Book Review: A Street Cafe Named Desire by R J Gould

A Street Cafe Named Desire

A Street Cafe Named Desire by R J Gould

Release Date: 14th December 2014
Publisher: Accent Press
Buy: PaperbackKindle

When David meets Bridget at a school reunion, he unexpectedly finds himself falling for her. With problems at work and a failing marriage, David feels he’s going nowhere, and mysterious, enigmatic Bridget draws him out of his shell. He’s overjoyed when, against all odds, she returns his interest – but what is it in her past that makes her reluctant to reveal her true feelings?

As their relationship progresses, David starts to think he may realise his dreams – but will he get everything he’s ever wanted, or is it all too good to be true?


David thinks his life is going exactly to plan. He has a good job as an accountant, a nice house, a loving wife and two teenage children.
However, it would appear that this isn’t the case when David’s wife, Jane, decides she wants a divorce after revealing she has been having an affair with his friend Jim.
David decides he’s not so keen on his job after all and his daughter, Rebecca, seems as though she’s about to head off the rails.
However it’s not all doom and gloom when David meets Bridget at his school reunion. The pair get on like a house on fire and David soon finds himself falling for her charms. Buoyed up by the start of a possible romance he decides to take control of his life once and for all and puts together a SMART objective list which starts off with sorting out his divorce to Jane and taking a cookery course– and then progresses onto quitting his job to open an arts cafe and having sex with Bridget. But as things start to come together for David he wonders if this venture (and in fact, his relationship with Bridget) really could work out, or is it better to just stick with what he knows?

I love reading contemporary romance novels which are narrated by the male of the story. It provides something just that little bit different from the norm and it’s always good to have an insight into the workings of the male mind! I feel as though by having a male narrator and being written by a male author it just puts a slightly different spin on things and in the case of A Street Cafe Named Desire I felt as though it worked really well.
I was intrigued by the storyline and for some reason I always love the sound of stories that are based around a school reunion! There’s the potential for SO much to happen at these get-togethers and I love reading about how characters interact with one another after all the years that have passed.
The story starts at David’s school reunion and you will be hooked from here on in. I loved the parts of the story where he was reunited with school bullies Bill and Ben (Loving the choice of names…) the 80s music and the infamous nicknames that re-surfaced.
I was left flabbergasted by Jane’s behaviour, not just at the start of the story but throughout. She is a complete and utter cow and I did think that David took the fact that she was leaving him for one of his friends a little too calmly… The way she behaves will leave you open-mouthed in amazement, I was practically screaming with disbelief at this woman.
I really liked David and his narrative immediately drew me in. He is considerate and kind (perhaps a little too considerate and kind at some points…) and I loved watching his relationship with Bridget slowly develop. The little ways in which she encourages him to be himself are lovely, such as when he starts to re-decorate Jane’s choice of wall-colours after visiting Bridget’s (rather colourful) house.
It makes for an inspiring read as David takes risks not just with his love life but with his career and family too. I loved the idea of an arts cafe and if A Street Cafe Named Desire really existed I would be a regular. (I thought the idea of having a TV showing black & white films was a genius – I’d be in there all day!)
I would have liked to have read even more about what was involved with the opening of the cafe, as I felt that it all happened to a bit too much towards the end of the story. The ending leaves the story open so I’m hopeful that we might possibly get to re-visit these characters in the future. They were a set of compelling, quirky characters and I would love to find out how things turn out for them all.

A Street Cafe Named Desire is a witty, warm and extremely perceptive tale of life, love and second chances.  I thoroughly enjoyed R J Gould’s style of writing, he manages to bring his characters to life as he opens up the existence of a group of seemingly normal people with seemingly normal lives, yet it soon becomes clear that they are anything but…
This is a novel that will make you stop and think about your own life and what would happen if you were to follow your own dreams. It also made me realise how awful events such as Jane leaving David, opened up a whole new career path, opportunities and pretty much changed David’s life, showing that it’s not what happens in life that’s important but it’s what you take from these situations that matters.

A Street Cafe Named Desire is thought-provoking, extremely funny in parts and also rather difficult to put down. I’m really looking forward to reading more from R J Gould.

A huge thank you to R J Gould and to Accent Press for very kindly sending me a copy of A Street Cafe Named Desire to read and review. 


R J Gould

R J Gould writes humorous contemporary fiction, loosely romantic, but with an edge, as he explores family relationships across age, gender and class. There is some emphasis on the baggage accumulated by middle-aged protagonists as they attempt to balance the pressures of work, children and new romances. A male perspective on these issues provides a refreshingly original viewpoint.
He was selected for the New Writers’ Scheme of the Romantic Novelists Association and helped by this accolade, has been taken on by the publisher Accent Press. ‘A Street Cafe Named Desire’ was released in December 2014, and two further novels will be published in 2015.
R J Gould is a member of the Society of Authors and of Cambridge Writers, where he leads the the Commercial Editing Group. He was the organisation’s short story competition winner in 2010 and his work was commended in 2012 and 2014.
R J Gould works for a national educational charity. He has published in a wide range of educational journals, newspapers and magazines, and is the co-author of a major work on educating able young people.

R.J. Gould |  Website | Twitter | Goodreads  |


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