What if – to find yourself – you had to run away?
Last year was meant to be Holly’s year. But she’s still stuck in a job that’s going nowhere, and a relationship that feels more like it’s going backwards… this year Holly has decided it’s time to change her life. She just has to:
- End the relationship with the commitment-phobic boyfriend
- Go on a proper adventure
- Learn to be herself again
- Definitely, categorically not fall in love.
With all her belongings in her little yellow Mini, Holly sets off for Spain, to stay at a remote Andalusian farmhouse. But on arrival she nearly crashes into the gorgeous Matias. And much to Holly’s irritation, their paths keep crossing. Because as she practices Spanish with the locals, finally starts plans for her own design business, and sips sangria in the sunlit village square, Holly is beginning to remember who she is and what she wants.
So she won’t allow Matias to distract her. Because this year – for Holly – there are more important things in life than love. And she won’t let yet another bad relationship ruin everything… will she?
A moving and uplifting romantic comedy about living each moment and learning to trust yourself again, for fans of Jenny Hale, Debbie Macomber, and Sophie Kinsella.
Readers love Karen King:
‘Best book I have read in ages. Couldn't put it down... My star rating would be max 10 out of 10. Superb!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Fantastic from the first page to the last. I really didn't want it to end at all. So enchanting and romantic and about finding your own happiness when you don't think you can… A simply fantastic read, highly recommend it.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Amazing! This book pulls at your heartstrings... Highly recommend.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘A pure pleasure to devour this book, I just didn't want it to end, I was enjoying it so much… Wonderful.’ Rachel’s Random Reads, 5 stars
‘Such a cleverly written, hilarious and fun book with bucketfuls of drama. Absolutely loved it!’ The Writing Garnet, 5 stars
‘I loved this book, it was fun, easy to read with lovely characters and a fab story.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Romantic, edgy, dreamy... Loved it from start to finish.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘[A] stonking great read that will leave you wanting more.’ Goodreads reviewer
‘Contemporary women's fiction at its best. Utterly charming.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who likes a good escapist read.’ Whispering Stories
‘Worth far more than five stars… I was hooked from the first page… Full of romance and heartbreak and families and doing what is best.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Having read Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel by King and loving the nuanced characters, opportunities for self-discovery and growth, I wondered if she could create a similar magic with new characters and an entirely new setting. I needn’t have worried though, the character of Holly was everything that one could hope for: and her opportunities and ability to share her own growth and happiness with those around her was enchanting. Having spent a few years in a relationship that was wholly one-sided, and ignoring her own desires, comfort and even the basic respect one should be able to expect from her partner, she’s had enough. She’s always felt that Scott was with her because she’s compromised everything, and ignored his immaturity and selfishness. But when he expects her to collect him at the airport after a ‘last minute’ jaunt to Amsterdam, she’d had enough. It wasn’t bad enough that she was still grieving from the loss of her grandfather, but feeling as if she was drifting without any real purpose. Her best friend suggested a list of ‘what you want to do’, and giving herself a timeframe to accomplish them – and with a bequest due from her grandfather’s estate, nowhere to live after leaving her partner, and no real ‘ties’ to anything in England, she takes an offer from a friend who relocated to the Andalusian region in Spain to help them renovate their house and outbuildings before starting their artist’s retreat in a few months. From the moment she arrived, Holly has been spreading her wings: learning Spanish, painting and varnishing, expanding her own designs to create her own fabrics, meeting the neighbors little dog and meeting the neighbor, Matias. Well, they both got the wrong end of the stick – Matias thinking Holly is simply like all of the other women he knows – grasping and wealth obsessed. He’s renovating his aunt’s cottage for resale as she’s moved into an apartment in town, and he’s splitting his time between that and his gym – a gym he’s opened in lieu of (and to the consternation of) his parents – his father wanting him to join the family firm of attorneys. Matias doesn’t want to solely practice law however, after a serious accident left him depressed and it was the physical trainers who got him back to health and happiness – challenging him when nothing else did. The rift between he and his father bothers them both, and he’s not quite sure how to remedy it. But, Holly has a lightness and way about her that makes him want to help her – spending time with her is something he looks forward to, and enjoys despite his repeatedly stating he wants no relationship. Slowly but surely King takes us through Holly’s steps to completing her list – a huge step requiring a ton of bravery that didn’t really occur to her – and we get to revel in the delights as she comes to fully grasp and grab at her own life and confidence with both hands. Not only the designs, but the little town, the vistas and even the weather come alive, and everyone seems to bloom and blossom in the story. From the success of Holly’s designs to her growing connection with Matias and the retreat having many satisfied customers – there is growth for everyone here and it will leave readers with a touch of jealousy in wanting to have the opportunity to do what Holly did, but smiles and everything feels very possible and plausible. A lovely read that is just the ticket for days when the winter days too long. I received an eArc copy of the title fr
We meet Holly who has been pleasing others all her life and she wasn't living her potential. When her carefless boyfriend takes off with his friends without even telling her and then has the gall to call her for help she wakes up from realizing he totally took her for granted and that was the straw that broke the camels back, and I was clapping for her good for her get rid of dead weight. She moves to a new country and start bettering her life and then we read all about it, I liked that she did that but I got distracted I tend to like more excitement but I did appreciate that she cared enough about herself to be able to change her situation.. rcvd an ARC at no cost to author..(netgalley) voluntarily reviewed with my own thoughts and opinions
Warm, cheery and romantic! The Year of Starting Over is a charming, uplifting read that takes us into the life of Holly as she leaves her dead-end relationship and boring job behind and heads to the Spanish countryside for a holiday to rediscover herself and find true happiness armed with a dream list and an open mind. The prose is light and descriptive. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are quirky, engaging, and authentic. And the plot is a delightfully entertaining tale about life, love, hopes, dreams, family, friendship, community, self-discovery, and contentment. Overall, The Year of Starting Over is an amusing, refreshing, enjoyable treat by King that, ultimately, reminds us that life is truly an adventure!