To Love and Be Loved

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 11 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 25 Jan 2022
Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing

Talking about this book? Use #ToLoveandBeLoved #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Description

In this life-affirming tale from bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one woman built a new life to escape her humiliation. Now, can she put the shame behind her and finally find happiness?

Young and desperately in love, Merrin had the whole world ahead of her. But just as her new life was about to start, the ground beneath her feet was cruelly swept away. Devastated by the humiliation, she ran far away from the beloved fishing village she had always called home to lick her wounds and escape her gossiping friends and neighbours.

It hasn’t been easy, but six years later Merrin has forged a new life for herself far from the sea, burying the impulsive girl she once was. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to return to the village she swore she’d never set foot in again.

Reluctantly back in the arms of her community, Merrin begins to realise what she’s been missing out on all these years. As she begins to remember the person she used to be, she is forced to make choices about her future, and to question the past. What does she want from her life? Who is important to her? Who is to blame for everything that went wrong? And can she forgive them, let old wounds heal and finally be her true self again?

In this life-affirming tale from bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one woman built a new life to escape her humiliation. Now, can she put the shame behind her and finally find happiness?

Young and...


A Note From the Publisher

Amanda Prowse is an international bestselling author of twenty-eight novels published in dozens of languages. Her chart-topping titles What Have I Done?, Perfect Daughter, My Husband’s Wife, The Coordinates of Loss, The Girl in the Corner and The Things I Know have sold millions of copies around the world.

Other novels by Amanda Prowse include A Mother’s Story, which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the Year Award. Perfect Daughter was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016. She has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘the queen of family drama’.

Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today. Her titles consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine show, as well as featuring on numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on national and independent radio stations, including LBC and talkRADIO, where she is well known for her insightful observations and infectious humour.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning off the bedside lamp at night, that ensure you walk every step with her great characters, and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

Amanda Prowse is an international bestselling author of twenty-eight novels published in dozens of languages. Her chart-topping titles What Have I Done?, Perfect Daughter, My Husband’s Wife, The...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781542024785
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (MOBI)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 182 members


Featured Reviews

To Love and Be Loved by Amanda Prowse


Young and desperately in love, Merrin had the whole world ahead of her. But just as her new life was about to start, the ground beneath her feet was cruelly swept away. Devastated by the humiliation, she ran far away from the beloved fishing village she had always called home to lick her wounds and escape her gossiping friends and neighbours.

It hasn’t been easy, but six years later Merrin has forged a new life for herself far from the sea, burying the impulsive girl she once was. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to return to the village she swore she’d never set foot in again.
To Love and Be loved. Isn't that what we as humans strive for ? That and our health.
Once again the author has captured what being alive is all about. We follow Merrin , who as a young girl and in love ,but flees from her village and makes a new life.
Although Merrin exasperated me at times , I really enjoyed reading her story.

Was this review helpful?

Mersin wants to love and to be loved. That’s not too much to ask is it? Well it seems that sometimes it may be too much to ask. So Mersin runs away to escape the devastation, the humiliation and the heartbreak. And she vows she will never go back, never face those people again, never hear the gossip, never relive the pain.
And for six years Mersin keeps her word and starts to successfully build a new life for herself whilst burying the past, the pain, the humiliation deep in her heart.
But ultimately she has to go back, and she finds something she never expected to find. . .

A story about humanity, life affirming grace and unexpected champions. It’s a really lovely book, very warm and absorbing

Was this review helpful?

This book follows Merrin Kellow, but also focuses on her family. Merrin wants to love and be loved. She ends up leaving her family and hometown after a humiliating experience to start anew. In her new location, she works on healing her heart (and psyche). A number of years later she returns home and discovers that while things are difficult, maybe they're bearable with the love of your family, yourself, and time.

I'm hoping that my impression about this book is in the minority. I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. I don't know if I expected more, for lack of a better word, action (or maybe oomph?), but this book while constantly moving forward in the story, at times took its sweet slow time. This is a really sweet story about a sweet family (including a few amusing sibling rivalry scenes) and a number of great side characters (Bella - I'd like to have a coffee with you and just listen to you talk). I would read another book by this author, but this book, sadly, just missed the mark for me. Oh, another huge plus - a non-graphic romance story ... and a pretty happy ending for all involved that is believable. 3.5 stars.

Was this review helpful?

When I think of literary fiction, I think of books just like this one, that gives all the feels and can satisfies just about every reader's heart. This is a perfect books to snuggle up with on any day. I loved it.

Was this review helpful?

Merrin loves a beautiful life surrounded by her family. She’s about to marry the love of her love, but on her wedding day events most definitely do not go as planned. Heartbroken, Merrin moves away from her beloved family to make a new life for herself, returning only when events mean she absolutely has to. This is beautiful story of love and loss.

Was this review helpful?

