BOOK REVIEW: UNTIL YOU by T.J. JOHNSON

The Blurb:

Already there was something about this place. There was a stirring within her, her fingertips itching even now to rest upon the keys of her laptop. Here, she could be someone else. Here, she felt an energy she had long since forgotten. Here, she could see past the exhaustion of being dour dependable Gale in a loveless marriage, pretending everything was good and that she was happy. She could see past the grief that bound her irrevocably to her husband. There – up ahead over the loch – was light, shining past the grey monotony of her life. Here, she could be herself again. Here she was Abby.
In Australia, she was Gale Carson – in a settled but unhappy life, keenly aware of how she was losing not just her creativity, but her very self. Shedding her life in Sydney, Gale rekindles her long-neglected desire for writing on the small Scottish Island of Davaar. There, surrounded by new friends and a new life, she rediscovers herself as Abby Buchanan. As Abby, she can write and live as she’s always dreamed. Feeling free for the first time, Abby finds herself drawn to the reclusive Murdo Williams. However unbeknownst to Abby, another has been drawn to her…
In Book One of Davaar, Abby’s past life threatens to destroy her new-found happiness – and time is running out as her admirer’s fascination with the new Australian turns deadly.

The Review:

An interesting one. A romance novel, with a side order of murder and stalking, and a lot of sex! As a Scot, I enjoyed reading how we are viewed by the Australian author, and recognising the familiar places, characters and traits and dialogue. (There are a couple of minor issues: A killer on the streets of Glasgow or Paisley wouldn’t cause much alarm amongst the locals in Campbeltown as they are so far apart. Daavar Island is said to have a small population and one of the main characters lives on it – when in fact it’s unpopulated. These are all minor quibbles though, that only stand out to me as I live in the west of Scotland, for most readers they won’t even notice, and shouldn’t put anyone off reading the book.)

It’s a bit unexpected how it unfolds, starting off as a crime thriller, but evolving into more of a romance story, and the murder element disappears for long spells, and ultimately feels a bit unresolved – but that’s because this is the start of a trilogy, so I imagine the murderer and their fate will be returned to in subsequent books. The main character, Abby, an Aussie fleeing her unhappy marriage and trying to find peace to write her novel in remote Scotland, is likeable, as are the well drawn cast of locals. When the romance takes off there are quite a few steamy sex scenes, so it depends on your taste for erotica – I enjoyed them!

Summary: It’s long, but worth your while sticking with. A good read, and you can see the effort and care put in by the author.


‘Until You’ is available from Amazon on Kindle and in paperback, and from several other retailers: Amazon.co.uk: Until You’


I occasionally review books on my blog from independent and self-published authors. If you have a book you would like me to review, leave me a message and I will take a look.

For reviews of traditionally published books and to see what I’ve been reading, visit my Goodreads page.

6 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: UNTIL YOU by T.J. JOHNSON

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