A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, July 13, 2018

FLASHBACK FRIDAY- Doubting Abbey- by Samantha Tonge- Feature and Review


Swapping downstairs for upstairs… How hard can it be!?Look up the phrase ordinary girl and you’ll see a picture of me, Gemma Goodwin – I only look half-decent after applying the entire contents of my make-up bag, and my dating track-record includes a man who treated me to dinner…at a kebab shop. No joke! 

The only extraordinary thing about me is that I look EXACTLY like my BFF, Abbey Croxley. Oh, and that for reasons I can’t explain, I’ve agreed to swap identities and pretend be her to star in the TV show about her aristocratic family’s country estate, Million Dollar Mansion. 

So now it’s not just my tan I’m faking – it’s Kate Middleton style demure hemlines and lady-like manners too. And amongst the hundreds of fusty etiquette rules I’m trying to cram into my head, there are two I really must remember; 1) No-one can ever find out that I’m just Gemma, who’d be more at home in the servants quarters. And 2) There can be absolutely no flirting with Abbey’s dishy but buttoned-up cousin, Lord Edward.

Aaargh, this is going to be harder than I thought…



Doubting Abbey (Doubting Abbey, #1)Doubting Abbey by Samantha Tonge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Doubting Abbey by Samantha Tonge is a 2013 Carina Press publication.

Absolutely charming!!

On a rare occasion, I have read one of those sweet, adorable stories with the cute titles and charming cover art. ( I love Rebecca Raisin) But, recently I’ve noticed these books are starting to gain momentum and are becoming more and more popular. I’ve been dying to indulge in one or two, especially since I’ve been trying to de-stress a little.

However, there are so many of them to choose from, I couldn’t make up my mind which one to read first- until I stumbled across this book. The ‘Downton Abbey’ related title, coupled with that lovely cover, was just too good to pass up!

Gemma bears a striking resemblance to her roommate, and best friend, Abbey. While Gemma is a ‘commoner’, Abbey is burdened with aristocratic duties, which means she must appear on a reality show to help raise money to save her extended family’s country estate. But, Abbey has other philanthropic plans with her boyfriend, and implores Gemma to stand in for her. With Lady C. on hand to tutor Gemma on being a ‘Lady’, what could possibly go wrong?
Naturally, hilarity ensues, as Gemma finds out how out of her element she really is. Her attempts to ‘sex up’ the reality show hoping to ramp up the ratings provides an on air ‘upstairs/downstairs’ drama, but off camera, it’s Abbey’s proper cousin who catches Gemma off guard, slowly capturing her heart, in what seems like an unlikely match.

Gemma is a riot! I loved her vernacular so much, I have caught myself declaring ‘That’s Amaaaaaaaaazin’ on more than one occasion. The storyline is hardly original, but the author certainly puts her own delightfully fresh and unique spin on it.

This is a wonderful, highly entertaining, endearing romantic comedy which was cathartic and just all -around good fun! I just found out there is a sequel to this book, so I am going to have to hunt down a copy.

I do believe I could get used to reading more of those books with the cute titles and adorable cover art. I foresee more heartwarming romantic comedies will be added to my mountainous TBR pile.





Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and her passion, second to spending time with her husband and children, is writing. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women's magazines. 
In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.


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