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Publisher's Summary

Major motion picture already in development with Temple Hill Entertainment

Set amid the breathtaking beauty of Oxford, this sparkling debut novel tells the unforgettable story about a determined young woman eager to make her mark in the world and the handsome man who introduces her to an incredible love that will irrevocably alter her future - perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.

American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was 13: study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day. 

When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding, and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret. 

Immediately Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither is truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.

©2018 Temple Hill Publishing (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Julia Whelan performs her appealing debut novel as well as listeners would expect, which is to say, terrifically.... The personalities pop, her pacing is superb, and the realism she injects will keep you wide-eyed." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful

Even before the novel closed on musings about the meaning of it all, I thought to myself, this is life. This is what life is about. This novel is moving, breathtaking, beautiful. I sighed and I laughed and I cried, finishing the book feeling that I had just discovered one of my new favorite novels. Read this—or rather, since you’re browsing on Audible, listen to it. Please. It is in itself a phenomenal journey, and the author’s flawless performance only serves to enhance its brilliance, its warmth, its light.

Put simply: I am so glad this book exists.

25 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A favorite narrator makes her debut as an author

What's better than a book performed by Julia Whelan? One written by her too! This book checked my two major "what makes me love fiction" boxes: it made me laugh, and it made me ugly cry. Oh, the ugly crying. Set in Oxford, the novel centers on Ella Duran as she attempts to balance her master’s degree studies, romance, and an unexpected new job as the education lead on a presidential campaign. The premise and setting lends itself to rich descriptions and plenty of fun literature references for us book nerds, showcasing Whelan's deep knowledge of both the subject and area. The novel really stays with you, and the love story within managed to both break me and make me feel hopeful. Whelan performs and really shows off her depth as a character actress, effortlessly transitioning between Washington lobbyists and British pub owners, making the listening experience all the more enchanting. Trust me…go get this book!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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What a pleasant surprise!! ♥

This was such a well written/narrated story...I didn't want to stop listening!!

I loved the characters and the setting. My only complaint was there was so much fade to black when it came to their romance. I don't mind fade to black sex, but the rest of the romantic development needs to be shown, not just told. This probably would have been a 5 star read for me had the romance been developed better.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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5++++ Stars. Beautiful Book. Beautiful Narrator; Beautiful Author

I’m resisting the urge to re-read immediately. I need to sit with it a while first. This is a beautiful book about life, love and choices. The poetry she chose to include was outstanding. Please write more Julia.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Julia Whelan is quite the author!

I have to admit that I will pretty much listen to any book that is narrated by Julian Whelan so you can imagine my excitement when Audible notified me that not only is she narrating a new book but that she is also the author of that same book...mind blown, lol! As soon as I found out I bought it and listened to it right away. Loved every bit of this book! It was funny, charming and heartwarming. Julia please keep writing more books!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!!!

This book is a must read! I bought the paperback last week, but have been too busy to sit down and read it so I decided to use this month’s credit on the audiobook. I’m soooo glad I did. Julia Whalen is so talented! Not only is she a fantastic narrator, but she can also write. I was hooked immediately and ended up making time to read it too. I laughed and cried. I loved all the characters. Such a wonderful book. I will definitely read it again (and listen too). FIVE STARS!!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Couldn't finish!

This may be the most predictable book I've ever read! I knew what was going to happen every time. To me, Ella's character is not likable and is a cliche and so is Jamie's character. However Jamie and the other characters are at least entertaining and witty. I couldn't even finish. I want those 5 hours of my life back. Maybe I'm missing the good part since I stopped listening. Everyone gave such good reviews but this book is NOT for me!

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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ALL The CLICHES

I feel like this book is the result of the author striving to see if she can include every possible Chick Lit cliche into one plot. Spoiler alert: she does.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Her Oxford Year

This is a pretty good debut by Julia Whelan. She does a great job with the setting and with the characters. She is a professional narrator, and that's where the audiobook shines most. For those who like romance novels, this one will be a hit. While it's not my favorite audiobook, it is quite good, and I liked it more than I expected I would. Overall rating: 3.83 stars

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Magnificent book

Heartfelt warm and funny. Rich and deep. Wonderful characters. Fantastic pacing. Just a wonderful read. I highly recommends it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful