Review: Lost and Found by Ashley John

When 18-year-old Charlie’s unreliable mother tells him they are moving across the country to live with her mysterious Aunt Evelyn in the sunny town of Surf Bay, he isn’t surprised. After spending most of his life moving around the country with his mother and younger sister, picking up his life and starting somewhere new is second nature to him. 

19-year-old Oliver is one of those guys that everybody loves. Most people would describe him as good-looking, cheeky and confident, but when Charlie meets him working as his Great-Aunt’s gardener, there’s only word that springs to his mind….arrogant.

Charlie quickly finds a job at the local surf club, but his initial joy quickly vanishes when he learns that Oliver also works there. From the first moment Oliver lays eyes on him, he knows that he wants Charlie, and when he discovers that he’s a virgin, he sees it as a new and exciting challenge which he accepts, even if Charlie tells him he isn’t interested in guys.

Oliver wants Charlie’s virginity, but he doesn’t count on finding something else along the way… Charlie feels pressure to look after his family, so he tries to ignore Oliver’s relentless advances, but he starts to feel something new…something he’s never felt before…something exciting… 

Does Charlie have the power to resist Oliver’s charms?

I have to say that I was slightly nervous about reading this book, I'd previously read The Secret by the same author and it didn't really work for me. Despite my, less than glowing, review last time, the author asked if I would be interested as he had taken on board what I had said and hoped his writing was improving - for this attitude alone I agreed. And boy am I glad I did.

I can see such huge improvements in this story, I was hooked by the characters immediately - even though I didn't particularly like Oliver for a start. He was predatory and pushed the Charlie's boundaries in a way I found uncomfortable, but that was all part of his character. He wasn't the nicest of people to start with and I liked how his character changed and grew throughout the story. 

Charlie I really liked as a character, he could easily have come across as a bit of a drip, yet he didn't. He had his beliefs and reasons and he stuck to them - he was strong when he needed to be. The secondary characters were wide and varied, maybe at times a little clichéd, but nothing awful. I'm really keen to read Porter's story, which is next in the series. He strikes me as someone with an interesting background.

At times the characters acted in what I would call an irrational manner, it was a bit insta love - then I remembered back to being eighteen and put myself in their shoes. It is easy to feel so much more then, to overlook rationale and be lead by hormones. So really, what felt at times rushed, was actually just in character. Kudos.

It wasn't perfect - some spelling and grammar errors, nothing that pulled me from the story. Maybe I'm contradicting myself a bit here, but I would have been happier if it was set over a slightly longer time period - possibly that's just because I'm old! Occasionally the story felt a little convenient. These are all easy to fix and things that come with practise.  I know this author has a big fan base and I can't believe the difference between this and the last book of his I read. There is definitely talent there, it is, like anything, just in need of honing a little. I really look forward to reading more from Ashley John and I would advise others to keep their eyes out for his future works.

Find out more about Ashley John at Goodreads.

A copy of this book was given to us in exchange for an honest review.

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