Table of Contents

What If? by Barbara Elsborg : Lost And Found #2 : REVIEW

Book Info

Author:
Series:

Lost And Found serie by Barbara Elsborg

Number In Series:
2
Publisher:
Barbara Elsborg
Published:
11 November 2021
Book Type
Words:
87,000
Pages:
311
Genre's
Tropes

Synopsis

When 16-year-old Crispin stumbles across Kennedy’s Emporium, he’s transported into a magical world of the impossible. Unicorns, snow globes where the snow never stops falling, bubbles that never pop, paper fireworks that explode and refill, and most magical of all—Garrett Kennedy, youngest son of the owner, who makes Crispin’s heart leap in new and exciting ways. Crispin promises he’ll never forget Garrett, but when he loses Garrett’s gift of a jewelled bee, he also loses his memories of the time he spent with him.

Eight years later, the bee is returned to Crispin, along with memories of Garrett and his amazing world. But how can any of what Crispin now recalls be possible?

And yet…

What if it wasn’t a dream?

What if Kennedy’s Emporium exists?

What if magic is real?

What if Garrett’s been waiting, wondering why Crispin never came back?

And what if Crispin takes a chance on the best thing that’s ever happened to him, assuming he can find Kennedy’s Emporium again?

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Review

Reviewed By: Josh Dale

5/5

If you follow Barbara’s writing you will know you are heading for a rollercoaster ride of emotions.  She is a master of gutt punches, twists and turns.  Her book will make you laugh and cry.  And even though you know the book will have a happy ending.  You really wonder if and how this is going to happen.

 

Well let me tell you, Barbara has outdone herself with What If?

Gosh Poor Crispen has lived his life feeling as though he doesn’t belong.  Partly because his mother is so cold, almost out nasty towards him.  His brother is not much better.  The only person he has in his life that matters to him is his father.

Now there is a story all of itself.  Add the fact Crispin is in reprieve of a Tauma in the brain to his life, and yet he still a positive and kind person.

Garrett is a fairy that visits our world once a year in December. Though his life is nowhere near as bad as Crispen’s.  He does have his own battles and an equally nasty brother. Oh and a suitor to be his partner, who he has no intention of dating let alone marrying.

The two first meet outside Kennedy’s Emporium where Garrett and his family work in December.  Only fairies are supposed to see and be able to enter the Emporium, but somehow Crispen enters.

But the two do not meet again for 8 years and Crispen does not recollect any details of what happened while he was in the Emporium.

But by a little luck and magic Crispen manages to find the Emporium and Garrett. They are determined to be together, until Crispen gets some devastating news.

Garrett is determined to fight the odds and is willing to break the fiery rules to take Crispen on a chase into moorlands in a race against time.

As I have mentioned earlier Barbara has turned up the emotions in this story, about halfway through I even found the emotions were getting to me deep in my heart. I even wondered if there was going to be a happy ever after. Yes, I know it is a paranormal romance novel, and should end happy, but I was so involved in the story, I kind of forgot that little rule in writing. Don’t

misunderstand me, the story is not doom and gloom.  Both characters attitudes ensures that there is plenty of love and laughter along the way.

I have never been so emotionally invested in two characters as I was with Crispen and Garrett. Both young men showed grit and determination, even when the odds were stacked against them, they never gave up. I found myself reflecting on this in my own life and it made me feel so privileged and rich in the love I grew up with in my family.

 

A very well thought out story, with detailed world building and the magic was well just magical (pun intended.)  Seriously though the magic in the story felt real and believable. Sometimes writer twist and turn the magic to suit the plot. Not in this book, there is no sudden changes in how the magic works. I really felt like I was with the guys throughout the story from the busy streets of London, the magical Emporium, to the moors in mid-December, and even in fairyland.

Have your box of tissues at hand It is a Barbara Elsborg story after all. Be prepared for a late night or two, as it is hard to put the book down. And get cuddled up with a hot chocolate, to enjoy Crispen and Garretts story.

I am so asking santa to make Barbara write a sequel to this book!

Excerpt

Minutes later, snow started to fall, and Crispin pulled up the collar of his coat. As he turned into a narrow street, he spotted an odd-looking shop at a T junction ahead. The amount of fairy lights implied it was a Christmas shop, though it was a weird place to have one because this was a district full of legal firms, insurance brokers and accountants.

As he drew closer to the double-fronted shop, sandwiched between plain looking offices, he saw it was only three storeys high compared to the taller buildings either side, but definitely Christmas themed. It was called Kennedy’s Emporium, the name elegantly written in gold letters on a wooden sign above the door.