After a humiliating experience and hating to be the village gossip, Merrin leaves her beloved family and the fishing village of Port Charles in Cornwall behind her. But thoughts of what she left behind are always at the forefront of her mind. Can she overcome the humiliation and return to the loving arms of her family.
As with all of Amanda's books I really enjoyed Merrins story, although I did question some of her decisions, I loved the friendship she had with Bella and the close family ties. Amanda writes with such feeling and compassion and I cried tears of laughter and sorrow. Tissues needed.
Many thanks to Netgalley and publishers for the opportunity to read this advanced copy, I am under no obligation to write this review

Was this review helpful?

Oh, Amanda Prowse, you've done it again!
I was hooked on the story of Merrin from the moment I started reading. She was born and has lived in the same Cornish Fishing village of Port Charles, her whole life, and intends to spend the rest of it, there, too.
On the cusp of beginning the next chapter of her life, Merrin is convinced her life is headed in exactly the right direction.
Until the one thing she never expected to happen, happens. Filled with humiliation, Merrin flees her beloved hometown to forget her sorrows, but with a huge sense of regret at leaving her family behind.
Nothing can convince her to come back, not even the death of her grandma... Nothing, until her sister gets married.
Where do I start? Merrin is a beautiful character, full of hope, romance and life. It broke my heart to read how she crumbled, along with all her dreams, on that fateful day.
And feeling that she was never going to find anything close to the love she had felt at the time, the story grows, showing how she hardens her heart to feelings too intense, pushing away so many people who love her, romantically, and otherwise.
However, life does move in mysterious ways, and despite losses, she finds her perfect ending.
I loved Merrin's best friend, Bella, a lot. What I wouldn't give to have a Bella by my side!
A consuming read which I finished in a day.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This is a book about love, romance, and disappointment. The main character leaves home when a romance fails miserably…the story centers around her new life and that of her family back home…the angst she endures over what happened to her remains for a long time…until finally it does not…her parents love and adore her and her sister…a sweet read…this book was sent to me for review electronically by Netgalley.

Was this review helpful?

A really lovely read again from Amanda Prowse. Set in Cornwall a fabulous location it's the story of the Kellow family and sisters Merrin and Ruby they have a great family life with their parents Ben a fisherman and Heather .When the worst thing happens to Merrin on what was supposed to be her wedding day she leaves home and tries to start a new life for herself as it's too painful for her to stay . This is a story of family, friendships and relationships and at the heart of the story is love that shines throughout the story,.Its got that great humour that I love about this writer but also emotion and feelings that draw you into the characters lives. The Kellow girls finally know what it's like to love and be loved. A 5 🌟read

Was this review helpful?

Amanda Prowse, To Love and Be Loved, Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing, 2022.

Thank you NetGalley, for proving me with this uncorrected proof in exchange for a review.

Amanda Prowse sets this novel in a fishing village in Cornwall, and a market town close to Bristol. The fishing families are close knit, with the novel concentrating on two of these families, the Kellows and the Cardys who live in fishing cottages, and the Mortimers who are a wealthy biscuit factory family who live in a Palladian Clifton home. With its size, gardens, employment of staff and education of the son of the house, the Mortimers are established as different from the village people who are largely fishers, and shopkeepers.
A romance between Merrin Kellow and Digby Mortimer begins the novel – with the attitudes of the couple, their families and the village presenting a conflict with descriptions of Merrin in her jeans, T shirts and trainers. At times I felt as though I was reading an historical novel rather than one set in modern times. Perhaps this disconnect arises because of what I felt was the over emphasis on love of the village, the small community that appears so closed to change, a lack of ambition beyond the possibilities offered by the village, and the belief that people cannot love and marry outside their social circle.

The potential conflict between Merrin’s and Digby’s families, provides a background to the narrative. However, at the forefront is a largely unexplained tension between Merrin and her sister, Ruby. At the same time Merrin, Ruby and Bella form a strong friendship group. Similarly, Lorretta Mortimer and Heather Kellow have a relationship, formally as mistress and staff, but as the novel proceeds, shown to be a little more complex. This complexity is also apparent in the various love affairs conducted by the three young women as the main feature of the novel, but also as part of the background to each of the main families.

To Love and Be Loved deals with love in its various manifestations – long term married love, past and present love between couples which is thwarted through family disapproval and interference, a short-term affair that produces a pregnancy, and a love that upon maturity changes its attention from one person to another. Each of these threads work well together. The images of Cornwall were entrancing, and the descriptions of village traditions and personalities were enlightening in their recognition of a world that appears to have moved slowly, with appreciation of past work and lifestyles.

This is not a novel that I warmed to, perhaps because I was unable to feel for the characters whose lives seemed so enclosed. For me many of the ideas were of the past rather than present. However, my limited knowledge of Cornwall has possibly impacted on my understanding of a lifetime in this special part of the English coast. I found this an easy read, with some illuminating perspectives on the impact of shock and rejection on individuals and families, and an introduction to yet another aspect of English community, practice and location.

