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The Queen of New Beginnings [Kindle Edition]

Erica James
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $14.99 What's this?
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Book Description

What happens when your best hope for the future is through the past?

Voice-over artist Alice avoids telling the truth. It's not lying, exactly, and the freedom of reinvention makes those tough years in the past a little easier to bear. So when she meets writer Clayton Miller, she recognizes the suspicious signs of someone who wants to shrug off his old life. Untangling the web of secrets they've constructed creates an unlikely friendship-until Alice discovers that Clayton has betrayed her in the worst possible way.

The author of fifteen international bestsellers, Erica James deftly explores infidelity, bereavement, and the bonds of family with a sparkling voice that will resonate long after the book is finished.

Praise for Erica James

"Intense, compelling stuff."
-OK! magazine

"The author writes with a sturdy, feel-good optimism."
-Sunday Times

"It is a captivating read: beautifully written."
-Daily Telegraph

"You know you have made it as a storyteller writer when readers simply cannot put your book down...Erica James has this page-turning ability in abundance...I wouldn't have thought this writer could get any better, but she has!"
-Welsh Country

Editorial Reviews


'Warm, witty and wise storytelling with a lovely, feel-good factor and a charming, intriguing plot.' -- Sarah Broadhurst SUNDAY TIMES 'Escaping from their pasts, two characters are drawn together in one of James's best.' -- Fanny Blake WOMAN & HOME 'A sophisticated and satisfying read.' -- Chloe Rhodes DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Witty and's a fast enjoyable read.' BIG ISSUE IN THE NORTH

About the Author

Erica James is the author of numerous novels, including 2006 Romantic Novel of the Year Gardens of Delight, A Breath of Fresh Air, The Holiday, and A Sense of Belonging.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1294 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Reprint edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004N635T0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,621 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one's a keeper October 20, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I admit that when I bought this book I was cautious about what to expect. It had no reviews on Amazon and I often find editorial reviews somewhat lacking and biased in their opinions. Added to this wariness was that I had never heard of this author (I have since discovered Ms James has a long list of books to offer).
The authors' writing style captured me instantly as I was drawn into this incredibly well crafted tale.

This book tells the story of its two main characters Alice Shoemaker and Clayton Miller. Clayton is a script writer whose career has hit rock bottom after his girlfriend leaves him for his ex-writing partner. In an attempt to lay low from some very bad publicity, Clayton's agent sends him to the moors of Derbyshire to hide out under an alias. This is where our two main characters meet as Alice, doing a favour for her neighbour, is hired as his cleaner. Alice is a voice-over artist who once held aspirations of becoming an actress. Shocked with Clayton's rough appearance and rude introduction she pretends to be Katya, a Latvian cleaner, who is equally rude in return.
Before long both have their real identities revealed and Alice reveals she grew up in the house that Clayton is hiding out in. This gets Clayton and Alice talking and they begin to share things about each other, things they haven't shared with anyone else before. And this is when the trouble starts...

The thing that keeps you enchanted with this book from beginning to end is the amazing characters the author has created. Alice and Clayton are well rounded with faults and flaws and you are given an amazing insight into their pasts, revealing how they came to be the people they are.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh take on an old story April 20, 2011
Take a voice-over artist and a television writer who is in hiding, place them in a house together and watch them keep trying to hide things from each other. Alice and Clayton are this such pair and from the beginning of the story, the reader knows that something is going to happen between the two of them.

Alice's story is very intriguing and quite sad at times. She reveals her dysfunctional childhood and the relationships she shared with her father and step-family. She pours out her heart and soul to Clayton and it's quite dastardly of him to use her feelings and emotions to benefit him. Of course he doesn't come across as a monster because for the most part he really is a nice guy. He's just been jaded and down in the dumps and is trying to crawl back out of the whole again. The best part of the story for me is at the end when Clatyon finally gets back revenge on those who had wronged him. Normally revenge is not thee best way to settle things but what happens here is hilarious and I will say, they had it coming for them especially when we find out the whole truth.

