Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay – Jill Mansell

Imagine sitting next to a man on a plane and as well as making a complete fool of yourself you also have some sort of connection by the end of the flight.

This is what has happened to Clemency. But fate is not meant to be and she departs the airport with perhaps a sadness in her heart but also with many questions about the man she has met.

Back in her home town, St Carys in Cornwall, Clemency gets on with her life, as an estate agent. Not giving that encounter on the plan another thought, or so she thought.

But when Belle, her stepsister introduces her to her new boyfriend when she arrives back in St Carys to set down some roots, it appears that the encounter on the plane has resurfaced.

Now tasked with finding the perfect home, Clemency has to work through all her feelings and remain true to her sister. Trouble is Belle is not being true to herself and it seems that she is having doubts about something too.

Of course when you have the background of an estate agency in a lovely Cornish setting you are going to encounter some other characters and therefore, the story is made richer when we get to meet Ronan, Marina and Kate. Everything is so cleverly woven together that you don’t see the plot twists coming, all it does is keep you reading and reading.

This is a strong novel from Jill Mansell. It is not a bit of fluffy reading, far from it. It is a story that has sibling rivalry, the difficulties that we set ourselves personally when it comes to accepting our own true love as well as the complications that love can bring at any age and the consequences these actions can have years later.

I loved it.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this book.

Meet me at Beachcomber Bay is out now.

 

 

Once Upon a Winter – Tilly Tennant

One Upon a Winter is the whole novel, made up of previously released parts and also with a bonus bit to the story.

Hannah is hosting Christmas this year with her sister Gina and teenage niece Jess. Preparations are underway for the big day and it looks that there will be enough food to last for days if not weeks. Good job really as the snow is falling and it looks like it is going to last.

Then there this a knock at the door.

A man is there asking for help. He doesn’t know how he got to them or in fact who he is.

But his arrival turns Hannah, Gina and Jess lives upside down. That is after they decide he is in fact not a murderer!

Hannah is rather bohemian perhaps in her outlook and she has started to accept the fact that she might be on her own in the future. Gina, bossy and practical is now having to start again as her husband decided to trade her in for his secretary. Jess is trying to find her feet and accept all the changes that are suddenly happening in her life. Changes that perhaps she could not see coming.

It is all down to the man who knocked on the door on Christmas Day.

He started something.

He somehow permeates their lives because friendships and relationships are created from other characters introduced into the story and they all seem to touch Hannah and Gina’s lives. Of course we get to learn about the Christmas Davy visitor and it appears that everything is not as it seems.

For me the book did take a long time to really get going, there were many strands to the story that kept having to be weaved in that it lost the heart of the book at times. I did not enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed the other books I have read by this author, which were never serial releases (The Little Village Bakery and Christmas at The Little Village Bakery). Her strength for me is in the whole novel approach.

A pleasant enough read to pass the time.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this novel. 

 

 

One Thousand Posts

One thousand posts! I never even thought I would have kept this blog going so long. Thank you to everyone that has read the one thousand posts as well!

New Year. Means new challenges, new books, new projects and new resolutions.

Eating.

 

Trisha Ashley has a new novel coming up in 2017 and this blog will be part of the tour. As you may or may not know, I am a big fan of her stories and really looking forward to reading this. 

Hundred is the number of books I am aiming for in 2017.

One hundred and one books read in 2016. Apparently that is 31,198 pages. There will a Books of 2016 post coming up soon.

Unfinished craft projects. I have a number and I need to get some finished, if only to find some space back in my house.

Swimming continues. I have gone from twice a week to three times, as I really was not enjoying one of the other exercise classes.

A few changes to the blog are in order. I have got rid of a few of the pages at the top, in terms of keeping lists of authors and their works. It was becoming too time consuming and I was never going to keep on top of it all and there had to be a line drawn so this was one of them.

Nine Hundred and Ninety Posts have gone before!

Deborah Burrows new book Ambulance Girls  is published on 23 February and I am part of this blog tour as well. 

 

December Roundup

That is it then December 2106 reading complete and the year complete as well. It has been relatively quiet on here in the last couple of months. Whilst I have been around and I have been reading I have had a few bad blogging weeks, I was not feeling the love and nor did I have the time to dedicate to reviewing and posting about the books I have been reading.

I have been reading and a lot of it if the total count for December is anything to go by. I stuck with the Christmas theme which I think I started way back in September!

Liz Fenwick – A Cornish Christmas Carol was a modern take on a classic and it reminded me I have more of Liz Fenwick’s excellent books to catch up with.

I discovered Heidi Swain during the year and when I spotted – Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market I knew I wanted to read it and it would be a cracking book to settle down to at Christmas. I was not disappointed. I must get round to getting her first novel so I am all up to date.

I have read little by Milly Johnson when I go back and look on my Goodreads list, A Winter Flame had been languishing on my shelf for a while and I needed some comfort reading and this was certainly it. Found another author with a fairly good back catalogue to catch up on.

Tilly Tennant is another an author who I discovered in 2016. Once Upon a Winter is the whole book of four shorter stories which interlink and also with a bonus. Not as strong perhaps as her Honeybourne series that I have started, but passable nonetheless.

Now know I say this every time I do it, but I seem to keep falling into series of books. Where the story is released in parts – I blame netgalley on the whole as they are the ones who normally spike my interest. Which is how I got to Sheila Norton – The Vets at Hope Green and read the first of the The Reading Group Series Della Parker – The Reading Group: December. I certainly want to read more from Sheila Norton, but I am not sure about Della Parker. I was not connecting with the characters quick enough to be drawn into their lives. Perhaps I will see what the third book turns out like.