Was this review helpful?

Amanda Prowse is my go-to author when I need romance, complicated emotions, intense yet subtle drama, and a keen understanding of human relationships. To Love and Be Loved is her latest release due out in January 2022, but I received an early copy through NetGalley. I've read at least ten of her books thus far, and there are at least another ten from the last decade that I must still get to. Trust me, I will... I already purchased three and plan to read one a month until I'm fully caught up by the end of 2022.

Merry is from a small coastal town in England. She lives with her sister, two parents, and grandmother. She and Digby, late teens/early twenties, are madly in love. He proposes, and when the wedding day arrives, something unexpected happens. Years later, Merry has left her hometown and started fresh in a bigger city. Her career grows, and she meets someone new, but it's not the same. She misses her family and friends, yet they also weigh her down, as does the stigma of what happened on her almost-wedding day. How can a beautiful, kind, generous, and wonderful young woman ever recover?

This is not a suspense or quick-moving novel. Prowse alternates a bit of time periods, stopping right when you really want to know what's about to happen, tho. It builds your interest without giving you scary palpitations... because you will love Merry and her view on life. She comes out of a tragedy with a positive mindset, despite the pain. And she accepts all the drama thrown at her, finding a way to heal. We can all learn from her. Of course, she makes mistakes too. But this is where Prowse excels; she builds truly realistic characters and dangles them out there for you to connect with. I might not live in England, be a jilted lover, come from a poor background, or have wandered out all on my own, but I identify with how Merry feels.

I liked how the ending doesn't wrap things up, instead offering opportunities to consider. I enjoyed the drama within a set of relatives, where there is anger and love, sadness and happiness, reality and unforced exaggeration - things that exist in every family. I wouldn't start with this novel, if you haven't read Prowse before... but definitely slot this one in somewhere early on. It's a fantastic character study, and I definitely see it as 4.5 stars.

Was this review helpful?

Amanda Prowse is one of my favourite authors and I always can't wait to start one of her books, as they are always a treat.

This one was no exception. I was immediately drawn into the story of Merrin. I loved her character and felt heartbroken for her. I loved the family relationships in the story - Merrin and her sister remind me of my relationship with my sister. As with most of Amanda's books, tissues were needed. I could clearly picture the Cornish location and this makes me want a Cornish holiday again soon.

I couldn't put this down and finished it over the weekend. I can't recommend this and all of Amanda's other books highly enough. Perfect for a cosy afternoon on the sofa with a cuppa and cake.

Fabulous - I can't wait for the next one!

Was this review helpful?

Another amazing read from Amanda Prowse. A real page turner and beautifully written story. I loved all the characters and loved Merrin's story. It was so sad she felt she had to leave the place she loved to get away from a humiliation that was not of her making. It was a real tear jearker at times with lovely stories of true love. The tragic loss of her Father and his letter to his daughters was heartbreaking.

Was this review helpful?

Well what can I say, Amanda has smashed it again,A beautiful heartwarming story with great charecters that were very easy to get to know and love, I'm always gutted when finishing one of my favourite authors books

Was this review helpful?

Another fantastic book by Amanda Prowse. She never fails to write great stories that we can all relate to. Warning: do not read on the train, like I did!

Was this review helpful?

Another 5 star book
I don't know how Amanda Prowse manages to keep writing such amazing books
This was another emotional read and was a tear jerker in a few places, (tissues may be needed)
I loved the real community feel that reading this book gives, the description of the place and the people there make you almost feel a part of it.
Thank you Amanda for still writing such incredible books.
Thank you netgalley

Was this review helpful?

Love comes in different disguises. Amanda has written a lovely story that deals with love, loss and loyalty.
The main story crux of the story is Merrin and her family in a small Cornish fishing village.
The story takes us through heartbreak, rediscovery and the hidden past.
A great feel good which I'm sure everyone will be able to identify with one character.

Was this review helpful?

Another former by the talented Amanda Prowse. I devoured this book as it is a lovely tale with lovely characters that drew me in. The Cornish setting is just perfect for this story of love, betrayals, loss and most of all families.

Was this review helpful?

Merrin loves her life, her town, her fiancé, her family and the future she is planning. That is until she is left at the alter. Wanting not to be around for the gossip mongers, she leaves her hometown and tries to start over.

This book is about love, loss , family, forgiveness and starting over. Written as only this author can beautifully write. I did enjoy this book. I loved Merrin she was as her dad said “ as much glass as steel”. Strong and fragile at the same time !

Was this review helpful?

I have read and loved every one of Amanda’s books and this was no exception. Very heartwarming in places but also loss and betrayal made for an amazing read. I loved the characters who I could really relate to and Amanda’s description of the setting in Cornwall was the icing on the cake. I’m sad to finish this book and can’t wait for the next one. Hope we don’t have to wait too long!!

Was this review helpful?

