Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
Coralie has recently moved to Penmorfa, a village on the Welsh coast, after swapping her high-pressure career for the more serene Sweet Cleans, a business she has set up herself. Coralie makes her own beauty and cleaning products entirely from natural ingredients and sells them from her little shop in the village. Gethin grew up in Penmorfa, but escaped a harsh, controlling father in his late teens after winning an art competition and following his dreams of becoming an artist. Gethin has been living and exhibiting his work in New York for the past fifteen years, but reluctantly returns to Penmorfa to sort out the family home after his father’s death. Coralie and Gethin don’t get off to the best of starts after an incident with a slightly feral cat. However, Gethin finds himself strangely pulled towards Coralie and though she tries everything in her power to resist, Coralie ends up in Gethin’s New York studio, sitting for a portrait.
Move Over Darling is a tale of two people from opposite sides of the Atlantic who meet and fall in love, but struggle with their feelings due to problems in their past. Coralie has taken sanctuary in Penmorfa, while Gethin is determined to put his childhood village behind him for good.
Not only did I enjoy Coralie and Gethin’s story, I also loved the village as a whole and felt I really got to know everybody, from old, bitter gossips, Mair and Delyth, to Alys and her daughter, Kitty. Alys can feel her marriage crumbling around her, but instead of tackling her worries, she focuses all her efforts on fundraising for a new village hall. Her daughter returns from her glittering new career in Cardiff and is unable to tell her parents the real reason she is back in Penmorfa. While Kitty’s story is more in the background of Coralie and Gethin’s, I couldn’t help being drawn to Kitty’s dilemma and looked forward to her scenes.
Move Over Darling is full of little stories that are brought together through Coralie and Gethin, my favourite of which was the mystery of who was the female inspiration behind Gethin’s most famous painting, Last Samba Before Sunset. While mostly set in Penmorfa, New York also features in Move Over Darling and I liked the descriptions and details of that city.
Move Over Darling is published by Choc Lit and is out in paperback on 7th October.