More new authors continued with Penny Parkes – Out of Practice full of doctors, passion and heartache all set in a village. What more could you want?

More great stories! Tracy Rees – Florence Grace was a wonderful story, full of windswept moors, and a society of a long time ago. Historical fiction is something I must read more of.

Jill Mansell – Meet me at Beachcomber Bay takes us back to Cornwall in her new novel. This was a real refreshing read and I felt it was different from some of her previous books I have read.

The last book of 2016 is another new one Paula Daly – The Trophy Child. Was not sure if I was in the mood for a thriller, after reading all this nice cosy fiction. Turns out I was. It kept me hooked and will be one to watch in 2017.

So that is it for 2016. I need to review my year of reading, I need to decide on what my challenges will be for 2017 if any and which way the blog perhaps needs to go.

In the meantime….. Happy New Year.

Florence Grace – Tracy Rees

Florrie Buckley knows she was loved and adored by her mother and her father. Being brought up on the wild moors of Cornwall, she knows the importance of nature. She knows the importance at listening to what the spirits are telling you and where they are guiding you and that perhaps whilst it might not be convention it is the way to lead your life.

That is until Florrie Buckley learns something about her past.

Florrie is in fact related to the ‘Grace’ family and she is in fact the grand-daughter of Hawker Grace who is determined to make sure the Graces are well-known in london society and the people who everyone wants to know and be seen with.

This comes with restrictions. The wild life that Florrie led is cut short.

She is to be Florence, to be in London far away from open spaces, not to walk barefoot through the grass and to be accompanied at all times, with no chance of an independent opinion.

This is a book to escape into, I learnt much about Florence as she fought against her way within the Grace family and the story whilst some might say meanders or is slow is actually building, as you lose yourself completely with what is going to happen to Florence.

I cared little for the Graces and quite frankly thought they were self-centred snobs with no regard for anyone else apart from themselves. Florence by the end teaches them something, but it is too late for some of the Graces. Florence learned to keep her counsel, because she knew that her life was never meant to be in London. Cornwall was calling her back, despite the distractions and attractions that were turning her head.

Set in Victorian England, this book reminded me less of Victorian gothic writers and more of a story which had a Catherine Cookson element to it. Wild barefoot uncontrollable girl, not after a better life, but one is thrust upon her, when all she wants is to be wild and free again. Will that happen?

Historical Romantic fiction if it has to be pigeonholed but a thoroughly good story which left me wanting to read more and reminds me of why I like such genres.

As a second book, sometimes authors can miss the target, especially when you have had a success with the first, Amy Snow and had it endorsed by the likes of Richard and Judy. But actually I think this book far exceeds the first and I loved that one!

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read thi novel. 

Tracy Rees third novel is out in 2017. 

The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland – Julia Stuart

I have always enjoyed the quirkiness of Julia Stuart’s books, and whilst it is a long time since I have read any, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to read this her latest novel.

Brodie McBride is a pearl fisher, in fact he is the last in Scotland. All his life he has been doing this and collecting perfect pearls to complete a piece of jewellery for his wife.

Once it is complete, he will know that their marriage will survive anything. Until that point, Brodie frets.

But being the last at something, means he has been left behind. And so therefore has his wife Elspeth and their daughter Maggie. All Elspeth wants is to be able to protect her daughter and afford a prosthetic arm for her to make up for what she has had to put up with.

All Maggie wants is to make sure her parents are together. Anything else would not be right. She has to take matters into her own hands.

That is when it all unravels for Brodie.

The author creates another world, which whilst it is based in reality, in time and place and this book certainly is more than her others. There is another “other” world about it. All of the characters are crafted and the interact just as if you were eavesdropping on them.

I felt for Maggie and could see her desperation in what she was trying to achieve, I could see why Elspeth wanted something else and how Brodie seem to have hit rock bottom when he had to stop pearl fishing.

The emotion of the story and the characters draws you right into the plot and it was a book where I was not really sure where it could go, a beauty of Julia Stuart’s writing.

Quirky, funny and emotional all wrapped up between the pages of book.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this book. 

 

A Cornish Christmas Carol – Liz Fenwick

I think The Christmas Carol, synonymous of Charles Dickens is a well-known story and one that I can read again and again at this time of year. Liz Fenwick has taken the premise, the structure and the approach and given it a Cornish twist in this her short story.

Abigail is avoiding Christmas at all costs, she has done it before she can do it again and she can avoid a Cornish Christmas which were the ones she loved the most when she was a child.

Trouble is the journalist she was sending to Cornwall to cover the carols there is forbidden to fly due to her pregnancy, there is no one else to go apart from Abigail. She has to go.

She has to confront everything she has left behind in her drive to get to the top of her profession, but with this trip to Cornwall she is in fact going back to basics and back to the very beginning and she is going to confront everything that Scrooge had to face.

Will Abigail discover herself again? Or will she drive through everyone and still come out on top?

Within the pages of this short story, the author has you guessing about the past of Abigail, as you try and fit all the pieces together that form herbackground. Anyone that can do that, give you characters to love and hate in equal measure, as well as bring the Cornish countryside to life is on to a winner as a storyteller.

Read this and experience Liz Fenwick’s wonderful storytelling and I also promise it will make you want to go back and read Dickens’ version as well. Always difficult to base a tale on something so well-known but the author pulls it off here with aplomb.

A Cornish Christmas Carol is out now.