What a book! It was so good I didn’t want to put it down. I’ll be recommending it for my Book Club along with reading more by this author. Well written.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this book! This story is more than about romance, it is also about loss, grieving, forgiveness, and starting again. I can relate to the main character , I am also a family-oriented person that's why I understand her priorities and love for her family. This is my first time reading Amanda Prowse's work, and I was not aware that I should prepare tissues with me!

Was this review helpful?

I sometimes felt I was reading a historical novel. It was only when I read that Merrin was using a mobile, partway through, that I realised the story was set in modern day. It was so old-fashioned - the girls were all so old-fashioned in their attitudes, their main goal in life to marry, make a home, have kids. I didn't really warm to Merrin. Yes, what happened to her was terrible, but her subsequent actions were OTT. There were overlong passages, and it was saccharine sweet at times, all about home sweet home. I did like the description of the scenery. Bella's character was great. I also thought the ending to be realistic. With thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Merrin and her family live in a beautiful coastal fishing village in Cornwall. She can’t imagine ever leaving, her roots are tethered to the land she loves.

Everything seems perfect when she meets the man of her dreams- Digby, the son of a wealthy local landowner- and he asks her to marry him. As the wedding day approaches, tension spirals between Merrin and her older sister, Ruby, causing a dark cloud over the fairytale story of the rich boy and the fisherman’s daughter. But then Merrin is left at the alter and her idyllic life falls apart.

Hurt and demoralized by the well-meaning village gossip, Merrin does the unthinkable and flees her home.

Years pass as Merrin tries to regain her lost confidence. She has a relationship with a kindhearted, handsome chef, but her heart is still damaged, and she can’t fully invest in the relationship.

It takes a wedding and a devastating loss before Merrin finally faces her fears and can move on with her life.

I enjoyed the rich coastal setting and the captivating characters in this story but felt Merrin overreacted to an admittedly horrible event. It cost her dearly in the end. I also couldn’t accept the last-minute addition of a love interest who becomes the love of her life- all in the last chapter or two of the book. I think it would have read better if she woke to the realization of how much the chef meant to her.

Overall, an enjoyable read.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley for my advance Ebook, To Love and Be Loved by Amanda Prowse. I am a fan of this author and she did not disappoint with this one! Merrin gets stood up at the alter and needs to rebuild her life and her confidence. Luckily, she has great friends and family that stand behind her and support her leaving home to accomplish this in hopes she returns stronger. Although, I did feel this book dragged at times, I enjoyed the characters and was a little surprised at the ending. I will be recommending this book for my book club.

Was this review helpful?

Another Amanda Prowse book I enjoyed although I did find with this one there were just too many tears and grief. Romance on so many different levels plus the solidarity of families and friendships. I did find the main character, Merrin, a little weak and frustrating at times but there were some terrific peripheral ones. Somewhat old fashioned overall with the scenes in Cornwall stuck in a time warp but enchanting nonetheless. The ending was a little unexpected and rushed but then again, some of the earlier passages were a little drawn out particularly all the teary ones!

Was this review helpful?

Amanda Prowse never disappoints and I LOVED her latest, To Love and Be Loved. Loved this story, loved the characters and loved the setting. Might be the favorite of mine to date!

Thank you to net galley for the arc in exchange of an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely love Amanda’s books and To Love and Be Loved wasn’t any different. Merrin lives in a quaint little Cornish village and about to marry the love of her life. Getting jilted at the altar wasn’t what she expects to find when she arrived at the church! Devastated, she realised she needs to move away if she is to get over it.
Will she ever come back to the village?

I found the book a little old fashioned at times but then I realised that many quiet villages are a little slower at getting with the times! A lovely read

Was this review helpful?

To Love and Be Loved by Amanda Prowse is the story of Merrin Mercy Kellow, a young woman from Cornwall, England who finds the love of her life only to have it dashed away at the last minute in humiliating fashion. Unable to stay in her small village where she's the talk of the town, she takes off to recover, to sort out her life and to discover what she wants and if she can live away from the land and people she loves. Eventually she returns, but can she ever be happy there again?

Amanda Prowse once again hits it out of the park with a heartfelt novel filled with love and compassion. You won't want to put this one down...her descriptions of the Cornish landscapes will speak to your heart. Thank you to the author, Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This author is one of my favourites and I was so excited to be able to start to read this and as always was blown away by this authors ability to be able to get right to the heart of human emotion. This was a book above love and being in love and also the consequences of love breaking down and learning to love yourself again. I couldn’t put this down once I had started reading and read it in a couple of days and felt like I had been transported to the Cornish village it was set in. I would love a sequel to this to see how merrins journey in life continues

Was this review helpful?

3 Stars

One-Liner: Some great side characters, but not enough.

