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After the Scrum by Dahlia Donovon

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Usually if there are factual errors in a piece of writing I quickly loose interest in it. The fact that I not only did not loose interest in this but kept on reading it, finishing it in one session on my Kindle indicates that it is either a very good read or very short. I can assure you it is not short.

The is the story of Caddock a top flight rugby player who loses his rugby career and his brother all in a year. He also gains custody of his nephew and it is to give his nephew a new life that he moves to Cornwall to open a pub. There he meets Francis, an interior designer. What follows is a true romance, in the best Mills and Boon tradition.

The writer was born in Britain but moved to the States when she was seven. At times this shows as there are a number of elements in the story that factually could not occur. Despite this it is a good read. It is published by the Top Hat Press and is available from Amazon as a paperback or on Kindle.

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Well, I read it with much enjoyment, largely I think because its trope is a favourite of mine. Rugby, a new start with a pub in Cornwall, a small nephew to bring up, all points of attraction for me. Like Nigel there were aspects that tripped me up, not authentically British. The worst, for me, is the location, Looe, which is a town not a village. It's a small town (pop 5,500) but most towns in Cornwall are small. It most certainly does not, however, have a village dynamic, where everyone knows everyone else's business and comes together to support their own. So much of the story revolves around the village and its people that I struggled. All of this could have been put right by just using Search and Replace to change the name of the village so somewhere that really is a village. Polruan, for example, just across the water from Fowey.

There were other oddities. Caddock's career in international Rugby is a bit odd, he apparently played for his country from the age of 32 to the age of 40, although generally Rugby players are in their prime in their early to mid 20's and few are still playing even at club level beyond 35 - and there's no mention of which club he played for when not engaged in international matches, although that's where his closest friendships would be forged.

Here's one for Luggie: at one point Francis removes shopping from his 1970's vintage Fiat 500 and then kicks the rear door closed. The Fiat 500 is a two-door car, and although it has a rear hatch, this gives access to the engine, not luggage space, since it's a rear-engined vehicle.

There are some Americanisms:

'The brothers had done more for him than anyone outside of his grandparents.' We would say 'apart from'

'Absolutely nutters' (this probably an attempt at a Britishism, but the Brits would say 'absolute nutters'.

“What am I? Chopped Liver?” This Americanism originates, I think, in the Jewish community, of New York?

I regularly gripe about the outlandish names so often assigned to characters in stories. This one does quite well, with names like Graham, Francis, even Rupert just about passes. But Caddock and Hadrian?

Despite all the above I read to the end and enjoyed it. Thanks Nigel for bringing it to my attention!

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Brian, glad you enjoyed it. I agree with the points you made but despite that I agree it is a good read. The thing that really got me confused was at the start it is stated that Caddock's father wanted him to move close to home near Sheffield. Yet later they appear to be able to get to the parents for an evening meal, and when the nephew goes missing the father quickly is on the scene. I'm south of Sheffield and I have friends in Looe. For me to get to them is a six and a half hour drive if I am lucky. The last two times it was over eight. From here to Sheffield is at least one hour twenty in good traffic conditions, at the moment with the speed restrictions more like two.

Dahlia is a good writer but I just wish she would check here details, especially when writing about somewhere you do not have immediate knowledge of.

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Caddock's father wanted him to move close to home near Sheffield.

I forgot that Caddock's parents lived in Sheffield, but nevertheless I was confused when they were suddenly living on each other's doorsteps apparently, cos I did remember they'd been a journey away. A pity that both of us had our considerable enjoyment of an otherwise good read by these potholes (plotholes?)!

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I filed in the contact form or the author's homepage and commented on the potholes (nice word Brian I hope you don't mind if I use it sometime in a plot!!). Had a brief but considerate response, though she did not address the issues.

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Sounds like a form letter.


Actually it wasn't as it did address a question I raised, just not the inconsistencies.

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By the way Nigel I'm Bruin, not Brian.... :icon_thumright:

Sorry Bruin, blame Apple spell checker. It is still trying to correct you to Brian in this post!!!

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Odd, because bruin is a word. I wonder if it's the capital B that's throwing it off?

Wanna bet the spell checker was written by somebody who doesn't like Boston's NHL team? (Or UCLA, for that matter, but then nobody likes UCLA.)

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