Always a Love Song – Charley Clarke

I tell my wife she’s my sun. Every time she enters a room, everything is warmer, lighter and the colors are brighter. So of course I could relate from the beginning to how Alex loved Bridget. She said exactly that on page one.

This is a friends-to-lovers / celebrity / small-town but mostly second-chance romance. Alex and Bridget were childhood friends then, growing up, became lovers. They were the perfect couple under they weren’t and Bridget left. Five years later, she’s a Grammy Award winner but fame and success are no substitute for the love she left behind. Alex still lives in their hometown, where she’s found her own success, as the beloved owner of a café, a bar and a brewery. Try as they might, neither is over the break up or each other.

By definition, second chance romances are full of angst. Will she win her back? Will they be able to get over past hurts, to find happiness together again? Always a Love Song is no exception. It’s full of regrets and what ifs, of hopes and longing.

Maybe I’m emotional at the moment (though previous reviews tell me I’m not the only one) but I have to admit there were more than a few tears shed in the reading process.

I was a little worried about the then / now structure, it’s so easy to get lost in time with flashbacks and such but it worked. The flashbacks served a purpose and were done in a very organic way, so no complaints.

The secondary characters were excellent too, from both women’s friends or Bridget’s mother to the smaller parts such as the head-whacking doctor. There’s a tenderness in pretty much all the interactions that I loved.

The only reason I’m not giving this 5 stars is that somehow it lost me a bit at the end. I finished rather late in the night, so that might not have helped.

Always a Love Song is pretty amazing for a debut novel and I hope we won’t have to wait too long for Charley Clarke’s next book (no pressure!).


Always a Love Song @ Ylva Publishing

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