Read The Summer of Living Dangerously by Julie Cohen Online


From the bestselling author of Richard and Judy Book Club pick Dear Thing, and Where Love Lies, a heartbreaking and life-affirming story about facing up to your past and finding out what - and who - you really want...Alice Woodstock has her life under control. She's successful and she's happy - as long as she continues to ignore the hurt from her past. But when said past wFrom the bestselling author of Richard and Judy Book Club pick Dear Thing, and Where Love Lies, a heartbreaking and life-affirming story about facing up to your past and finding out what - and who - you really want...Alice Woodstock has her life under control. She's successful and she's happy - as long as she continues to ignore the hurt from her past. But when said past walks back into her life in the shape of Leo - the man she married too young, ran away to Paris with and who ultimately broke her heart - Alice is desperate for an escape route. She finds the perfect thing - a new job as a tour guide in a Regency stately home. But as she immerses herself in acting out the stories of the house, Alice begins to see parallels with her own life, forcing her to confront her feelings about what she wants and, finally, live in the real world....

Title : The Summer of Living Dangerously
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780755350650
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 506 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Summer of Living Dangerously Reviews

  • Dale Harcombe
    2019-06-24 10:43

    Tired of her life writing articles about grommets, glue and model aeroplanes, Alice Woodstock with her friend Liv’s urging, sends a proposal for an article to a fashion magazine about Regency Fashion and Eversley Hall. Alice ends up with a lot more than she bargained for. She escapes into the life of 1814 and becomes part of those who are into historical interpretation. Her fascination with regency romance novels comes in handier than she imagined and she can’t help but wish she could meet her own Mr Darcy. It seems that might just be on the cards, after she meets James Fitzwilliam, the owner of Eversley Hall. For Alice that would be far more preferable to dwelling on her past and failed marriage with Leo Allingham, brother of her best friend Liv.I quickly became thoroughly involved in what initially seems a light story about someone trading their real life for a pretend life. Although it is amusing, there are also some serious issues like loss and grief dealt with. I liked all the historical details and the way the historical interpreters had to stay in character regardless of what visitors to Eversley House was asking them. I also liked the way characters changed throughout the novel and some of the minor characters playing their roles at Eversley Hall work particularly well. This is a fun, easy read. I chuckled at times, and got a bit teary at others. In short, I thoroughly enjoyed it. My one quibble is that I felt the bad language which is not major but intruded a little at times, didn’t seem in keeping with the tone of the story and the characters. Despite that, it was a lot of fun and I would recommend it. I also loved the way Alice says of her life. ‘Novels saved me. Other people’s stories saved me ……. I owed my life to novels.’ I think there are a few of us who might relate to that attitude to books.

  • Leah
    2019-06-30 17:54

    **2.5/5 stars**Julie Cohen’s first non-Little Black Dress novel, Getting Away With It, was one of my absolute favourite reads of 2010. It was brilliant. It was captivating, warm, funny, and it really marked Julie as an author to keep an eye on. So it goes without saying that I was hoping her next novel would follow suit. Especially as the plot sounded so, so fascinating. Historical re-enactments aren’t something that usually appeals to me but I read Past Perfect by Laila Sales and thoroughly enjoyed the whole re-enactment business and was definitely looking forward to seeing how Julie Cohen put it across.The trouble is that while The Summer of Living Dangerously is very easy to read, and I managed to complete it one afternoon on a rare day off, it just wasn’t as good or as captivating (in my opinion) as Getting Away With It. First off, I found it hard to keep up with the re-enactment as everyone was being someone else and as such we had to keep up with their real names and their re-enacting names. When your concentration level is below-par as mine most certainly is recently it is hard to keep up with who Alice is talking to and about. Also, the plot just wasn’t as interesting as I would have liked. The title talks of a ‘dangerous’ summer, and of living dangerously and it just seemed rather mundane, actually. Alice has some secrets she’s running away from, sure, but I just wasn’t surprised when all was revealed. It just seemed to be lacking a bit of a spark, if I’m honest. There was a love triangle that was never really a love triangle. I love love triangles, but neither Leo nor James really captured me in any way.I suppose the novel just made me feel underwhelmed. It feels wrong to say this, as I’m sure Cohen put a ton of work into it, but it felt as if it was just going through the motions. The thing is Cohen set herself apart with Getting Away With It. It was edgy, it was pace-y, it had a heroine who could kick bum if necessary, and so I expected more of the same here. Instead, we get the somewhat meek and mild Alice. And it was sort of disappointing. I expected more, I suppose. It’s an alright enough novel (which probably sounds as if I’m damning it with faint praise or whatever that saying is), but I just expected more. The Summer of Living Dangerously just wasn’t what I was expecting and while it was still an alright read, I wanted a novel that I could really get my teeth into and a story that was just as good as the one in Getting Away With It.

