Freya owns a new age shop and teaches yoga in Grasstree Flat, helping local women rise above their physical needs as they achieve peace through spiritual endeavours. Her ire is raised and her life is turned upside down when a female-focused sex shop opens next door and its owner moves into the upstairs flat next to hers.
Lily is the opposite of Freya, larger than life and with a mission to encourage and help women to embrace their physical pleasure. Everywhere Freya turns, Lily is there, whether she’s teaching a sexual expression workshop in same space where Freya holds her yoga classes, getting to know Freya’s friends, or winning over Freya’s cat. And no matter how nasty Freya is to Lily, Lily always has a smile for her and an attempt at kindness. Can two people so different really make a connection, or could they be more similar than Freya is willing to admit?
Freya is not an easy character to like, especially considering how judgey and downright awful she is to Lily. I don’t know that I would have finished the book if it weren’t for seeing her interact with friends, especially her best friend Carly. That let us see enough of Freya’s softness to realize that she has some serious hangups that inform the way she treats Lily. I won’t spoil it here, but I was glad to see that she was so hostile for a reason that made sense, even if I didn’t agree with any of her behaviours. Freya has the biggest character arc, having to grow a lot to even allow friendship with Lily into her life, let alone a romantic relationship. She truly is a transformed woman by the end of Party Wall and I was so happy to see she got a happy ending that is just right for her.
Lily is too lovely for words. She’s warm and bubbly, exactly the kind of person I want to have as a friend. She’s also stronger than she looks at first glancing, taking charge of her destiny by opening the shop after her life took an unexpected turn. I loved seeing her resilience in the face of Freya’s iciness and that Lily was always true to herself. She didn’t have much of an arc in this story, having gone through her own changes before she arrived in Grasstree Flat, and that worked well because it allowed for maximum focus on Freya’s growth.
The Writing Style
I enjoy Cheyenne Blue’s style and found myself reading this book into the wee hours because the writing is so engaging. I also particularly love her stories that take place in Australian small towns and Party Wall is no exception. The town and its surrounding area is so small that it allows for a strong sense of community, and it’s a blessedly accepting one where businesses like Lily’s and Freya’s can thrive.
Everything worked for me!
If you love a good opposites attract romance and/or romances set in Australia, you’ll want to pick up Party Wall.
Excerpt from Party Wall by Cheyenne Blue
“…bring in the awareness of your breath. Each inhale sends a wave of energy down your spine, deep into your hips, down, far into the earth beneath you.” Freya spoke in a calming monotone. She didn’t open her eyes when Lily entered.
Lily looked around, realising she should have brought a mat, although she wasn’t sure if she still owned one or where it was. But she spied a loose pile of mats in one corner and snagged the top one. She took a place at the rear of the class and copied the pose of the woman next to her. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on her breathing and on the slow sound of Freya’s voice.
“Imagine the sky energy pulling you upwards. Your body is light, your neck is lengthening. Relax your shoulders, rest here for several breaths. You are here, in the moment; let your body quieten from your day.”
Freya’s voice drifted away, and the studio was filled only with the sound of rhythmic exhales and the slow chords of music. She led the class through a series of gentle poses. Lily let her body and mind sink down through the layers of the day to find the stillness within. Irritations dissipated until nothing existed but her body, this warm room, and the gentle movement of air from the ceiling fan.
Freya’s voice was closer now. Lily opened her eyes to see Freya walking soundlessly through the women, touching them with small movements to encourage them to soften a pose, let go of tension. Freya turned, and her eyes connected with Lily’s. The jolt that ran through Lily was surely from the crackling antagonism emanating from the other woman. The flash of irritation, swiftly veiled, from those clear grey eyes was at odds with the soft tone of her voice as she touched a pupil’s shoulder. Relax, the hand gesture said, but as her eyes locked with Lily’s, the blaze burned for a fractured second before Freya closed her eyes and exhaled a long, slow breath. When she opened them, the fire was gone. Freya looked at her unsmiling, but she gave the smallest nod of…recognition, acknowledgment maybe. And there in the air a faint scent of something fresh. Sandalwood or rosemary. A hint of peppermint.
Freya moved on and Lily felt her absence keenly. Not just the lack of her scent, but the absence of her. And, too, a lessening of static, of the fine-spun tension. Lily envied that pupil, with Freya’s hand on her, a gentle weight.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9783955338862
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
Cheyenne Blue Online
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Note: I received a free review copy of Party Wall by Cheyenne Blue No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.