lives. 
The start of it all is when Lachlan spies a new neighbour moving into the opposite apartment complex. He sees someone painting and then moving their stuff in one weekend. After a little while, he decides to bite the bullet and put a handwritten note big enough for them to see in his window!. His subject matter is the flowers that sit on his neighbour's window ledge!!!. He doesn't know what they are so asks!!!. Beth is quite shocked but secretly excited to see this note so replies!. This carries on for a little while but should they meet now??? Of course they should!!!!! They are both having troubles in their lives, Lachlan with a work mate and Beth with a previous partner. Will they overcome these troubles and live happily ever after??. You'll have to read on to find out!!. I guarantee you will love it!!
Many thanks to Netgalley for the free ARC book for an honest review.
#Netgalley, #HQ, #TheStartOfSomething, #wurdsmyth
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This was a very charming and heart-warming read, Bethan and Lachie meet during a time they both feel at their loneliest resulting in a beautiful friendship forming.

This is a sweet and romantic story that shows the power of reaching out to a complete stranger as well as healing through friendship and love. I really enjoyed the idea of Bethan and Lachie exchanging notes and getting to know each other through the hedge, this was such a sweet and quirky idea. 
You could feel the growth and the healing both characters experienced as the story developed. I liked that the story was told from both characters’ point of view allowing us to be a part of their own separate journeys outside of their window conversations, I feel like this really allowed the reader to get a glimpse into their past and develop a better understating of their fears, hopes and dreams.

This book reminds us of the power of human connection and the possibilities that can occur when you step out of your comfort zone. I would definitely recommend having a read.
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A cute friendship that develops when Bethan and Lachie leave notes for each other on their windows. Having not met they are both holding back on things. Likeable characters who are both lonely. A cute romance.
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I would like to thank Netgalley, HQ and Miranda Dickinson for the e arc of this book. 
We meet Bethan and her son Noah. They are moving into a new flat that means they have some stability. You felt the excitement of them both as they came to the realisation that this was their home. Bethan work in a nearby garden nursery which is going through a tough time. Her immediate boss is not a nice man but her other colleagues are so nice and watch out for her. The lady who owns the nursery asks Bethan to come up with ways to make the nursery more appealing and financially productive and gives her a day off a week to do so. 
The moving in process is observed by Lachlan (Lachie), who lives in the flat opposite. He is having a tough time recovering from an injury that makes it hard for him to walk. He is also mentally suffering as well. His physio is doing her best but things are not great, until……
One night he sees that there are flowers in the window opposite and on a whim puts a note in his window asking what they are. Bethan sees the note and responds. The notes begin the start of their friendship and this is their story. There are hard decisions they both have to make and these have consequences not just for them. I loved the interplay between them. I could really relate to Lachlan and his injury rehabilitation. It was well written and believable. The idea of their friendship starting due to a note in a window was so good. 
This was a lovely story and I would recommend.
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The start of something is my first Miranda Dickinson book and it certainly won't be my last, I enjoyed this book so much, by the end I couldn't put it down and devoured the last quarter of the book in one sitting. 

This book was such a cute story, the main characters Lachie and Bethan were so lovable. I loved that the two characters had darker more meaningful storylines as I felt this gave the book overall more added depth. I enjoyed the slow reveal of the past to explain how they both got into the positions they are in. Bethan's son Noah is the cutest child, he constantly brightened up the book whenever his character appeared. 

The messages in the window were a cute meet cute for the characters, I enjoyed the message exchange and missed it when it stopped. For me I felt the characters fell in love a bit too quickly after meeting but thats a minor opinion about this book. I loved everything else about it and would highly recommend it.
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The Start of Something is a really endearing story of two lonely people who live opposite each other and who begin to connect by leaving window messages for each other.  Bethan is a single mum who has a little boy called Noah.  Lachlan is a soldier badly injured in a car accident and is desperately trying to come to terms with his limited mobility.  Both of them are going through a tough time and trying to come to terms with their past.  

I enjoyed the whole set up of the story, it’s a great idea and a lovely premise.  I couldn’t wait to turn the pages and see what was written on the next window message.  At one point I did question why they hadn’t exchanged phone numbers or email addresses, but I went with the flow and concluded this is an incredibly romantic and endearing method of communication because most of the population resort to the latter these days. The romance is very sweet and gentle, there’s not a huge amount of chemistry apparent between Bethan and Lachlan but you definitely get the feeling that they care for one another (although I did feel their declaration of love for one another was a little premature).  

Bethan is a very likeable character, but I’m undecided about Lachlan.  His characterisation felt weak and suppressed, he made some immature decisions for a mature adult in his thirties, which was disappointing as I had been hoping for a much stronger representation from him.  They both have their secrets which eventually causes a huge misunderstanding and this becomes quite exasperating as it takes some time for the pieces to fit back into place again.  The side characters are uplifting and likeable and there are some funny and endearing moments.  Bethan’s childminder is extremely supportive and Bethan has also forged some wonderful friendships in the garden centre where she works. 