Crispin stared through one of the windows and his jaw dropped. The window space was dominated by one huge snow dome with snow swirling inside, and inside that glass ball were dozens of others the size of tennis balls with snow tumbling inside them too. Crispin couldn’t figure out how the snow globes were supported. They seemed to be floating in thin air. Nor could he figure out how the snow continued to move when nothing was being shaken. Were there small motors inside them?

He moved to the other window where soft toys were having a Christmas tea party. Crispin smiled. A penguin was pouring tea for a tiger. A cat sat eating cake. A unicorn was daintily nibbling a sandwich. They really looked as though they were eating because the sandwich and cake were getting smaller. The animatronics were amazing.

“Makes you hungry, doesn’t it?”

Crispin turned to see a boy who looked a little older than him. He had untidy straw-coloured hair, grey eyes and a bright smile. A dangerous curl of attraction coiled in Crispin’s stomach. The sort of curl he only wanted to feel when he was alone in bed.

“Yep.” Crispin smiled back. “The cake looks delicious.”

“Are you coming in?”

“Yes, please.”

The boy laughed. “Don’t you have good manners. My name’s Garrett.”

“I’m Crispin.”

“Come on then.”

Garrett pushed open the door, stepped inside then turned to look at Crispin. Crispin wasn’t sure why he thought Garrett was uncertain as to whether he’d follow him or not, but Crispin walked in.

“You did it!” Garrett gasped.

“One foot in front of the other usually works.” But Crispin had the feeling Garrett was genuinely surprised he’d made it inside.

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Barbara Elsborg

Biography

Barbara Elsborg lives in Kent in the South of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Volcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.

After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.

Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are as much fun to read as they were to write.

Thirteen facts about me

1. I’m blonde, but after having spotted one grey hair - I now dye my locks with mixed results. I know I should read the packet but hey, what can go wrong? My nicknames – badger, skunk (purely the look!!), snowball and pinkie. Yes, that time it really did go wrong.

2. I hate milk. Can’t drink it, smell it or even look at it.

3. Writing. I really do love that. I started by making up episodes of TV series with me as the heroine. You name it, I’ve been in it. My range is from paranormal to suspense to contemporary to erotica but everything I write has a touch of romance and humor. Well, I think I’m funny. My family laugh at me all the time.

4. Former life – a sad cautionary tale. Started off as a government inspector – spying on people trying to cheat on their taxes. A short period as a media planner in an advertising agency. I fled that at dead of night. Several years selling cyanide – mainly to Sweden for the largest chemical company in the UK. Grand title of export manager. There was just me in the department. Had kids. Ughghghg. Then went to work as Government Inspector, spying on teachers. I was so popular, you can’t believe. Thank goodness I married well. (Married for money anyway)

5. No I didn’t, dear. Husband is financial whiz. Met at university when he was bringing a sack of potatoes to my flat mate. Romance is his middle name. Gifts to me include – supermarket vouchers, hedge trimmer and a hammer drill and reduced flowers past their wilt-by date. He spent most of his life in the aerospace industry making missiles. He’s atoning for his sins by doing my shopping.

6. Two children. Daughter a lawyer. Son has escaped to live in Texas. Enough said.

7. Books – I ADORE. I read at least one a day. I have thousands as I can’t stand to part with them. I read at lightning speed. 70-80 pages in 20 minutes. That’s fast? Right?

8. What do I do all day? Write. All day if I can. It’s my world and I love it. Start at 8.00 and finish late. Interspersed with journeys on the internet and satisfying needs of husband. No, not those sorts of needs. Really!! I was thinking of making coffee.

9. Worried about – possible visit from FBI. Research for one of my thrillers did involve some investigation into how a fetus would decay under a boat shed. Research into plastic handcuffs brought a deluge of porn. Well, that was my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I find I need to keep checking dubious sites. I might be addicted.

10. I’m very tall. 5’10 and a bit. I used to be very self-conscious about my height. Now I don’t care. I’m far more worried about other bits of me.

11. I won the prize at school for ‘Good Conduct and Example’ It was the worst day of my life. Well, one of them. I so want to be bad. Sigh.

12. I am incapable of telling right from left at crucial moments. Won’t be flying jets anytime soon.

I’m struggling now. I’m really not interesting.

13. Ohh, I was once kicked by a giraffe.

Phew, made it.

 

 

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