The story takes this familiar scenario: one party goes behind person's back but then falls in love with them, they think that they can still do the deed without the other finding out but of course it backfires. The couple splits angrily but then reunites later in the story and all is well. While this plot has been told many times, James puts an entirely different spin on it and makes it into a compelling story. She makes the characters believable and puts heart and soul into them. The reader sees both their flaws as well as the good that is in them. Supporting characters help to flesh out the main characters as well as we see how past events have shaped them to who they are today.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars tender second chance at love March 24, 2011
Almost infamous fortyish Clayton Miller flees London after causing a public humiliation involving his former girlfriend Stacey and his former writing partner Barry "Lucky Bazza" Osbourne. His heart is shattered and his career as a scriptwriter recently in the stratosphere has crashed to earth as he is out of work and out of ideas except for writing his obit

His agent Glen told Clayton to relocate temporarily in the countryside at the Cuckoo House. There he and Alice Shoemaker meet when she arrives as the housekeeper. The house is actually her family abode and though she suffered broken hearts here, she relishes being able to come home. The pair dislikes one another from the onset yet also feels a fascination. They forge a friendship as each tells the other why he and she rusticate in the country. As they start to trust and rely on one another for emotional relief, they begin to fall in love; but both fears that feeling will lead to a fresh heartbreak with no one around to help them weather the storm.

Although the story line is linear as the plot goes as expected, the cast (London and the villagers) is superb. The support characters enhance the look at the lead pair while Clayton and Alice are nice people who each fears love having recent heartbreaks. The strong characterizations make for a tender second chance at love tale if the lead duet can take that leap of faith and trust in their respective hearts.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring April 29, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
One word: boring. This book was extremely well written, had a good plot line, characters were well developed - it was just boring. There was no real excitement or drama that pulled me into the story. It was mainly just a recitation of a woman named Alice's life (past and present), and how it intersected with a down-on-his-luck writer named Clayton. Throw in the almost obligatory romance theme, and there you go. There were a few "twists" along the way, but I use that word lightly. None of them added any element of surprise or suspense to the book; I saw them coming from a mile away.
The only redeeming quality about this book was the character of George. She is an overbearing, brash, eccentric old lady, who had me laughing in just about every scene she was in. It was a shame that such a great character was wasted on a book like this.
I finished the book, but I hate to say it was really only because I am OCD about leaving no book unfinished once started. Unless it is just written horrendously, I WILL finish it.
This is the first book by Erica James that I have picked up, so I can't say that I will never try another one. She writes beautifully - this just wasn't the story for me.
Overall, I would recommend this book if you just want a simple, easy read to distract you for a couple of hours if you have nothing else to do.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great Read
I enjoyed this read to the fullest. Very well written. I looked forward to reading more of Erica James. Awesome!
Published 4 months ago by jean Reed
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good easy read. Keep me interested
Published 6 months ago by PETA Sorensen
4.0 out of 5 stars good quick read
Easy read for summer...predictable though but great read for some quick no nonsense reading. It was an interesting twist in middle
Published 10 months ago by washinr23
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice story
It took me forever to finish this book given that I've been rather busy with work, but I'm glad I finally did read it through the end. Give it a chance.
Published 10 months ago by Ana
2.0 out of 5 stars missing text
The book appears to be good, however every few pages several lines of text are missing. I got tired of trying to fill in the blanks and stopped reading. Read more
Published 10 months ago by myrtle
5.0 out of 5 stars what a surprise!
This is my first book by Erica James. I tend to pick authors and read everything they write, almost. I am delighted to have someone new to read. Read more
Published 12 months ago by richard/sharon
1.0 out of 5 stars I hate it
NOpe not for me.
Published 12 months ago by Lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars this was a fun read with surprises along the was.
This book was full of interesting and complex characters, fun twists and evil step sibs! The settings were picturesque and fun. Great read!
Published 12 months ago by cindy
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Read
I thought this book was very entertaining. I loved the characters and how the relationship progressed. Very refreshing story line. Read more
Published 13 months ago by pib
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story!!!!
I truly enjoyed reading this book and sorry it had to end. it was funny, it was sad and over all made you feel like one of the characters. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amazingme
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