Review: A Brit On the Side by Brenda St John Brown

britonthesideSynopsis: Bea Gillespie would rather do anything than teach summer school two classrooms down from her ex-fiancé. So when her best friend, Scarlett, invites her to England for the summer to work in her family’s castle-turned-hotel, she jumps at the chance. Now Bea’s an ocean away from her problems at home, but she’s got a bigger one. Scarlett’s older brother, Jasper, is as sexy and smart as Bea remembers. Two years ago Jasper came stateside, and he and Bea shared a hot weekend  — one she didn’t tell Scarlett about. As Bea falls for Jasper, what started off as a fling begins feeling more and more like the kind of thing you’d gush about to your best friend if you hadn’t been lying to her all along…

Cover: I love the artwork! It is very obviously British with a little American thrown in, just like the story. The photos could have been used for the cover themselves, but combining these with a flag and passport is far more alluring –particularly for travel bugs and anglophiles.

Writing Style: There is nothing really standout, but the simplicity is enjoyable. There are a couple of Britishisms I was unsure of even after two years of living in London myself, but otherwise the story is completely accessible to non-Brits.

Pacing: While the story could be a little slow at times, Bea and Jaz’s budding relationship causes so much tension you’re just waiting for things to explode. On the other hand, the every day occurrences balance out that feeling to round out the book and ground it in real life.

Romance: Normally the love interest is the main factor of a YA novel of this kind, yet it didn’t feel that way. Bea’s friendship with Scarlett is of equal measure, but both are overshadowed by Bea’s “British Experience”. Bea seems to fall in love with the UK as much as she does for Scarlett’s brother. Both relationships, city and person alike, are slow going but are equally strong.

Note: Bonus epilogue is a cute peak into Bea’s return to the states and Jaz’s arrival for a teaching position at a local university. It isn’t terribly relevant, but just a nice extra you can obtain by joining the author’s subscription list.

Verdict: I enjoyed this novel so much I purchased the sequel “A Brit Unexpected” right after. It was just as cute, but there was nothing new to add about it that would require another review for it.

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Author: JaimeKristal

JaimeKristal is a freelance editor and writer. She started her book review blog "Tales of a Booklover" for the enjoyment of sharing her love of reading.

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