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Author: Hannah Fielding

Publisher: London Wall Publishing

PB ISBN: 978-0-9929943-6-5

EB ISBN: 978-0-9929943-7-2

                                                A Gorgeous Concoction

Hannah Fielding appears to have captured the spirit of Spain in the seventies in this evocative and very readable romantic novel, the second in the Andalucian trilogy. The first in the series was set in Spain in the fifties under General Franco and is a love story between an English woman, Alexandra and a Spanish man, Salvador. In the second book of the series, their daughter, Luz  returns  to Cadiz from boarding school in England on an assignment to write a biography of a famous Spanish artist. This novel is based on Luz and her experience of finding lasting love after returning to her native Spain.

This novel has all the ingredients of a successful romance. A beautiful young girl (Luz) in a sylvan setting, an aristocratic villa overlooking the sea. Gypsies who live in a settlement nearby who spout curses and forecasts at well chosen moments. A gypsy dance festival and a gypsy boy madly in love. A masquerade ball where the Spanish elite are invited. Handsome men and beautiful women who engage in lovers intrigue. Faithful old retainers who serve mouthwatering delicacies and are fiercely loyal to the gentry they serve. Steamy love scenes and even more steamy sex scenes. A famous artist whose paintings reflect his surroundings. An employer who delights in teasing and the discomfiture of his employee, the beautiful, fiery and independent Luz. A bullfight festival without gory bullfights. Great Spanish food meticulously served. And of course, the sea, the blue of the Atlantic and  the moods and dreams conjured on its waves.

Yes, all the above ingredients are present in this delightfully evocative and very readable story. But the ending provides a cunning twist that is quite plausible, a twist that few could have foreseen, a twist a la Agatha Christie, that sets its imprint on the reader, making it a read that lingers in the mind’s eye, long after the book has been laid aside.

Reading this book can give you a genuine picture if upper class Spain in the late seventies after the demise of General Franco. That  alone is worth the price of this book.

Warmly recommended.