It needed more passion and chemistry between the main protagonists to hit the 4* mark, however The Start of Something is enjoyable and entertaining and a really lovely premise for a romance novel.

Thank you to the publisher for the eARC via Netgalley
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As this story begins, Lachlan’s boredom and frustration is something you can really feel – a formerly super-fit military man, confined to his flat after a life-changing accident, visited only by his cheery physio and his friend who seems to have his own agenda. The company of Bert the dog and Ernie the cat keep him going – well just about – but when he notices a young woman moving into the flat opposite it provides a welcome diversion.

Bethan finally has a home where she can feel comfortable after a few difficult years – when she moves in, accompanied by her young son Noah, she feels her life might just be taking a turn for the better after a few particularly difficult years. She’s found a reliable child minder so that she can work at the garden centre, where she has friends who alleviate her loneliness (except for her immediate boss – he’s frankly a bit of a tosser) – although the customers aren’t crossing the threshold as often as they used to, and some innovative ideas are needed to turn its fortunes around.

A vase of flowers on her windowsill and a glimpse of her ponytail prompt Lachlan to reach out with a note pasted in his window – and he’s delighted when she responds. She’s as intrigued as he is, seeing his characterful cat on the windowsill, spotting his well-toned body and tattoos, and their light-hearted exchanges continue (mostly relating to biscuits – but, to two lonely people, meaning a lot more than that). And then comes the inevitable – they both want to meet, but have their own obstacles to negotiate. Lachlan doesn’t want to be defined by his disability, believing it’s all she’ll see – Bethan hasn’t mentioned her young son, equally afraid that her situation defines her, and needing to protect him.

Their joint story – a developing romance, and a lovely one giving them both hope for the future – is perhaps mildly unrealistic but I thoroughly enjoyed the way it developed. It’s also fraught with misunderstandings – understandably, when they really don’t know each other or how much they can trust each other. But their separate stories unfold too – their problems certainly aren’t all behind them, and they both have very difficult situations to negotiate.

I loved the way the story was told – the viewpoint alternates between the two main characters, and while they don’t know each other well we certainly get to feel how much their exchanges and encounters mean to them both. The book’s emotional touch is excellent – I really felt for them both, their vulnerability entirely convincing, and I took them both to my heart. And their separate stories are certainly page-turning too, as we learn more about their pasts and the struggles of their presents, hoping for a happy ending. The whole idea of notes in the window has been done before, but the whole premise of this book is fresh and different – and I very much enjoyed it. A really lovely read, moving, heart-warming and uplifting, filled with hope – a definite recommendation from me.
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I enjoyed parts of this story of two people, finding comfort through an initial connection through window messages, although I did immediately see several similarities to Kathryn Freeman's 'Mr Right Across The Street'. What I particularly enjoyed, was the way both Bethan and Lachlan (Lachie) were there at each other's lowest moments, and as such, it started as a slow-burning soulmates tale.

I did find the pacing very slow at times, with far too much time spent talking about horticulture and the garden centre. While I appreciate that it was part of a secondary plot, it did seem to drag at times, and I saw the 'twist' a mile off. However, the moments between Lachie and Bethan were much more enjoyable. I found Lachie's realisation about the way people around him didn't listen to him very moving. I also thought his post-accident mental health struggles and the subsequent emergence of his PTSD were well written. Likewise, I liked Bethan, and could empathise with her as a single parent. What I didn't enjoy was the forced miscommunication and how long it took them to actually meet (when you're nearly 200 pages in and they've only just seen each other's faces through a window, in 2022?) Then, when they finally did, it went from too slow to too fast and left me spinning. 

As a cat parent, I loved the comedic moments between Bert and Ernie as they faced off with one another. The author managed to convey a lot of feline and canine traits in these passages.

Overall I liked the main characters but found it an overlong and dragged out story.

*Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to give an honest review*

Overall Rating: ❤❤❤
Heat Rating: 🔥
Emotional Rating: 💓😢
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Another fantastic immersive read, as usual Miranda Dickinson.
Lachlan alone in his flat observing life outside his flat wanted to communicate with the flat opposite, so starts a written conversation on his window.
Bethan just starting afresh in her new flat, notices the flat opposite has left a message, starting something!
I loved the suspense about the background of both characters their frustration at life but still hopeful.
I couldn’t put the book down, I had butterflies, moments of anger at the unfairness at times but most of all was consumed from start to finish, and left with the biggest book hangover ever!!
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An enjoyable little romance!

Bethan has finally moved into the home she has dreamed of; along with her son, Noah, they are in a new town, in a bright sunny flat but the life of a single parent can be lonely. Across in the neighbouring block, Lachlan Watson is at home recovering from an injury which is keeping him from his job in the army. A course of tough physiotherapy should help but it’s hard to keep upbeat when you’re stuck indoors, so Lachlan spends a lot of time gazing out the window which is how he notices his new neighbour. Spotting a vase of gorgeous flowers in her window, he takes the plunge and put a message in his own – but will she reply?

