Title: The Mini Break

Author: Jane Costello

Pages: 69 Pages

The Blurb

An exclusive eBook short story from the bestselling author of The Wish List, Jane Costello. Featuring extracts from The Time of Our Lives and Jane’s brand new novel, The Love Shack, coming April 2015!

When Sophie’s friend Anisha is sent on her first foreign trip in her job at a travel agency – and gets to take Sophie with her – she jumps at the chance of some time away.

But what Sophie doesn’t realise is that there is a catch – a rather large catch. The five-star hotel is also a world-renowned golf resort. And its owners have offered the holiday on the basis of the girls’ golfing prowess. Of which they possess quite literally none…

A laugh-out-loud short story from the brilliant bestselling author, Jane Costello.

The Review

Sophie needs a break (don’t we all?) and when her friend Anisha offers her a holiday in a fancy pants hotel she almost bites her fingers off. If you are thinking that this seems too good to be true then you would be right. For the duration of their stay, Sophie and Anisha have to pretend to be experienced golf players – and since neither of them even know what a ‘birdy’ is they are almost definitely screwed. Can the two manage to keep their subterfuge under wraps?

So, as far as short stories go this wasn’t my favourite. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed The Mini Break but I felt that it would have made a better buddy novel. The capers and mistakes that Sophie and Anisha got up to could have been embellished a bit more. There was so much that could have been done with the basis of this story. I also think that it would have read better if it wasn’t told in the first person.

I just wish that this had been a full length novel.

The Mini Break by Jane Costello is available now.

The Blurb

Life’s great when you’re 29 years old with a gorgeous girlfriend and fulfilling job. Until you have to move back in with your mum . . . Dan and Gemma have found their dream first home, but the asking price is the stuff of nightmares. The only way they’ll ever save enough for the deposit is by moving in, rent-free, with Dan’s mum. It’s a desperate solution, but it’s only for six months. And Gemma’s determined to make it work, no matter how bad things get. But between Dan’s mum’s kitchen karaoke, her constant innuendos, irrepressible argumentative streak and – worst of all – her ham and pineapple curries, life back at home would test the patience of two saints. Which Dan and Gemma most definitely are not. Then, as they’re trying to convince themselves it will all be worth it, Gemma’s past comes back to haunt her. And suddenly the foundations of their entire relationship are shaken to their core…

The Review

Gemma and Dan have a great relationship but it is put to the test when they make the very grown up decision to buy a house. To save money, they move in with Dan’s mum Belinda and it is then in the claustrophobic environment that the cracks begin to show.

Along with the house being a massive money pit it also has awkward sellers and an estate agent who doesn’t seem to be on Gem and Dan’s side. To throw in further complications Gemma’s past catches up with her; thus making the already fraught situation seem worse.

The Love Shack is a story of love. It may sound cheesy but real love. Love that is complicated by reality, the things in life that you can’t always control and I think that is why it is so good. Jane Costello has created characters that you genuinely care about and wish you were friends with so you could give them the advice that you are so intently shouting at the book, hoping that they hear what you have to say…but you know, them being fictional makes it a tad hard to do.

Personally, there was another element of the book that I enjoyed greatly was the Liverpool setting. This probably won’t titillate everyone who reads it but being a girl who was born and raised (and who still resides) in Liverpool I loved that I was able to connect the dots and really visualise actual places and to see that Costello was true to their beauty (seriously, Liverpool has some fantastic architecture) throughout The Love Shack.

I really enjoyed The Love Shack. It was a fun and to some extent easy read that did deal with some gritty issues. I think that shows Costello’s skill as a writer. As this is the first of her book that I have read I can safely say that it won’t be my last. One thing is for sure, I am now genuinely terrified about ever buying a house.

The Love Shack by Jane Costello is available now.

Follow Jane Costello (@JaneCostello) on Twitter.

The Love Shack