  • RLA
    2019-07-05 12:46

    I got this book on a recommendation and after reading Julie Cohen's 'Getting Away With It' I was champing at the bit to read this one. But I have to be honest and say that reading the blurb, I thought that I wouldn't like it going on the fact that the whole historical/regency/period drama thing is not my cup of tea.How wrong I was. I simply loved this book, it's utterly brilliant!Julie Cohen's heroine was so engaging, and beautifully portrayed, I couldn't stop reading needing to find out just what it was that was causing her so much pain (which, by the way, is heartbreaking). And, I loved that there were two contenders for the hero, it kept me guessing all the way through.Not only is this a fun filled and charming book, it is also sad and emotional, you will be reduced to tears moments after laughing.Julie Cohen does a fantastic job of weaving together the real and pretend lives, I was one hundred percent involved with the heroine's journey - both in her real, modern life and her pretend, historical story. The parallels between the two 'lives' of the heroine are subtly done, but work wonderfully.Simply brilliant, it made this history-averse girl actually interested in life in a regency home! A must read.Originally posted at http://everyday-is-the-same.blogspot....

  • Yaseena
    2019-06-29 16:48

    3.5 Stars This was a really enjoyable summer read. It was a good chick-lit and I enjoyed the modern take on a historical era. Although I enjoyed the basic story, I grew slightly irritated with Alice, the main character and her refusal to see or feel her own feelings. Her adamant blame of Leo for everything that had gone wrong in their relationship and her seeming emotional immaturity got to me a bit as I read on. Her more irritating qualities weren't pronounced and I didn't start to realise my irritation with Alice until about half way through the story which was good. Her personality didn't hamper my liking of the book, but it did end up swaying my rating towards the end. I also didn't really care for Pippi, Alice's younger sister. She was naive and bitchy at times and petulant and quite self-absorbed. None of her behaviour was funny or charming even given her storyline. The book was good though, if a little one dimensional. Fun for a summer read to pass sunny days and have some mindless entertainment to curl up with.

  • Lynn
    2019-07-21 09:29

    The summer of living dangerously is surprisingly misinterpreted, as the cover really doesn't do it any justice and there's really nothing dangerous about the plot. However, as far as pure escapism is concerned it's bang on! You believe in the characters, the trials and excesses of past experiences and wholeheartedly want everything to work out in the end. Funny in all the right places with a touch of Bridget Jones thrown in for good measure, Julie Cohen has captured the essence of a summer here! I would heartily recommend this to everyone for a light yet enthralling read!

  • Vicky Ball
    2019-07-07 16:36

    A book title that needs to be reported under the Trade Descriptions Act

  • Sylvia
    2019-07-18 12:56

    Gave up - just couldn't get into it.

  • Gillym
    2019-07-17 16:40

    What a lovely surprise of a book. Really didn't think this was for me after reading the blurb. But it sucked me in so quickly. Loved it!