My first thought on beginning this novel was that I had read it before but I’m glad I continued as despite having read another romance beginning with a couple messaging from their windows, this is an entirely different story. Great characters and a realistic story line, this is one which has a few surprises along the way and has a lot going for it. Well-written – as always from Miranda Dickinson – this is an enjoyable and satisfying tale which I’m happy to give 4.5*

My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
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Nice little book to read over coffee on a Sunday morning! Really enjoyed it, not my usual bag but I really liked it and would defo read more from the author 😃
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“The Start of Something” is an entertaining story based around a great “meet-cute.” Lachie is recovering from injuries sustained in a terrible car accident. He is low and struggling with his rehab. That is until he sees his new neighbour move in to the flat opposite and on a whim decides to leave a written message in his window for her. Bethan is a single Mum who has worked hard to get to her new home and doesn’t want anything or anyone to jeopardise that or her relationship with her son, Noah. But when she sees Lachie’s message, will she find the friend she needs?

There are lots of plot developments along the way and some fun characters on the periphery of the story too. It’s not a book purely about the relationship between the two main characters but that is obviously the focus given that each chapter alternates between their points of view.

I think it would’ve been nice for some of those other characters to have been fleshed out a bit more. And if you’re looking for a book with lots of surprises, this probably isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for a light hearted, romantic, easy to read book, then I can recommend this.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.
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Every once and a while I take to read a romance as a change from my usual reads. 

This is a story of two people that try to overcome their personal problems but at the same time they feel they can give love a chance. 

It’s an interesting story with strong characters that despite their difficulties they haven’t lost themselves. They go out of their comfort zone for the person they like and although there is a misunderstanding between them they don’t give up. 

A nice read that will cheer you up and warm your heart.
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A bit different book with not your usual romance boy meets girl as this is based on Lachlan & Bethan writing to each other through the window.

Lachlan is recovering from an accident and sends the first note in which Bethan replies.  They each keep something from the other as it hasn’t come up.

The characters were really good and the way they react to each other was really sweet and funny the camaraderie they have.

I would recommend this book.
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This book was everything I needed to read right now. It is full of hope and feeling and positivity and all of that comes from a place of zero judgement so I just loved it. 

This book is told from the perspective of Lachie and Bethan. I love a dual narrative, but I love it even more when there's the chance that those two narratives are going to cross paths and fall in love and you get the feeling that might just happen in this case right from the word go. This book is also the slowest possible burn. All the information we get about these two amazing people is just so slowly drip fed to us, they are so intriguing and so you just have to keep turning the pages!

Lachie is living in his flat with his cat and dog, we know he has been injured but we don't know how and we don't know what the fallout from that is going to be. Bethan has just moved into the flats across the street and we know that she has experienced some unhappiness but again we don't know what. It is almost infuriating waiting for details about these two and what impact that is going to have on the storyline. Of course being a dual narrative, as soon as we do get some key details, we switch back to the other side of the hedge-just so clever. 

As mentioned above, this is full of the trademark Miranda Dickinson positivity. We know these two characters obviously have it tough but they are trying to make the most of it, trying to find the beauty in life and trying to work as hard as they can to ensure their own stamp on the world but they are also honest about how they're feeling, even if they don't always share that until the last minute. I love how we get to see Lachie open up at times. So often in this genre men don't share their emotions and don't talk about their insecurities, there's a stereotype for the male lead and being emotional isn't part of that so it was so refreshing that even though this book is full of hope, there are real human emotions shown from both our leading characters here. We see Bethan struggling with being a single mum and the pressure that society puts on mums and we see Lachie struggling with the grief of being separated from his usual personal and professional routine and the toll that that can take on a person. 

I adored this story, the romance was so sweet and yet so intense and the storyline was unlike anything I've read before. I loved getting to know Bethan and Lachie. I loved the familiar North Yorkshire setting and I even loved learning a little bit about the inner workings of a garden centre. I highly recommend this book and I truly believe it is the book you need to read right now!
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This book was so lovely to read. Was such a lovely way to develop a relationship without seeing each and through window messages. A really lovely story.
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Loved, loved, loved. 

I'm obsessed with Mirandas books, Our Story being my first insight into her writing and I've gone on to read quite a few more since then. 

I devoured this book in an afternoon and I loved that it was set just down the road from where I live. 

The characters were adorable and were each battling their own demons and histories and I loved that they all brought something different to the book. 

Just brilliant ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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A moving love story. Bethan and Lachlan live in flats opposite each other: Lachlan with his amusing cat Ernie and Bert the dog, Bethan with her son, Noah. Each of them have a secret and are wary of giving away personal information. They first communicate via messages stuck on their windows, As they both grow in confidence, they realise this is not enough. Heart-warming, full of kindness and hope, this is a delight to read.
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