*Minority Opinion*

Merrin was in love and excited to marry her beau, Digby. She could see her entire future with her family and Digby in Port Charles, Cornwall. It was her home, after all. But the day of the wedding leaves her shattered and vulnerable. Merrin leaves her home in the fishing village to rebuild her life.
Six years have passed, and Merrin has a life of her own away from home. She doesn’t want to go back but has no choice when a tragedy strikes. Merrin realizes what she missed by leaving her community and dear ones and changing into someone she isn’t. Back home, Merrin has to decide who she is and what she wants from life. What does her future hold? Is she willing to move on and be truly happy?
I’ve had some of the author’s previous books on my TBR list for a while. When this one showed up in the Read Now section on NetGalley, I decided to go ahead and give it a shot.
Plus Points:
• Ruby (Merrin’s older sister) and Bella (Merrin’s bestie) are two fab characters in the book. Merrin’s mother was just as good.
• The tension between Ruby and Merrin is a highlight of the book.
• Women have a larger role to play (as expected) throughout. They are the decision-makers.
• Beautiful descriptions of Cornwall. Something different from the city/ small town descriptions I usually read.
Not-so Plus Points:
• The narration is too slow. I understand slow beginnings, but this one is slow from start to finish. At no point did I want to read fast to know what happened next. The story went its own sweet way.
• Despite Ruby being painted as the insecure sister, Merrin seemed self-absorbed in many scenes. It was about her most of the time. Even when I understood what she went through, I couldn’t continue feeling sad for her for the rest of the book.
• Multiple POVs (in the limited third person) but none for Ruby. I wanted to know her more. She seemed more real and vulnerable than many others.
• No clear indication for time leaps. We won’t know that a few months/ years have passed until we read the first 2-4 paragraphs in a chapter. Makes it a little hard to track the timeline.
• The happy ending was good, but bringing a new love interest in the last chapter somehow didn’t work for me. Given what Merrin repeats throughout the book, it felt surreal.
• Some weird adverbs (I forgot to note them but I remember wondering why they had to be used).
To sum up, To Love and Be Loved has its merits but hasn’t been a noteworthy read for me. Pick it up if you want something slow and sedate with bursts of emotions.
Thank you, NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK, and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Was this review helpful?

this was such a sweet and precious book, i will keep it close to my heart for always. thank you netgalley for always blessing me with beautiful books.

Was this review helpful?

Merrin and her family live in Cornwall. When she faces devastation in a situation in her life, Merry decides to move away from her home, family, and friends. After a time, filled with many ups and downs, she begins to realize that she is still blessed with many who love her, leading her to an eventual life filled with love.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Amanda Prowse and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an early copy.
I’ve read several of Amanda’s books and thoroughly enjoy her writing.

We all want to Love and Be Loved. In this story we find a young couple (Merrin and Digby) in a small fishing village, madly in love and ready to be married. He comes from wealth and she is the daughter of a fisherman. Life doesn’t always work out as we imagine it. Merrin flees her beloved village and settles into a new life for many years until tragedy calls her home. Sibling discord, well-kept secrets, confessions, forgiveness and love. Another smashing novel by Amanda Prowse!

Was this review helpful?

I hold my hands up and say that Amanda Prowse as one of my favourite authors, she never fails to produce fantastic books and I’m always looking forward to any new books she writes..

Amanda has such a unique gift of understanding and explaining everyday lives and events which makes the reader connect to the characters so easily. As I was reading the book I was matching some of the characters to people that I know in my life and the similarities were remarkable. Also some of the life experiences I have had were so well portrayed it was like the author could read my mind.

Overall this book was about love. being in love and the consequences of love breaking down. The absolute heartbreak of a breakup was so well portrayed it brought tears to my eyes. I felt so much for the main character Merrin. I was hoping she would find her happy ending. How our roots and upbringing impact on our lives and choices were also beautifully explored.

I really loved the Cornish setting and I could imagine the sea breeze on my face as I turned the pages. I was sad to finish this book and can only say Amanda you have done it again, I don’t know how you manage to write books each one unique but each one equally brilliant..

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for my chance to lose myself in this fantastic book

Was this review helpful?

another good story from Amanda Prowse. She does not disappoint a very good read.. Thanks NetGalley and the Publisher

Was this review helpful?

Amanda never fails to create likeable characters who have you rooting for them, and Merrin is no exception. I was instantly taken to the Cornish coast and involved in the lives of the lovely characters I found there. Another very enjoyable read from one of my favourite authors.

Was this review helpful?

Mending Your Heart

This is a remarkable story of family love and of a small town. Scandals, rumors and a wedding that didn't happen. It is about forgiveness and letting go, about learning to live and love after your heat has been broken and you have been humiliated and devastated by one that you loved and trusted with all your heart. It is a story of returning home to a family and a town that loves you as much as you love it.

When Merrin is left at the altar waiting for the groom that never shows she is completely heartbroken. She moves away and starts a new life far from her family and the lovely seaside village she grew up in and loved with all her heart. It is only the death of her beloved father that brings her home.

