Being familiar Kelly Florentia’s work such as The Magic Touch and her short story collections from a couple of years back, I looked forward to reading No Way Back.
From the cover I imagined this story to be a tad more serious than usual – a pair of red shoes set against a black and white image not only makes it striking but intriguing too. I enjoy Kelly’s style of writing, it’s reader-friendly quite fast-paced where it needs to be and each character is memorable.
So, the story leaps straight into that moment where Audrey is in Cyprus with her family, recovering from a broken heart after her fiancé, Nick, decides to back out of the wedding. While in Cyprus she has a brief encounter with Daniel Taylor, a property developer whose lap she falls into after having one too many drinks and a bit of dance. Embarrassed by this she quickly forgets believing he was a handsome stranger whom she’ll never see again.
Once the holiday is over, the story shifts to London. Here more characters are introduced; Audrey’s family, her close circle of friends such as Tina, Vicky and Nick’s cousin Ronan. With Audrey’s mind constantly on Nick and what he has done to her, she slowly comes to terms with facing life without him, but at the same time carries a slither of hope that clings to her heart hoping things can get back to how they used to be. However, on her return back to England she quickly learns that Nick has been in a terrible accident.
Her reaction towards the accident proves her love for Nick is still strong. What she doesn’t see coming are the number of events that proceed this terrible accident will prove how much metal she has and who she ought to trust.
I have to say, this story did not disappoint. First of all I want to say that I warmed to Audrey, and this did not take long. She’s loyal, not one to rush into things and did all she could to guard her heart, although Dan showed no signs of danger.
After their encounter in Cyprus, Dan practically served himself up on a dish by sending her lovely gifts. She could have taken the opportunity to have her way with Dan and to get back at Nick, but instead chose not to.
Audrey’s loving nature meant that she was willing to work things out with Nick, and still remain loyal despite what he had done. However this appeared to change when she visited him in hospital following his accident and is faced with a situation she did not see coming.
The storyline flowed and the characters were introduced at a friendly pace. Reason why I say this is? There are many characters in this book but you wouldn’t notice which I believe is a sign of good writing. The scenes in The Flask were one of my many favourites as this reminded me of the scenes in SATC, where the girls would come together and whinge about men over cocktails. I often felt like I was the fifth friend sitting among them (just listening, not whinging, mind you) until at one point caught myself nodding and saying ‘Yeah! Too right!’ while rooting for Audrey.
When Daniel Taylor makes a second appearance it’s at the family dinner. Just like Audrey, I too fell in love with him. He seemed like the perfect match, easy, had a lot more going for him than that Nick. It was cute to watch the friendship between Audrey and Dan blossom (even with Connie’s attitude), while Nick tried all his might to win Audrey back.
The supporting characters were a great addition; Audrey’s mother (who’s far from maternal and impatient), although not one of my favourites, however I did enjoy her presence, complete opposite to the Dad who I thought had a heart of gold and had time for Audrey.
I couldn’t predict what was going to happen in this story, the countless twists made the second half much more compelling. Even down to the last line there’s a twist which now leaves me dribbling with delight for the next episode. (Cheers Kelly!).
No Way Back I would say is a romantic drama. There’s enough romance in it to tickle your feet and the right amount of drama to make your heart bump. Another great read by an author who takes you on a journey you don’t want to end.
I was offered an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review. No Way Back is out now.