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on June 15, 2015

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BY JULIA IBBOTSON. Tanya monday review post

Genre: Contemporary women’s romance fiction
Release Date: 30th March 2015

How do you cope when your worst nightmare comes true?
Jess happily marries the love of her life. She wants to feel safe, secure and loved. But gradually it becomes clear that her beloved husband is not the man she thought him to be. She survived civil war and injury in Africa, but can she now survive the biggest trauma of her life?

This is the second novel in the Drumbeats trilogy but can be read as a standalone. However, Drumbeats is so amazing you should just read it too!
Walking in the Rain
Before I Die

WHAT TANYA SAID      Aj book review club's photo.

This is another great book by Julia Ibbotson which is the second in a trilogy following on from Drumbeats although it can easily be read as a standalone. The character of Jess is the character that appears in both books and references to things that happened in Ghana in the first book are in there but I don’t think you need to know the story, however that was a great book and I do recommend that you read it.

This book covers a period of Jessamy’s (Jess) life from when she returned from Ghana in 1966 to around 20 years later in 1987. On her return Jess’ long term boyfriend Simon breaks up with her and she decides that she would continue with her plans to go to university and then return to Ghana when she can offer more. In the meantime Simon comes back on the scene with an excuse and it ends with them marrying. The story then follows their marriage and difficulties that occur from ill health on both sides and problems with conceiving and general married life of who takes on the household duties.

I found myself engrossed with the story and although I was disappointed that Jess allowed Simon back into her life I could see that she did it through love. The things that happened in the book through lots of little twists were a bit of a shock and it showed how you cannot always trust the people that you are close to. I am not sure that I would have behaved the same as Jess in the situations that she found herself in. She shows herself to have a forgiving nature and is always happy to try and help others and see the best in them.

Jess appears to be more confident in herself at the beginning of the book and you can see how this confidence subsides under extreme marital conditions. I was pleased to see how throughout she still was true to herself and her family and always tried to do what was best. It was great to see her fighting back towards the end and growing into the confident person that you want her to be.

The amount of research from the price of houses to the actions of the police and the courts as well as doctors was very interesting and added to the book. Oh yes I must also tell you that this book was so good I read it in a day.
I am really looking forward to the next book in the series and am hoping that we find out what happened in Ghana to Jim. Roll on next spring.

Want to read Drumbeats first? Buy-link on Amazon for the first in the trilogy:
And, for a taster, the book trailer video for Drumbeats:

About Julia Ibbotson

Aj book review club's photo.

Julia Ibbotson is an author and academic, and lives in the middle of the English countryside in a renovated Victorian rectory with her husband, an orchard, a kitchen garden and far too many moles. Their four children are now grown up and they have four gorgeous grandchildren. She was a school teacher for many years before becoming a senior university lecturer, researcher and writer. She loves reading, travelling, choral singing, theatre, walking, swimming and gardening, as well as cooking for family and friends. Her books include a memoir/recipe book, The Old Rectory: escape to a country kitchen, and a children’s book (9-14 year olds),S.C.A.R.S, a fantasy story of dragons, knights and a boy who slips through the fabric of the universe into a parallel medieval world threatened by the evil Myrthor, the heart of darkness.

Author page on Amazon:

Author facebook:


Author website:

Pinterest page: includes boards with pics and images that inspired each book

Goodreads author page:

A signed paperback of Walking in the Rain
(Open Internationally)


Aj book review club's photo.



  1. Thank you, Tanya, for a great review today! Glad you enjoyed the book, especially as there are very realistic, sad things that happened to Jess in the story. But things are looking up for her in the next book – and maybe she will find her true self again – and also true love? Let’s see! x

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