  • Ally Blake
    2019-07-18 14:56

    There was no way I was waiting long before diving into The Summer of Living Dangerously. I love, love, loved Julie's last book, GETTING AWAY WITH IT. I devoured the earlier book in two days. My family barely saw me ;).THE SUMMER OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY is just as good. The blurb:An ordinary woman. An extraordinary adventure.Alice Woodstock has been running away. Well, not literally. She spends most of her time glued to her desk, writing about grommets and model aeroplanes. No, Alice is avoiding the real world because there’s something—someone—in her past that she’s desperate to forget. So when she’s commissioned to write about life in stately home Eversley Hall, she jumps at the chance to escape into Regency England, even if it does mean swapping her comfy T-shirt for an itchy corset. Perhaps she’ll meet her own Mr Darcy… But when her past resurfaces in the shape of Leo Allingham, Alice is brought down to earth with a bump. Reckless, unpredictable Leo reminds Alice of the painful price of following her heart. And the new Alice doesn’t live dangerously. Or does she?I was honestly torn between Alice's two possible loves. The lovely, wealthy, handsome Darcy-esque squire, or the lean, mean, reckless, wholly screwed-up ex who hurt her sooo bad. The fact that Julie manages to keep the reader on such tenterhooks throughout, hurting when Alice hurts, not wanting to forgive when Alice refuses to forgive, hoping for the rosier version of a future, even while making her story with Leo so real, is a testament to her talent.I laughed. The daily rainbow is hilarious! And I bawled. Til I could scarce breathe. So grab yourself a couch, a blanket, a cup of hot chocolate, a spare day, and a box of tissues and dive into THE SUMMER OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY. You'll thank me.Next I’m reading... Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson.

  • Sx
    2019-07-03 12:32

    Alice Woodstock has loved and lost, a tragedy that cut so deep she lives in constant fear that by opening up the festering wound, she would be letting her pent up grief consume her. So she loses herself in books and closes herself off to the rest of the world by writing articles about grommets and glue. If she loses herself in books and her writing, the she will be safe, right?Then she gets a writing gig for a ladies mag, allowing her to wholly immerse herself in another character, another time, another world. She jumps at the chance to live again, especially since this puts her in close proximity to the man of Eversley Hall himself - James Fitzwilliam. She gets a rude jolt back to the present with the reappearance of her ex-husband Leo Allingham, who vows to stop running away. Can he force her to face her darkest fears and come out of it a better person? Or will his very presence just drag her down into the whirlpool of grief that is constantly waiting for her? I really liked how Alice slowly (incredibly slowly but she did it) regained her confidence and realised that facing your fears and grief doesn't mean complete and utter collapse. Instead, it could make you stronger, better, more empathetic. I loved how Leo stood steadfastly by her, forcing her to talk, to emote, and finally to confront everything she'd been running from only to step back and allow her to make the choice she needed to when the time called for it. Alice could be stubborn and thick at times, but that made her relatable and only human. The Summer of Living Dangerously is marketed as chick lit but actually explores deeper topics, so I wouldn't recommend it for a one day beach read. Maybe more for a book to read on pensive, rainy days.

  • Monique
    2019-06-30 16:38

    This is my first Julie Cohen novel and I loved it so much I'm pleased to discover she has lots of others. It's not often you find a novel that has believable characters with complex lives in interesting, but still believable situations, and Julie Cohen has managed to produce one.I consider myself a woman of the world and although I enjoy a good romance novel I find many of the heroes totally unbelievable. Escapism is one thing, but the realist in me would like to think that it would be possible for the hero to actually exist. Let's be truthful to ourselves, girls, if there is such thing as a 28-year-old, incredibly handsome, powerful, accomplished, debonair, helicopter-flying billionaire sex-god out there, why has the world not met him yet. There are two heroes in this novel - both attractive in their own ways, both mildly flawed and both could be someone you could possibly meet throughout the course of your day-to-day life. The author manages to leave you guessing which one our heroine will choose, right up to the last few pages of the book.I couldn't put this book down. I stayed up way too late quite a few nights in a row because I just wanted to stay with these well-drawn characters and find out what happened to them. There is a lot of historical detail about the Regency period and the lives of people during that time, which adds to the story. This is an absorbing, touching, humorous, sexy, modern story which will appear to people who enjoy a believable love story. And a fondness for tight breeches, high collars and elaborately-tied stocks won't go astray either.

