ARC Review: Love Life by Nancy Peach

About the Book:

Title: Love Life

Author: Nancy Peach

Page Length:

Publication Date: Aug. 2, 2021

Publisher: One More Chapter

Synopsis: Dr Alice Carter is no starry-eyed Jane Austen heroine. After all, if your dad left without a backward glance and you found your last boyfriend in bed with another guy, you wouldn’t believe in romance either. And the voices in Alice’s head – you know, the ones that tell you you’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not clever enough – well, these voices are very loud. Very loud indeed. Especially when the proud and disagreeable son of one of her patients starts challenging her every decision.

Edward Russell might have a big job and a posh voice, but Alice is determined not to let him get to her, especially if she can get her inner monologue to stop with the endless self-sabotage. And Edward, it turns out, may be less of a prat than he first appears; he’s certainly handy in a crisis.

In the real world, where gentlemanlike manners and out-of-the-blue declarations of love are a story-book fantasy, it’s up to Alice to decide whose voice to listen to … and how to make her own heard. 

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My Review:

Love Life follows Tess Carter, a hospice doctor, and Edward Russell, the son of one of Tess’s patients. Tess and Eddie shared an unforgettable night five years ago, a night she never forgot. However, Eddie is very different now than he was when she first met him. He is colder and harsher, and he supposedly doesn’t remember their magical night together. Eddie, who hasn’t come to terms with his mother’s prognosis, questions Tess’s every decision. Will this pair have a second chance to be together?

Tess struggles to love herself and doesn’t think she needs or deserves her own happily-ever-after. Insecurity, rejection, betrayal, and more affect every aspect of her life, especially after Tess found her partner in bed with someone else. She gave up on love and a little on herself, as shown by the harsh and critical internal monologue that permeates the story.

Though I like the premise of the book, I did not enjoy Tess’s internal monologue. There are two different voices in her head, one that sounds much like a Jerry Springer talk show host and the other is Jane Austen, and I found both distracting. They took away from the story and felt overdone. That being said, the voices also create a well-developed and layered character. You really get to understand why Tess feels the way she does and why she acts inconsistently at times. I think many people can relate to that inner voice that says you’re not good enough.

I love the concepts of taking a chance on love, loving oneself, and starting over. However, the setting at a hospice wasn’t for me. It brings up too many painful memories. That being said, the author does a great job of creating a realistic and relatable setting and situation with sensitivity and authenticity. The hospice is also an interesting setting, as the end-of-life care contrasts with the new and budding relationship between Eddie and Tess. It’s an interesting juxtaposition.

I think I expected this to be a bit lighter than it is, and though it might appeal to readers who enjoy women’s fiction with darker/sadder themes, including death, grieving, eating disorders, and mental health, it just wasn’t for me. Thanks so much to the author, NetGalley, and One More Chapter for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • Mary. She was my favorite character in the story.
  • The romance? Not my favorite romance, but it was ok.

10 thoughts on “ARC Review: Love Life by Nancy Peach

  1. Too bad this one was so much darker than you expected. I have to be in the mood for that kind of story and would like to know that is what I am getting into. Nice, honest review Julie.

  2. Thanks for the honest review – I’m having discussions with the publisher about how the blurb doesn’t give readers an indication of the deeper themes of the book, because I think it takes some people by surprise (and not in a good way). I’ve also edited the manuscript quite substantially, taken out the eating disorder and reduced the narrators / internal monologue significantly, as many people felt this was a big distraction. Love Life is going back up on Netgalley in its new state next week if anybody wants to give it another try (but it is still set in a hospice and I totally understand if that’s too much for some readers). Nancy x

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