Once home she realized this is where she belongs and decides to stay. However along the way she must mend her heart as she once again rebuilds her life and regains her confidence. Only when she confronts those that hurt her so badly and forgives them can she find peace.

I really loved this story of love and hope amongst heartbreaking events. It is truly a wonderful story and I know you will enjoy it as much as I did. I recommend this book.

Thanks to Amanda Prowse for writing a great story, Lake Union Publishing and Amazon Publishing U.K. for publishing it and to NetGalley for making it available to me.

Was this review helpful?

Any book by Amanda Prowse is guaranteed to be a good read and this one is no exception. Her characters are always so well described that you feel like you know them. Merrin was a lovely character and I felt such pain and sympathy for her but it all worked out for her in the end. Great description of Cornwall and all round great story. Five stars from me and highly recommended.
Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an early ARC

Was this review helpful?

A funny bittersweet read filled with moments of heartbreaking loss but the relationship between Merrin, Ruby and Bella adds a sense of humour to the story ,Amanda wrote in the back of the book that She wants to write the type of story that the reader finds difficult to leave down and She does that time and time again, while I was at work, I was thinking about the book and while I’m not always keen on a happy ever after, it was justified in this book.

Was this review helpful?

Another lovely story from Amanda Prowse, set in Cornwall beautifully descripted with characters you want to read more about. Thank you netgalley for the advance copy

Was this review helpful?

The story
Merrin, daughter of a fisherman in a small Cornish coastal village, is young and in love with her fiancé Digby, whose family is wealthy and live in the Old Rectory “big house”. But the unthinkable happens when she is stood up at the altar on her wedding day. She leaves the village and doesn’t return until two years later. She can’t deal with the whole village gossiping about her and her family’s shame.

My thoughts
This story takes place over a six year period and deals with love, friendship and loss. It’s an entertaining story, thoughtful about the emotional side of families taking care of each other through thick and thin. I felt that Merrin took so much time (the whole story 🙈) to lick her emotional wounds for something that for me, really wasn’t her fault 😞

Was this review helpful?

'I believe you, I thought we were on the same page, but turns out we weren't even reading the same book.'
'Words are easy like the wind, faithful friends are hard to find." William Shakespeare said that.'
Turns out her dad had been right when he wrote:
When you're ready and you've done enough adventuring and figuring out, come home, Merrin. Come back to Port Charles, this little place where your spirit linger even after you have driven off in Vera Wilma Brown. Walk the beach barefoot in all weathers, my little maid, and let yourself be. Be open to what is right in front of your very eyes and let yourself be happy.

Those three things were the ones that really took my heart hostage while reading this beautiful book. Amanda Prowse has written her best book yet. It will capture your heart and keep you turning the pages. You will laugh, cry, want to scream. You will feel so much reading this book. It's just a beautiful yet sad story. But that is love at times. Beautiful and sad. My take away from this book is to never ever give up on love. Always hold on to your heart. Keep your mind open to things that can and do happen.

Merrin is the main character in this book. She goes through so much and you will feel for her. She is so much stronger than she thinks though. After the heartaches and losses she still runs barefoot on the beach. She still loves deeply the people that she holds close and dear. She's a survivor. I really liked her so much.

This book is about surviving a very sad situation and prevailing. Finding yourself after a loss that is so unexpected. The family in this story, the Kellows, are a tight family. A simple family. They are there for each other even when it seems like they aren't. The two sisters, Merrin and Ruby, may fight but they also love each other fiercely. Their parents had a love that would never end. They set an example for their girls that love is wonderful. That love, true love, always prevails. Always wins. No matter what. Even with so much adversity in her life Merrin knows this. But she is holding back, until.

This story will stick with you. It will make you stop and think. Stop and take notice. It will make you believe in things. It's written in such a beautiful way. The words just flow off the pages straight to your heart. Even the very saddest parts when you will cry those big fat ugly tears you always get from a Prowse book will make you want more. Keep you turning the pages. All the way to the very end you will hope things end perfectly for Merrin.

There are a couple of characters in here that I truly despised. Even after I read what they had to say I was not happy with them. Some things should not ever be tampered with. But that would have made this book different so it's really done to perfection in my humble opinion. The would be mother in law did finally grow on me a tad. Not a lot, but a bit. As much as I didn't want to like her, she had some good points. I felt for her a little.

Thank you #NetGalley, #AmandaProwse, #AmazonPublishingUK, #LakeUnionPublishing for this ARC. This is my own true feelings about this book.

5/5 huge, big, giant stars from me and the very highest recommendation possible. Read it. Have lots and lots of tissues though. You may need them.

Was this review helpful?

What a roller coaster of emotions.
Merrin goes through some thing that shocks her world and hasn't seemed to find her true north again and felt whole.
She picks up and moves to try and find herself but has constant reminders. Then she comes face to face with her past.....

Was this review helpful?

