Tremarnock Summer – Emma Burstall

I noticed that another book from Emma Burstall about Tremarnock was out soon and it prompted me to get ahead of the game or catch up – whichever way you want to look at it by reading the third novel in this superb series.

Having not visited since last year, I soon caught up with all the regular characters, Liz and her daughter Rosie. Rosie is growing up and realising that perhaps she will always be different from others. She seeks an unlikely friendship with Rafael who arrives in the village and seems to be the cause of a lot of problems.

But could he simply just be an outsider being blamed for all the strange goings on? Quite possibly.

Two new outsiders to the village come in Bramble and Katie. Bramble unexpectedly inherits Polgarry Manor from her grandfather. A man she was told was miserable, unpleasant and treated his family poorly. Not it seems if Bramble inherits this old, tumbling down manor house and the resident, housekeeper, Maria who has a touch of the Mrs Danvers about her. It seems Bramble has a lot to learn about the house, the village, its residents and her grandfather.

She sets about to see if perhaps she wants to stay this far away from London and make something of her life. But it is not going to be easy and alienating some of the locals is perhaps not the way to go about it.

Of course the book is touched with humour and romance. However there was some sadness and it showed me how invested in the characters, the book and the author I have become since reading the first in the series: Tremarnock

You do not have to have read the previous two novels in this series to enjoy this book, however why deny yourself two very good reads before you get to this one!

I was interested to see the outcome for Bramble, it was not what I thought, I had her going down a completely different path! I was a little bit frustrated that perhaps some people did not get their comeuppance and am still worrying about some who are still in need of their happy ending. Of course that could all be in book four and so I am ready to read it..though I have a few months to wait.

The first 3 books in the Tremarnock Series are out now. 



Spring on the Little Cornish Isles: The Flower Farm – Phillipa Ashley

I first went to those little Cornish Isle and met Maisie and all at The Driftwood Inn in the first in this series of books. Maisie’s friend Jess worked on the flower farm with her brother Will and this book is all about them. You do get to catch up with Maisie, so it was good to know she was doing okay, but this is the story of Jess and Will.

Jess and Will wanted to escape the islands, they had plans but when their father left and left their mother with them, twins and a flower farm, a busy flower farm they had to put all their dreams on hold.

But it looks like some dreams are coming true, especially for Jess. Things are going well with her boyfriend Adam and it is reassuring to know that love can be found on these small islands.

However Adam receives some news. News that he does not tell anyone about and soon Jess is wondering if she knew the man she had started to fall in love with.

Will on the other hand, doesn’t believe in such love nonsense, that is until he meets his match when Gaby a temporary worker comes to the flower farm.

Gaby is fulfilling a dream and hiding all at the same time and whilst to some she seems stuck, being at the flower farm is just the stepping stone to bigger things – trouble is a relationship with Will might not be big enough.

This book allowed me to escape to another place and the idea of a flower farm, was created as an idyll, an idyll that was a lot of hard work and long days to enable flowers to reach the mainland. Somehow it was this which kept Jess and Will strong and only allowed in those who could cope with it all.

I enjoy Phillipa Ashley’s novels, she writes with such warmth, that it feels that I am transported to wherever she wants to take me and I become part of the story which is why I can read her books so quickly. The only downside being I then have to wait ages for the next one! I either need to read slower or Phillipa needs to write quicker!

For anyone that enjoys Holly Hepburn or Cathy Bramley then you will enjoy this series of books as well as The Cornish Cafe Trilogy.

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

Spring on the Little Cornish Isles is out now.


Hetty’s Farmhouse Bakery – Cathy Bramley

Hetty has reached a point in her life when she thinks she might want more.

She still wants what she has, Dan her hardworking farmer husband, Poppy her bright and energetic daughter, her best friend Anna there to listen to all of her woes as well as all the people she bakes pies for. But Hetty feels that she has not made an impact on the world – just on her little inner circle and doubt has set in as to whether she has actually achieved anything as Hetty Greengrass and not as a mother, wife or friend.

Hetty has done nothing other than work at the sheep farm, apart from a short sojourn of working in a Cornish pasty shop when her life suddenly changed for a while, meant she learnt the art of pastry but brought back to Cumbria to the man she loves, she simply continued that by baking the best pies – or so everyone says,

When she gets the chance to enter one of these pies into a local competition it throws Hetty into the spotlight and all of a sudden those around her are left in the background. Poppy is thrilled for her mother, but Dan does not understand why Hetty cannot be fulfilled with what she has.

Throwing caution to the wind, Hetty goes forth with her pies and faces from the past suddenly appear and questions that need answering. However tragedy strikes at home and everything pie related is but on hold as the tragedy starts a chain of events which changes lives.

I could see it coming and this is no reflection on Cathy Bramley’s writing or plotting. The book is well written and you could see that the author has reflected on all the characters and the effect the tragedy would have on them. This was not simply about one person’s issues and the rest of the characters faded into the background you got the full effect and you almost had to decide what you would perhaps do in that situation?

