Hello Sunshines, I am very excited to be sharing my review for the wonderful Casting Samson by Melinda Hammond, with you all, today. So grab your cuppa and your cake, and enjoy!
“A haunting blend of fascinating history and timeless romance” – Nicola Cornick
Her life in London shattered by finding her boyfriend in the shower with another woman, Deborah Kemerton retreats to sleepy Moreton-by-Fleetwater. To keep her mind off her broken heart she joins the committee organising a pageant to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the village church. They need to cast the perfect Samson, and Deborah thinks Josh Lancaster perfect for the part…
Anne Lindsay, a fellow committee member, comes into conflict with historian Professor Toby Duggan when she uses a local legend of Sir Hugo, a 12th century crusader and founder of the church, to publicize the event. By the day of the pageant Anne is no nearer to finding the truth and as things begin to go disastrously awry, she and Deborah fear that all their hard work will be wasted, without some sort of miracle…
I love that this is likened to one of my all-time favourite comedies; The Vicar of Dibley, which in my humble opinion is by one of the best comedies. So when I read that Casting Samson had a hint of Vicar of Dibley to it I was very excited, I knew it was going to be good especially with the great Melinda Hammond at the helm. But even I was surprised by how wonderful this little story is, which is full of laugh’s, fun and romance with a touch of mystery and history thrown in for good measure. Melinda is an amazing author, she can so easily grasp the reader’s attention and never fails to match the most perfect characters together…I will talk about a certain character later…I may need to delve into the gif folder for this one, sigh!!
When Deborah finds her sleaze of a boyfriend in the shower with another woman, the life she had found for herself in London has crashed around her ears. She decides that the best thing for her and the best way to heel herself is to retreat back home, back to her sleepy little village of Moreton-by-Fleetwater. Once there her dad, who owns the local café persuades Deborah to join the local committee which is currently organising a pageant which will be to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the local village church. Which is where she meets the eclectic group of senior citizens that make up the village committee.
I love this little band of people they are a real hoot getting to know, they really add that ye old very English village eccentric charm to the book which I love ….definitely Vicar of Dibley… and some of the things they come out with did at times have me laughing out loud, just the thought of a not so young village parish committee discussing employing male strippers just tickles me; which is really one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoyed this book, is that it made me laugh.
In a topsy-turvy world, we need more laughter and this book is just the ticket to make anyone smile.
As always I strayed off-topic, so the committee is wanting to cast the part of Samson in their pageant and apart from some wanting to involve any undressed man they lay their hands on, it falls to Deborah who may just know the perfect person; Josh Lancaster, part-time stripper full-time chef who just happens to drop into her family’s café as the troupe are moving through. He is perfect for the part, as handsome as sin with his roguish slightly feral gipsy like dark looks and a body that any woman with a pulse would become enthralled with, plus….there is a always a plus with me…he is a thoroughly decent chap who…and this is really the cherry on top of the cake…he can cook!!
Yep, I am in heaven…just leave me on the floor where I have fallen into a swoon!
While on the other side of the village fellow committee member; Anne is on a bit of a history hunt as she is adamant that the 12th century Knight; Sir Hugo founder of their little church is buried beneath the said church and she wants to use his legend to promote the village and the pageant. Only like our Deborah, she finds herself entangled with a good looking man where romance may blossom, that’s if they stop bickering and butting heads long enough to see what is in front of them.
I adore this little village where everyone seems to know each others business this is such a feel-good story with a host of eclectic characters and not one but two sweet little romances, then; boom in drops the Knights Templar and the story went from sweet whimsical good fun to something else….oh, how much do I love a Knight?? – Really all you have to do is mention the word ‘Knight’ and I am on it like a pack of hyena’s on juicy carcass….hmm, maybe a bit of morbid a comparison!
I absolutely adore the duel timeline, something that when done right is such a joy to read and this is just that; a real enlightening joy and so different to what I’ve read by Melinda Hammond before. It’s brilliantly structured neither of the two timelines merges together which could cause confusion they travel alongside by side in perfect harmony, Melinda has done a great job keeping both sides of the story entertaining and I do hope that there will be more stories from Melinda along the same lines of this.
As you may have guessed, I thoroughly enjoyed this, it’s different and at the same time has that much loved Melinda Hammond fabulously cosy and comforting stamp all over it. This is feel-good, enjoyable and gently paced romance with a difference.
This was a complimentary copy via the author which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Melinda and massive apologies for how ridiculously late this review is. xx