3.5 stars
I loved the storyline, characters (especially Bella) but the story seemed to move a bit a bit too slow for my liking. My heart broke for Merrin and the humiliation she had to go through. I cried while reading the scene where she is being consoled and is still in denial that her Digby could ever put her through something so embarrassing. I admired her strength, her will, and her pride. There was a good amount of emotion in the writing but the speed of the story (also the immature Ruby) made me take away those stars. Overall, it was a good read!

Was this review helpful?

I love Amanda Prowse's books and she is one of my favourite authors. This was another winner in my eyes and I was totally absorbed in the story all the way through. Firstly, I loved the landscape of beautiful Cornwall and as it's one of my most loved holiday locations I revelled in the descriptions of the place and its people. I really engaged with the characters - most of who were warm and wonderful which gave the book a homely and comforting feel. Merrin's parents, sister and best friend were all so very likeable. There is a lot of sadness in this book as Merrin, suffers a number of losses and then has to try to get herself back on track to rebuild a life wherein she can love again. Although I felt desperately sorry for Merrin there were times that I wanted to sit her down and have a good talk with her as her actions and choices had such a terrible effect on her family and friends - the ripple effect of her own situation and inability to come to terms with it affecting the lives of so many of the people she loved. Over a period of six years many lives were changed and opportunities lost as she centred solely on her own problems and was unaware how this impacted on her family. I had to keep reading long into the night as I wanted to see how it all turned out and whether the ending would reveal happier times for her and her loved ones after all the turmoil of recent years. Amanda Prowse writes beautifully and she has the ability to draw in the reader. I was hooked from page one. I just can't get enough of her books and look forward to her next one. My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

“Young and desperately in love, Merrin (Merry) had the whole world ahead of her. But just as her new life was about to start, the ground beneath her feet was cruelly swept away. Devastated by the humiliation, she ran far away from the beloved fishing village she had always called home to lick her wounds and escape her gossiping friends and neighbours.”
I struggled to take a liking to the centre character Merry she can across as very self centred and self absorbed who was more worried about what others thought about her than anything else. The characters around her including her parents, sister Ruby and friends Jarv and Bella and their relationships were fantastically written and definitely added to the unfolding story and kept me reading till the end.
Due to the writing style you can feel yourself being immersed in the Cornwall scenery and the fishing village in which it is set, the story appears very slow at times and you find yourself lost at times within the timeline and how much time has passed, whereas the addition of a new love interest for Merry right at the end feels very rushed.
Overall this was a very readable story with a fantastic setting, but it was the back characters that kept me reading more than Merry herself and if more had been included to form a greater understanding of the relationships that were already there it may have made it easier to relate to Merry and her personality.
I would like to thank the author Amanda Prowse, Amazon Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me access to this free Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review.
#ToLoveandBeLoved #NetGalley

Was this review helpful?

Another great story by this author. She has become a favorite one to read.
Her stories are all very different, places, subject matter, yet all captured my attention the same way as she has very strong characters that draw me in from the beginning.
This one is set in a small fishing village, where Merrins family is well known, but when something happens, that humiliates her, she decides to leave the village to avoid being the talk of the town.
Being away just made Merrin miss her family and village even more and when tragedy struck, she had no other choice than to return and face what she had also run away from, to be there for the people she loves.
What a great storyteller this author is, I have now read 5 of her books and I can't wait to read another.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a copy of this book.

Was this review helpful?

Oh, Amanda Prowse, you've done it again!
I was hooked on the story of Merrin from the moment I started reading

Was this review helpful?

🌊A Cornwall gal, now & forever🏘🌅

My experience of Amanda Prowse's novels, gained over the past few years, had me eagerly anticipating this book. It's replete with family drama and romantic disappointments, but the basic underpinning is a deep-seated love for the small seaside town with its natural beauty and tight community where lead character Merrin finds her strength and soul satisfaction. In the end, life does go on with some happy resolution for a number of key characters, including Merrin.

It's not my favorite Prowse story. The narrative is a bit long and I can't say I deeply connected with any of the characters. Merrin suffers a terrible, wrenching upset at the start of the story and the remainder of the book is her slow, painful recovery with numerous setbacks and loss along the way. But she remains true to the belief that love needs to be deep, all encompassing for both partners, like the love of her parents. She won't settle for less. She has her close family and friend Bella at her back, constant and loyal, and the knowledge that Port Charles, the town of her humiliating history, is also her only true home.

A worthwhile, well-written read.

Thanks to Amazon Publishing UK/Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for sharing a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

Drama,Rumors and living in a small town. Merlin is heartbroken humiliated when she’s left standing at the alter.
She then decides to move away to try to start a new life when she hast to come back home again due to her father‘s death. Can she stay in her hometown again after all that has happened? I really enjoyed this story of heartbreak Romance and hope

Was this review helpful?

