Posted by Lizzie Lamb
Boot Camp Bride is about to celebrate its birthday and, before lockdown, I re-visited Norfolk and the sites which inspired the novel. I’d love to share them and take this opportunity to remind you of what a great romcom Boot Camp Bride is. Of all my novels I think that Boot Camp Bride is the one which would most easily translate onto the silver screen. To find out if you agree, I’m making Boot Camp Bride FREE to download over the weekend – so let your fingers do the walking and follow Charlie and Rafa’s adventures on the Norfolk Marshes.
There’s also a chance to win a signed paperback copy (UK only) – details at the end of this blog. Join in the fun and you could be a winner.
Blurb? I’ll allow one of my reviews to do the talking for me –
“Charlee is forced to attend a boot camp to get a scoop for the magazine she works for. I adored the situation set up for this story – such fun! The author is very clever at painting her characters and adding poignant brushstrokes of humour and vulnerability. Oh my, Charlee’s anecdotes will chase away the winter blues! Charlee guided me through her adventure, and I could not stop laughing. How does Lizzie Lamb manage to combine humour, adventure and romance? Charlee was feisty, fun, intelligent and clumsy – perfect. Undeterred by the alpha male, she managed to fight him with wit and stubbornness. Lizzie Lamb’s characters and style of writing sparkle in Boot Camp Bride. This romantic comedy is classic gold: it is the equivalent of comfort food and a good night out with friends.”
As the tagline says – meet Charlee Montague – your new best friend. This is how I imagined her and delicious alpha hero, Raphael Fonseca Ffinch (aka Rafa) . . .
Noel Coward famously quipped: awfully flat, Norfolk. That’s what I thought the first couple of times I visited Thornham where the novel is set. But I soon learned to appreciate the beauty of the this beautiful landscape. Here’s what Charlee thinks as she looks out across the marshes for the first time, Rafa at her side.
Now she was out of the wind and the sun had come out, the marshes didn’t look so grim after all. There was a stripped back beauty to them, she could see that, and the flocks of birds heading for the feeding grounds down by the shoreline ensured the view was ever changing. And she had to admit, just sitting there, eyes closed, face soaking up the weak January sun, was the perfect antidote to the last couple of manic weeks. When she glanced at Ffinch he was scanning the marshes through his binoculars, his cup of hot chocolate untouched on the bench beside him. Why did she get the impression it wasn’t the birds he was watching so intently? ‘What’s out there?’ Charlee asked, slipping on her sunglasses against the almost overwhelming expanse of bright blue sky that filled three quarters of the landscape. ‘The Wash. And over there you can see the wind turbines on the shoreline at Skegness.’ Charlee followed his pointing finger and squinted at the distant shore where almost a hundred huge turbines were turning like quiet ghosts.
Boot Camp Bride is set in Thornham, near Hunstanton. The Lifeboat Inn, an alleged haunt of smugglers, doubles for The Ship in the novel. This is where Rafa and Charlee spend their first night together – strictly business, natch – very much aware of a growing physical attraction.
“Charlee and Ffinch climbed the stairs to their respective bedrooms. Charlee was rather unsteady, a combination of vertiginous heels and the quantity of wine she’d consumed. She pulled a face and groaned, thinking of the hangover she would wake up with and the windswept salt marshes dashing ice-cold rain and sleet into her face. Ffinch walked up the stairs behind her, his hand resting lightly on her waist as if keeping a loving eye on her, whereas in reality he was holding her upright. Bidding the other guests goodnight, he whispered in her ear. ‘Smile, for goodness sake. You look as if you’re going to your doom, not a night of passion in The Ship’s best room. Stay in role.’ ‘I’m concentrating on my balance, if you must know, and,’ Charlee whipped round as his words sank in, almost falling backwards into his arms. ‘A night of passion, now hold it right there, mate. It’d take more than two glasses of champagne -’ ‘Half a bottle of Rioja, a sticky with your pudding and cognac with coffee – to do what? Make the thought of sleeping with me more palatable?’ Although he kept a straight face, Charlee detected banked down humour there.”
My friend Joan and I sitting in the hall of The Lifeboat Inn on MY birthday. It was while staying at her and husband Roger’s place in Thornham that the idea of Boot Camp Bride came to me.
It was easy to imagine Thornham Manor as the phoney Boot Camp for Brides – the front for drug smuggling on the marshes. At high tide it would be easy to land contraband on the nearby quay without arousing suspicion.
You can read an extract HERE
Boot Camp Bride is also available as a paperback and would make an ideal present for someone who enjoys reading romance laced with humour and quick fire dialogue. Oh, and there’s a classic VW Camper Van featured in it, too. What’s not to like?
If you’d like to enter Boot Camp Bride’s Birthday Competition and win a signed paperback , all you have to do it FOLLOW my blog and/or share this post on any of the links below. Take a screenshot and send it to me via email. The winner will be notified once the competition has ended.
And, finally – If you’d like to read more download a copy of Boot Camp Bride while it’s FREE (Friday 2nd October to Wednesday 7th). If you enjoy Boot Camp please consisted leaving a review. It’s one of the best things a reader can do to help a writer . . . apart from downloading more of their novels, obvs.