Monday 13 July 2015

The Last Kiss Goodbye by Tasmina Perry

Everyone remembers their first kiss. But what about the last?
1961. Journalist Rosamund Bailey is ready to change the world. When she meets explorer and man about town Dominic Blake, she realises she has found the love of her life. Just as happiness is in their grasp, the worst happens, and their future is snatched away.
2014. Deep in the vaults of a museum, archivist Abby Morgan stumbles upon a breathtaking find. A faded photograph of a man saying goodbye to the woman he loves. Looking for a way to escape her own heartache, Abby becomes obsessed with the story, little realising that behind the image frozen in time lies a secret altogether more extraordinary.

The Last Kiss Goodbye by Tasmina Perry is published on 10 September by Headline Review and is the author's tenth novel.  I've been a fan of Tasmina Perry's writing for years now and have read everything that she has published, although I wasn't so keen on a couple of mystery/thriller type stories that she has written. However, I loved her last novel The Proposal, and reviewed it here on Random Things back in October 2013.

The Last Kiss Goodbye, like The Proposal, is a dual-time story. It is set in the early 1960s and in the modern day. The whole story centres around a photograph discovered by Abby Morgan in 2014. The photograph is featured in an exhibition and christened 'The Last Kiss Goodbye'.

Abby is dealing with her own personal heartbreak and becomes consumed by the story behind the old photograph. She is determined to find out more about it, and if possible, to track down the people in it. Abby learns that the subjects of The Last Kiss Goodbye photograph are explorer Dominic Blake and journalist Rosamund Blake, she also learns that Dominic didn't return from his journey and the photograph captures their last intimate moment together.

The story travels back and forth. To the 1960s, those whirlwind days of parties and glamour and excitement. The days where women's voices can finally be heard and the world is changing quickly. Alongside the jazz and the drink and the emerging sexual liberation is the mysterious and murky world of Soviet espionage and the Cold War. Tasmina Perry delicately balances these, painting a fascinating picture of those times.

The story is set in London, Paris and St Petersburg, and the author excels in recreating these magical locations so very well.  I have to admit that I did prefer the story of Dominic and Rosamund over that of Abby and her estranged husband Nick. The 1960s era is one of my very favourite times to read about, I am always attracted to the bohemian glamour of those times.

All consuming love, buried secrets, beautiful locations and flawed but exciting characters. The Last Kiss Goodbye is a satisfying read, with twists and turns and an old-fashioned love story at its heart.

My thanks to the team at Lovereading who sent my copy for review as part of the Lovereading Reader Review Panel

Tasmina Perry is the author of the huge Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers Daddy's Girls, Gold Diggers, Guilty Pleasures, Original Sin, Kiss Heaven Goodbye, Private Lives and Perfect Strangers.
She left a career in law to enter the world of women's magazine publishing, going on to win the New Magazine Journalist of the Year award, edit numerous national publications and write on celebrity and style for titles such as Elle and Glamour.
In 2004 she launched her own travel and fashion magazine, Jaunt, and was Deputy Editor of InStyle magazine when she left the industry to write books full time. Her novels have been published in seventeen countries.
For more information about the author and her writing, check out her website
Follow her author page on Facebook and on Twitter @tasminaperry


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