  • Helen
    2019-07-13 09:27

    I finished this book a few days ago (and have read another book since) but I still feel bereft. This book was everything I love in a contemporary women’s fiction novel and has immediately joined Sarra Manning’s You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me and Rowan Coleman’s Lessons in Laughing Out Loud as one of my favourite books from the last fourteen months or so.I’ve written in a previous review just why I love Julie’s books so much. Fabulous, strong female characters – always with an interesting career and a naturally evolving plot. We’ve had a stunt woman, a private investigator, an author of steamy novels and an artist for a comic.In The Summer of Living Dangerously we have Alice, a technical writer of rather dry subjects. Then a leaflet is delivered for the local stately home and, thanks to the encouragement from her best friend, she’s inspired to pitch an article idea to a woman’s magazine. Going to meet the owner of the stately home she’s asked to fill in for one of the tour guides. The tour guides dress up in the clothes of the Regency period, so of course Alice said yes. She makes such an impression the owner creates a role just for her. He likes the drama she brings to her role.But what about the drama in her personal life?It is easier for Alice to deal with the year 1814 than the present.I knew nothing more about this book before I read it and I would recommend you don’t either. Just plunge straight in and let the plot wash over you and swallow you up. This is Julie’s best book yet. She just keeps getting better and better.

  • Laura
    2019-07-09 12:36

    Thank you to Goodreads for my First reads giveaway and to Julie Cohen(the author) for sending out the book so quickly.Before I review the book I have to say I really enjoyed the personal touch by Julie Cohen. She signed my book and sent me a post card with a note along with the book. So sweet! I really appreciated that! So Thank you Julie. :) I feel like your a friend already even though you are all the way across the world. ;)Now for the review. Once I received the book and I turned to the first page and started reading I was hooked. I was not going to wait a couple of days before I started this book. It was hard not to want to just call off of work and sit (where ever you like to read your books) and read The Summer of Living Dangerously in just one sitting. It's that good. I loved the premise of the story, where she has to act like she is in the year 1814 but lives in our time. I really enjoyed the female lead in the book, you really feel like you are there with her feeling what she is feeling. Like you are her best friend and she is telling you about her life. I already miss her it's like she became a part of me. Julie Cohen just blew me away. The Summer of Living Dangerously made me feel excited, surprised, sad, teary, happy, hopeful and I didn't want it to stop. I would have kept on reading. Go out, buy it and I promise you, you are going to absolutely love reading this book. You won't regret it!Also I really enjoyed the artwork on the cover of the book, and on the first couple of pages of the book. Just a nice touch to an already great book.

  • Aileen
    2019-06-28 10:27

    Alice Woodstock is a Technical Journalist she closes herself away all day from the outside world, she has things from her life she is trying to put behind her.Alice sends a proposal to Hot Hot Magazine to write about life in Eversley hall in 1814, she is really interested and is commissioned to do it, she is over the moon to be asked to stand in as a Scullery Maid Anne Horton, she swats up for the role but can she pull it off?Liv (Alice’s best friend) gets married and moves to New Zealand but how does Alice feel when she comes face to face with her ex husband Leo who she has been trying to forget? Her family give him a big welcome back, she isn’t happy that Leo is going to be staying in the house with her for the next few months, and does her best to avoid him, even although her mum has married them off.James Fitzwilliam from Eversley Hall rings Alice with a proposition but what is it? Has she found her dashing Mr Darcy? Do Leo and Alice get back together?I loved this book, it was funny very easy to read and follow, I would definitely recommend

  • Chanpreet
    2019-07-06 09:54

    Alice Woodstock is assigned to write an article about a historical house, which is a huge change from her barely leaving her house to write article about grommets and model airplanes. She's looking for a new start or at least something to get her to stop thinking about someone in her past. Will she be successful? What will she do when the person she's been avoiding shows up on her doorstep?The little cover quite on the top of the front cover is from best selling author Veronica Henry and it says,"Prepare to be cry a little...and laugh a lot...Enchanting." That perfectly describes this book.I started reading this book well after midnight, probably closer to 1 am. Just so you know it's about 500 pages long. I thought I'd read a chapter and call it a night. Yeah right. I stopped reading once I got to 300 pages and it was 3:35am. I had to force myself to put the book down.Julie Cohen has written lots of novels and I've loved almost all of them. Her latest book is of a more literary bent, but I do hope she keeps writing books like this one.

