Review – What Happened That Night by Sheila O’Flanagan

My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐



Lola Fitzpatrick is bright and ambitious but she’s also headstrong and stubborn.  When one evening, out of the blue, she has to make a life-changing choice, she decides quickly and rashly.  And without a piece of vital information that might have changed everything.  Lola’s daughter Bey has inherited Lola’s determined nature.  Yet her impulsive reactions place her in danger, leading her to run away from what she wants most.  And then, one night, she’s standing in front of the man she loves, with her own choice to make…

For both Lola and Bey, everything changes in a  moment.  But their biggest mistakes might also turn out to be their biggest opportunities…


A note to the author: Sheila, pretty pretty please can you write a sequel?  I need to know more about Bey as she gets older. I just loved her style and what she is all about.  Oh, and it also helps that your writing and narrative flow perfectly and I felt that I was being fed a tale that I simply wanted to devour in one sitting.  I suppose you aren’t a bestseller for nothing so I am not surprised in the least as to how well you write and how creative your storytelling is.  You get a big thumbs up from me!

The first thing I will draw your attention to is that at the start of each chapter are little snippets of jewellery and gem facts, which I loved.  I learnt so much from this, plus I thought it was a really cute touch and added to the character of the book.

But anyway, there are two leading lades in this novel – Lola and Bey.  I will begin by explaining Lola.  She is a young lady who is very much someone who wishes to succeed at life.  She wants to hold down a good job in the city, rather than end up as a farmer’s wife which is what would happen if she stayed in her hometown.

The story begins with Lola working in Dublin at the passport office and every day on her way to work, she stops outside a jewellery shop and lusts after what is inside, promising herself that one day she will be able to buy something.  Until a chance encounter with the shop owner’s son, Philip Warren, leads to a romance and unfortunately a rejected marriage proposal.  The reason for Lola saying no is because 1) she cannot stand Philip’s mother (nicknamed the Ice Dragon), and 2) she does not want to marry into money, she wants to earn it in her own right.

Philip Warren is, in my opinion, trouble with a capital T.  He doesn’t respect Lola and what she stands for.  He has been fed all his life with a silver spoon and certainly feels that he is entitled to everything he wants, so for someone to say no to him (other than his mother) must have been a huge kick in the teeth for him… and how will he behave as a result… will things turn nasty?!

Suddenly an unexpected pregnancy changes the course of Lola’s life forever… enter Bey (my favourite!).  The majority of the story very much follows Bey from a little girl through to a 20-something year old jewellery designer.  We begin with a cute little 3 year old who happens to call every man that walks through her door “daddy”.  Because of this Lola decides that perhaps it is time to tell Philip that he has a daughter.  However, Philip’s father has other plans and puts a stop to that.  He offers Lola a monthly allowance to help her and Bey, in exchange for her silence.  Lola unwillingly agrees… has she made the right decision?

As Bey grows older her interest in her father increases so Lola bites the bullet and contacts Philip.  When Bey finally meets her father it is rather awkward which I guess is understandable, but it was more due to the fact that Philip just does not want to be there.  There is no conversation between them which makes Bey feel that she wished she never bothered to ask to meet him in the first place.  Then one disastrous and traumatic Christmas leads to Bey deciding that she never wants to see her father again.

The story then moves on 10 years to when Bey is a young adult.  She is working abroad trying to make it in the jewellery industry.  Lola asks Bey to come home as her grandfather (Philip’s father) is very poorly and things aren’t looking too good.  This will be the first time that Bey has seen her father for a long time.

On her flight home, Bey meets a potential love interest who goes by the name of Will Murdoch.  This meeting leads to a job offer in the future whereby Bey becomes a really successful designer and moves up the ranks easily at a prestigious jewellery company.  It is everything she ever wanted out of life, and just like her mum she is not interested in men.  Or at least she pretends that to herself.  As Will Murdoch is working for the same company and she is head over heels in love with him.  Unfortunately though he is married – booooooo!  People do refer to Bey and Will though as two sides of the same coin as they clearly have a connection… I wonder where it will lead…

And I will leave you to find that out for yourself!  I would totally recommend that you invest a little time in this book and enjoy it with a nice cuppa, or perhaps even a cold glass of vino in this freakish warm weather.

A huge thank you to Headline for sending me a copy to review via Bookbridgr.  I enjoyed reading it, and I reckon everyone else will too.  It is definitely a feel-good story that follows a very powerful character – what can’t you love about that?

The next thing for me to do is to add The Missing Wife to my TBR as I have heard such good things!

My final word: a hidden gem!

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