This book is set in Cornwall, my favourite place in the world, and the author captures the atmosphere perfectly. I almost believed I was there on those clifftops.
Merrin, 19 and in love is subjected to a horrendous event that sees her leaving her loving family and beloved Cornwall behind and she feels she will never return . A tragic event sees her return several years later in to the arms of her family. There is love as always but also some unburied resentments come to the fore.
Another great book by this author dealing with issues we come across in daily life and deals with love, loss and moving on and accepting and appreciating what we have in life.

Was this review helpful?

Merrin lives in the beautiful fishing village of Port Charles in Cornwall, it's her happy place, filled with childhood memories and where she intends to stay for life, that is until she is faced with the worst humiliation possible, she flees the village and the comfort of her family, to escape the gossiping that every small village is known for.

Six years later, having set up a new life in Thornbury, Bristol she is faced with a family tragedy and has to return to her childhood home, it's not going to be easy, but she has no choice. Once she's back there with her family, she begins to question the life she once had, can she forget the past and return to the place she's always loved and misses immeasurably, only Merrin can make that decision but will she follow her head or her heart...?

To Love and Be Loved is the latest creation by the hugely talented Amanda Prowse, this author could write a shopping list and it would be a best seller! She creates her characters in such a way that you immediately feel you know them personally, almost like being part of the family, they are completely authentic, from the first page of every book I've read by her I've been totally invested in the story and this one is no exception. Merrin's story is one that I'm sure every girl who has ever been in love dreads and my heart broke for her many times during this book, it's a tale of love, loss, grief, sibling rivalry and fractured loyalty and I encountered so many different emotions whilst reading it. Amanda writes from the heart, about subjects that will resonate with every one of her readers in one way or another throughout their lives, and I recommend you read at least one of her books, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

I'd like to thank Amazon Publishing UK, Netgalley and the author for the approval, I will post my review on Goodreads now and Amazon on publication day.

Was this review helpful?

Oh! I just loved "To Love and Be Loved" by Amanda Prowse. This beautiful novel about love, family bonds, heartbreak, public humiliation, small town with deep roots and bigger gossip, as well as rebuilding from disappointments, is magnificent! As always, Amanda Prowse portrays a well-rounded story, with great characters, large emotions, big lessons, and perfect conclusions, all in her gentle voice. Thank you to the author, publisher, NetGalley for the early release copy for review. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

I’d like to thank Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘To Love and Be Loved’ written by Amanda Prowse in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Merrin Kellow is at the church with family and friends for her marriage to Digby Mortimer when she’s told that he’s changed his mind. Port Charles is a close community and rather than be the subject of gossip she drives away to start a new life, stopping in Thornbury on the outskirts of Bristol where she’s offered a position at Milbury Court Hotel. It isn’t until tragedy strikes her family that Merrin feels she has no choice but to return and face what she dreads the most, being pointed out as the girl who was abandoned at the altar.

It’s always a pleasure to read a novel by Amanda Prowse and ‘To Love and Be Loved’ is a beautifully written family drama of Merrin, her parents Ben and Heather, feisty sister Ruby, best friend Bella, and the residents of Port Charles. Ms Prowse has the ability to get inside the characters and she’s sculpted them so superbly that as I’ve been reading I’ve felt a part of the community which has made me look forward to my next visit to Cornwall. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading this heart-warming yet at times sad account of six years in Merrin’s life that’s had me enthralled to the very end culminating with an absolutely perfect conclusion.

Was this review helpful?

The greatest shame is if you didn't let yourself love and be loved.

Merrin Kellow is young and vibrant. Merrin is marrying her person. The one that completes her. The one that makes her happy. The one that she loves, she is looking forward to marrying Digby Mortimer. Their families have a long history in their costal town town in Cornwall. She is the daughter of fisherman and Digby lives in the big house. In their community everyone knows everyone and it is the wedding of the year until it becomes something different. It changes everything for Merrin that she leaves the town she loves, the people she loves to rebuild all that she has lost.

I loved this story and the relationships behind it. It is not only a story of a lost love but of sisterhood, friendship, and families. Merrin lost something that she could not get back. The intangible thing of acceptance is a powerful. It gives us courage and security and without it we are lost. The narration of Merin's love, pain and rebuilding is powerful. She is confronted by her loss in different ways thru her relationships. The protection we find in our relationships and the shame we have when for whatever reason, we have caused harm. I loved the candor of these relationships, the easy way and the difficult times of facing the what are relationships are made of.

With any great love story involving any of our relationships is redemption. Something made new from loss, pain, and misunderstanding. It was a complete package.

A special thank you to Amazon Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I love all of Amanda’s books and although it took me a bit longer to get into this book once I did it did not disappoint. I think it was the setting that to start with made me think it was occurring back in history. A young Cornish woman was left at the alter on her wedding day and the storyline takes us through her life and that of her Cornish family. Her love of the Cornish village disappears because of the hurt at being left at the alter but will it return? Thanks once again Amanda, your publisher and NetGalley.

Was this review helpful?