  • Rhoda Baxter
    2019-06-22 13:34

    The main characters are both scarred by the past they are both trying to escape it in their different ways. The book has two paralell storylines - one in modern times and one in the historical reenactment. This can get a bit confusing because someone people have two names and two completely different characters depending on whether they're inside the stately home or out of it. The fact that Alice thinks of everyone by their reenactment character names helps a bit.I really enjoyed the way the two storylines worked off each other. Although I didn't really understand why Selina's fate affect Alice quite so badly, I can see that it's something peculiar to Alice and her state of mind at the time. Leo is a fabulous hero - starts off as an irritating git, ends up sorting himself out admirably. I loved this book so much that I bought myself a paperback copy, just so that I could have my own copy of it. I'd love to make notes on how Julie Cohen wove the two storylines together (one day, I will, when I have time).

  • Julie
    2019-07-02 16:29

    I am not sure if the title fits the story well, if you are looking for life on the edge, this may not be the book for you. Alice Woodstock is tired of spending her time writing about model airplanes and glue, and when she is sent to write about a stately home she enjoys the change. Dressing up in period costume of the early 1800s, she finds herself becoming involved with the locals playing the roles of real life characters, both upstairs and downstairs.It was sweet chick lit written with an intelligent edge, and with a main character who seems to be smart, well read and educated, who is kind to others. Unlike most chick lit main characters who could all do with a slapping as they simper around the handsome bloke, in Alice we have someone who is wise to the flirting and dancing around.So - if I were to recreate a title it would be more of the Summer of Living Mildly and wearing Empire Dresses.

  • Laura
    2019-07-15 15:53

    This is the first book I've read by Julie Cohen and I really enjoyed it. Cohen is an American who married a Brit and now lives in England, and she clearly loves the UK as much as I do. The basic premise is that Alice Woodstock takes a job as an interpreter in a stately Regency-era British home so that she can write about the experience for a women's magazine. As she learns about the family that built Eversley Hall and gets to know the other reenactors, Julie uses both venues to escape from dealing with a very painful period in her past. It is the way that she finally confronts her tragic loss that elevates this from your average Brit chick lit books. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.

  • Laura
    2019-07-06 12:47

    I loved this book. It is clever, witty, escapist and touching. I went to bed early so I could have quality time with the characters. I used the excuse of a bandaged finger to avoid housework so I could sit and read for an entire afternoon or two, and I consumed far too much chocolate whilst absorbed in the moment. The era.Not only did I enjoy the romance, I learned historical facts without realising. The description of the regency house is brilliant and I swear I've actually been living there for the last few days.I know this tells you nothing of the story, but if you enjoy being moved in all directions, this is a must-read.A beautiful tale told with warmth and affection.

  • Teddi
    2019-07-12 15:33

    I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway and personally signed to boot!First, let me say that my review does not reflect the above sentence in any way and I was wary about giving it too high a rating because of it.(I'm quite jaded about the whole so-called "chick-lit" genre and any book that might have anything to do with romance). So, let me just say this. Its 2:45 am and i've been reading it for 4 hours straight (my 2nd day of reading it). I havent read this genre for a long time and...... I absolutely loved it!Quick wit, an interesting story and good characters, love, pain and fun all rolled into one!Thank you, Ms. Cohen!

  • Reshma
    2019-07-09 09:43

    The book was easy to read and quick to finish. This is a good book for light reading. The actual plot is a little slow in the beginning and the reason for the divorce between Alice and Leo took a while to be revealed, which annoyed me a bit. However past this point the book gets really interesting and the characters become more familiar. The Regency names and the real names are interchanged very often, so as long as you remember the Regency names and the real names easily there will be no confusion in whom Alice is talking to. I don't like the idea of historical plots but this was not boring at all! This was a fun book to read and I would recommend it.

