BOOK CLUB: Returned

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[Total: 3 Average: 4.3]

Returned by Gillian Wells is the sequel to Lost. This is a story of romance, second chances, family, dealing with past and present trauma, acceptance and forgiveness. It all takes place during the emotionally trying time of COVID.

Seb has left Australia to live and work in England. It is a fresh start away from his past.

He runs a successful stable for retraining problem horses — he is known as the horse whisper.

On a business trip to France, Seb literally bumps into Sally, the love of his life. They haven’t seen each other for 10 years.  Previously, the timing wasn’t right for their relationship to develop. They both still have strong feelings for each other and both want to give their relationship another chance.

Sally has only a few more days in France before returning home to Australia. Seb makes the decision to sell up and return home to be with Sally and his family.

But, without warning, the world was about to change! One word = COVID! Sally and Seb’s plans are shattered with lockdowns, illness and border closures.

A surprise twist makes Seb even more anxious to get home to be with Sally. Their relationship is challenged by the distance between them, Sally in Australia and Seb stuck in the UK.

Sally stays with Seb’s parents Connie and Alec. They are all rather wary as some strange things have been happening around their property. They feel as if someone is spying on them.

What will the future hold for Seb and Sally as a couple?  Who and why is a stranger hanging around?

Many readers will relate to how difficult it was during the pandemic, especially if you lost a loved one. The mental health issues raised during this period have been portrayed in a sensitive way.

It is important to have a realistic story set in COVID times. Those too young to remember will be able to read about it and understand the isolation and how difficult it was for everyone. After all, it is now a part of our history!

Returned does stand alone, but I feel the reader’s experience is enhanced by reading Lost first.

The story is very engaging with both happy and sad moments. There are suspenseful twists and turns. It is an emotional story full of challenges for Seb and Sally and many other characters.

Once again Gillian Wells delivered a great story set in Australia. It’s easy to read, well written, and has an unexpected ending!

Thoroughly recommend this book!

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Returned by Gillian Wells. You can read their reviews in the comments below.

10 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Returned

  1. Seb returns in Returned, book 2 in Gillian Wells ‘lost’ series.
    Seb now living in France bumps into Sally whilst on a business trip. They start to rekindle their love that started 10 years prior. But then “COVID” hits. Sebs fights his way to get back to Sally who has returned home to Australia.

    What another amazing read by Gillian. I was so excited to read this when Beauty and Lace Book Club announced they had copies. A must read for those who have suffered the “blackdog” and affected by covid.

    Thankyou to Beauty and Lace Book Club, Gillian Wells and Shawline Publishing Group for the opportunity to read and review Returned.

  2. Another great read by Gillian Wells.
    I had read the first book, ‘Lost’, and this is a wonderful sequel.
    This book picks up well from ‘Lost’, and we see Seb has gone on to do what he loved, and that is a life involved with horses. He now is extremely successful, and lives in the UK.
    Sally & Seb had a true love romance, and upon running in to each ther, many years later, they realise they still are madly in love with each other.
    This story is set in the time when the pandemic hit the world. We see Seb & Sally, stuck on opposite sides of the world due to lockdowns, .
    Seb fights desperately to get to Sally, as there is something sinister going on , and everyone is on edge. Will he get there in time, and is the situation as dangerous as they all feel?

    It really is a page turner, and the perfect length for a sequel. I was pleased that is was a nice neat story, which didn’t drag on, and in no way seemed rushed.

    Thanks to Gillian Wells for ‘Returned’, another great read. To Beauty & Lace, and Shawline Publishing, thank you for the opportunity to read and review. I highly recommend ‘Returned’, and hope there may be more sequels from the original book, ‘Lost’.

  3. Thank you all so much for the great reviews . It was a very dark time for us all and the lockdowns seemed to come and go Willy nilly. I am so happy when a sequel is enjoyed .. I worry sometimes a sequel may spoil people’s enjoyment of the first book . Again Thank you

  4. A beautiful follow up story with many heart wrenching moments. Lost! Seb and Sally, with history between them, renewed romance and the turmoil of Covid lockdowns and loses.
    Gillian, you have captured many moments in the story that I couldn’t put down. I loved it.

  5. I have never read Lost but can say this was easy to get into. Really enjoyed this book and would love to read the first one still. I like how this story did not drag out or be rushed as I felt it was the perfect pace. Really enjoyed this thanks!

  6. Thank you Beauty and Lace, Gillian Wells and Shawline Publishing for the opportunity to read “Returned”, the Sequel to “Lost”.
    Returned reintroduces Seb, Sally and the family, 10 years after the events that sent Seb running from his home. It provides and insight into how Seb has handled the issues occurring in the first book and how these still have an impact on his life.
    The love story between Seb and Sally continues. Covid becomes a stumbling block as the world is shut down and Seb and Sally are on opposite sides of the world, trying to get back together. Throw in a few more hurdles and it’s their love for each other that helps them face what comes their way.
    A satisfying continuation of Seb’s story and having it placed 10 years on from the previous one allows for this to be read as a stand alone or as a continuation for fans of Gillian Wells.

  7. Thank you so much to Beauty and Lace, Shawline publishing and Gillian Wells for allowing me to read and review Returned.
    I had not read Lost which is the book before Returned but I believe it stood out as a stand-alone novel on its own.
    Every time I turned the page I could feel the emotions from the words inside.
    I found it very easy to get into the novel and the pages just kept turning.
    I loved the characters and the true love they had for one another.
    Throughout so many road blocks they always seemed to come back to each other.
    I also liked that they had real events in the novel, including Covid 19 and other things going on around that time.

    I highly recommend this book, I loved it and I am sure you will too!

  8. Whilst I liked the plot of this story, I found that it jumped around a bit. I had to double-check who the characters were and it seemed like in places there was a rush to get the information out.
    Even though I did not read the first book, Lost, it did not detract from this story but it didn’t engage me and dwelled a lot on some of the characters having a hard time during Covid (which is true) but I thought once stated, there didn’t seem a point to have to revisit it as often.
    I would still like to read Lost, the first novel at some point.

  9. Unfortunately I hadn’t read Lost but Returned is fairly easy to read alone.
    Seb is a horse whisperer in France. He and Sally were an item in Australia 10 years previously and run into each other again. Sally goes back to Australia and waits for Seb to arrive but Covid has other ideas.

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