THE PROOF OF LOVE: Catherine Hall, Portobello Books, £12.99.

EMBEDDED within this passionate novel is the popular theme of innocence contrasted with experience - the two leading characters embody both sides of the scale.

Young Alice builds a strong relationship with Cambridge student Spencer, who is holidaying in the Lake District.

In this 298-page book, the author, who was born in the area, manages through her beautiful writing to build a romantic image of the Lakes.

I could almost feel the sun beaming through the pages. However, lurking under this tranquil setting is a wealth of surprises and revelations which I'm sure will keep readers fixated by the plot.