Of Light and Love by E.V. BancroftOf Light and Love by E.V. Bancroft is a slow burn, age gap, contemporary romance about healing from past hurts.

Carolyn Trent-Parker is one of her generation’s best artists but after losing her wife two years ago, she is no longer able to paint. In fact, she has hidden away from the world. With no income and bills piling up, she’s forced to take a lodger, which she’s less than thrilled about.

Laura  Kingston-Lopez is heartbroken after a recent breakup and heads to England to get her masters in animation.  She needs a place to live and jumps at the opportunity to live in Caro’s house but she isn’t prepared for what she gets.  Caro is discourteous, grumpy, and completely captivating.

Opposites in every way, they push and pull each other.  Can Caro rediscover her creativity?  And even if she does, is Laura prepared to let go of past hurts so they can paint a new future together?

Pros And Our Favourite Parts

Jenna: E.V. Bancroft does a wonderful job creating both main characters. Caro is introverted, grumpy, unwelcoming, and aloof. She’s created a frosty fortress around herself and Laura’s bright, warm, and friendly nature is in complete contrast to who Caro has become.  Caro’s grief is so well described that it’s palpable but doesn’t overshadow the rest of the story.

Rach: Agreed. I really enjoyed the grumpy/sunshine contrast in this story. What I enjoyed most was that it wasn’t your typical dynamics. Yes, Caro is grumpy and aloof but, she can’t squash her true nature of still being polite, and even though she does upset Laura with her icy grumpiness, she almost immediately feels bad about it. She thinks her heart is closed off and died along with her wife, however, we see glimpses of her kindness and thoughtfulness from early on. In contrast, Laura is bright, bubbly and a friend to all, but this is her armor to ensure that she isn’t rejected. The fear of not being wanted is so strong within her that she is compelled to make it her mission to get people to like her. Having said this, she is a beautiful character with a quirky geeky personality and she won my heart in this book.

The best way to describe these characters is to compare them to a sweet I loved as a child called ‘vise versas’ (look them up). How they appear on the outside is not what you get once you take a bite.

Jenna: The conversations and action surrounding art and animation really added depth and helped to enhance the relationship development between Caro and Laura.

Rach: This was one of my favourte aspects of this book. The in-depth conversations Caro and Laura had about their crafts are just as intimate as the love scenes. The way they listened to each other and learned from one another made me swoon. Who knew painting could be so sexy? Well, I for one did not. The way Bancroft describes both characters’ emotions during the painting scenes had me holding my breath with anticipation. It’s raw and emotional and sexy as hell.

Cons And Heads Up

Jenna: This book deals with grief and heartbreak after the loss of a spouse which could be a trigger for some readers.

Rach: There is talk of infidelity from a past partner that has deeply affected one of the characters.

The Conclusion

Jenna: Of Light and Love is a powerful opposites attract, slow-burn romance that shows there is light after darkness. It’s emotional and raw but at its core is a sweet romance with two relatable main characters.

Rach: Of Light and Love is a sweet grumpy/sunshine, age gap romance that includes body positive image. It deals with life-changing grief and past hurts that are near impossible to overcome. This book takes you on a journey of discovery. It shows you that when a little light is shown to you from the right person it can alter one’s life forever. It helps us understand that not all grief is dealt with in the same way and two people can be on the same path but be going in separate directions. Bancroft makes you realize that if you are willing to turn around and travel the same road with different expectations, then when you meet in the middle, the reward can be a destination filled with happiness that you never thought you could reach.

Excerpt from Of Light and Love by E.V. Bancroft

There was another hammering. Those bloody kids. She swung open the door. “Leave your shit somewhere else. You’re ruining my—”

A younger woman stood before her, eyes bright and a huge smile on her face. When she met Caro’s gaze, she froze.

“Ms Fitzclare? Sorry to disturb you. I’ve come about the room.”

Caro shut her eyes. This was not a good start.

Laura stared at the lean, wild-eyed woman, her dark hair hanging in a messy bun. She looked like a zombie from the movies Laura couldn’t bear to see without getting nightmares afterwards. Her face was red with pent-up anger but drained as she realised Laura was clearly not who she was expecting.

“Oh, I thought you were the kids from next door. I’m Caro.”

They shook hands. Caro’s were rough with calluses, a clue that this woman worked with her hands. Laura peered past her into the cavernous studio, and the brown swirl on the canvas caught her eye. Caro must be an abstract artist. “And do they leave their shit around?”

“Cat poo on the doorstep. They think it’s funny. It’s disgusting.”

”Maybe they’re just bored,” Laura said, attempting to placate Caro who looked to be on the verge of boiling up again, as though the memory turned up the gas on her rage. “I’m Laura. Is the room still free? I have my things in a van and a friend willing to help move me in.”

Caro frowned. “Don’t you want to see it first?”

What was it, a dungeon? The room she would have had in Bristol was worse. It could be awful, but she didn’t have a choice. Anxiety prickled in her stomach. “Please.”

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-1915009258

Publisher: Butterworth Books

E.V. Bancroft Online

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