  • Debbie
    2019-07-10 09:42

    I've enjoyed Julie Cohen's books before, and was looking forward to this one. At first blush, the plot looks predictable. Girl meets handsome lord of the manor. Girl falls in lust with handsome lord of the manor. Etc.Only, it's much less straightforward, which I very much appreciated. While Alice Woodstock is escaping her everyday boring life by working at a regency reenactment run by James Fitzwallace, she's dealing with the reemergence of her ex-husband Leo. Cohen does a grand job of making me guess what would happen, and it was truly enjoyable.Alice and the whole cast of characters were great. And I liked that the story wasn't clear-cut, and that the plot had some dark twists.

  • Ellie
    2019-07-05 15:27

    I've not read a indulgent book for quite a while, I'm glad this was the one to get me back into them. I read it over a few days, and struggled to put it down. It's a perfect accompiniment to a sunny day, or relaxing in a comfy chair. The story is fantastic, I really wanted to know how things would go between Alice and her ex-husband Leo, and the gorgeous Mr Fitzwilliam. There are a good few surprises in there too, which always make reading more fun! This book will keep you interested until the very end, it's fantastic!I won this on a goodreads giveaway, personally signed, which was a lovely touch. I am going to look out for more of Julie Cohens books. I really would recommend this.

  • Beckie Treble
    2019-06-24 09:35

    I started this last night because my kindle decided to re set itself...again and luckily, this book actually arrived yesterday too! And apart from what looks like a huge blood stain for a few pages, I really enjoyed it so much I finished it at 5am. I love the mix of 1814 and now. If there is something like that near me, then I'll definitely have a go at trying to be someone who lived hundreds of years ago. Its really inspirational. Loved it.

  • Meredith B
    2019-07-13 16:53

    I thought this book was written in a really creative way. I was a goodreads winner and that is how I found this book. I loved that Alice (the main character) figured out things about her real life through her reenactment life. I wasn't sure how I felt about it at first but as the story developed I really liked it. Towards the end I did not want to put the book down and I continued to read until I finished! I highly suggest that people read this one!

  • Ruth
    2019-07-18 16:56

    This lively story of a woman journalist who spends a summer working in Regency re-enactment at a stately home fits the classification 'chick lit'. Not a genre I usually choose, but this book held my interest and I finished it within one weekend day. The story was engaging, with insights into historical manners and costume. The fact that the heroine wrote a blog gave it extra relevance for me. All in all, a ripping good yarn.

  • Alexina Golding
    2019-06-25 12:37

    A book based around historical reinactmemt for the summer...With a look into Alice's private life and what she is wanting to run away from by embracing the old life.I'm not sure if I liked Pippi or Akice at times, however it was a good story, with a lovely portrayal of historic angle.A good contemporary novel, this is the first Julie Cohen novel i have read and I would read more by thos author.

  • Thetravelingpanda
    2019-07-23 10:38

    The best romance book I read in a long time. There is everything: Jane Austen, a hard past, an ex, a sexy man and emotions. I was scared it would be a typical sexual tension novel but not at all! which is a relief because otherwise it would not have been as great. Alice Woodstock is a great character. Julie Cohen seems to have capture what every women want : a mr Darcy of her own. I'm not going to spoil the plot because you should absolutely read it if you like romance novel with Jane Austen.

  • KarenV
    2019-07-02 10:39

    I think Julie Cohen is definitely one of my new favourite authors (along with Lucy Dillon). This was a fast, fun read, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments interspersed with more serious, and often heart-wrenching, episodes. I especially loved the Regency enactment backdrop to the entire story, very cleverly done.

  • Joyce
    2019-07-07 15:37

    Love the way current lives are mixed with the 18th century. It's fairy tale yet real. Found a couple of such books and really love the fuzzy feeling. Of course the characters of pretty girls and handsome lads simply makes life happier.