This book took me on a rollercoaster of emotions as I almost wanted to scream at Dan for his chauvinistic pig headedness and but then felt for him so much later on in the book. Poppy has so much determination it was great to see a young girl portrayed as such and not one which was simply a whiny hormonal mess – although that might be to come. I could mention more but  then that would spoil the book for you – go read it.

A book that you can curl up with and lose yourself into a throughly good read – like a pie baked to perfection!

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

Hetty’s Farmhouse Bakery is out on 22 March



The House of Hopes and Dreams – Trisha Ashley

Welcome to the latest novel from Trisha Ashley, being luckily enough to receive it for review, I got stuck straight in. I didn’t even look at the blurb on the back to see what I was going to be reading about as I knew it didn’t matter as I would instantly be involved in the story.

And so I was.

Carey is recovering from a serious cycle accident, he has lost his job, his girlfriend and is very much down on his luck and feeling sorry for himself. When he unexpectedly is left a house , in fact his ancestral house, Mossby he decides that perhaps this is the change he needs.

Angel is an artist, a stained glass artist and has been happy in her workshop creating pieces of work alongside her partner Julian. When tragedy strikes for a second time, Angel is left without a home, money or even a workshop to earn money in she is cast adrift.

Carey knows Angel is the woman he needs to help with the rather unique pieces of stained glass windows in the house which also have a story to tell, Carey finds her a roof to seek sanctuary under both to live and to work.

Perhaps being involved in restoring and creating a home, both Carey and Angel will start to restore and create something better in their lives.

This story has it all, different plot line, characters to equally love and despise. Within the first few moments of meeting Nat, Julian’s son and his girlfriend I had the measure of them and seethed quietly about their actions as I watched Angel struggle to come to terms with so much in a short space of time.

Add into the mix, Clem the Mossby gardener and Ella who has an obsession with only cleaning the wood panelling in one part of the house. Molly and her modern meals on wheels, as well as Nick the tv producer wanting to capture it all on film for posterity (and money). This book has a lot going on and I learnt about the stained glass process in a lot of interesting detail which did not come across as a dry textbook information; rather from someone who had hands on experience or at least thoroughly researched.

This book has everything you might want in a book, romance, death, big houses, dogs, cake, quirky characters, history and laughs. Not sure you could ask for more really?

A favourite of mine for 2018 and it’s only February, I could in fact go back to the beginning and read the whole thing again!

Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read this book. 

The House of Hopes and Dreams is out on 8 March 2018.


Best Practice – Penny Parkes

I have been with the Doctors of this Larkford practice since the beginning and I have been lucky enough to get another appointment with them all.

Dr Holly Graham was the new girl on the block but is now firmly settled in and has struck up a wonderful relationship with fellow doctor Taffy Jones. It looks like their lives are about to change forever though and maybe a large wedding is not what they need?

Taffy’s sidekick for so long has been Dr Dan Carter, forever challenging each other to silly games and pranks to betting on what ailments patients may suffer from. Dan needs to face up to one challenge – his feelings for practice manager Grace. However, Grace has other ideas.

Dr Alice Walker is still feeling very much the new girl, she is a good doctor but she has to also deal with her own health issues and her assistance dog Coco looks like he may be required elsewhere. So how will Alice spend her time and will she let anyone get close to her.

However underneath the black humour, there lies a massive caring heart in the Larkford Practice. With local rural facilities threatened due to politics, men in suits and people with no heart, the doctors along with the residents set to make a difference and raise some money.

I have said in previous reviews about the strong sense of community reflected in this series of novels and that is paramount in this novel. There is a common cause that draws everyone out and we get to see some of the more eccentric residents, such as Elsie who features in all the books. If you want a mad bad lady aging disgracefully then Elsie is your woman!

I am sure there is plenty that could be written about the Larkford community, new characters introduced in this novel, mean that perhaps there is room for another book. An enjoyable read which contains real issues affecting local GP’s across the country that we can see reflected in today’s newspapers. That doesn’t make the book in anyway a political one, just a book with strong writing, characters and a good cause!

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

Best Practice is out now along with the rest of the Larkford series, I suggest you start from the beginning.


Spring at Lavender Bay – Sarah Bennett

Sarah Bennett who delighted me and many others with her Butterfly Cove series is back with Spring at Lavender Bay, the first in another trilogy.

In this first book of course we meet all the characters that we are going to grow to love and possibly hate in the coming pages and subsequent books.

Beth returns to Lavender Bay when she discovers that the woman who brought her up has in fact left her a shop – not any old shop but an Emporium. Having not really left much of a life back in London, Beth stays for a while in Lavender Bay and it brings her closer to her old friends.

Libby still helping her father in the local fish and chip shop and not having grown out her dark hair and dark clothes is glad to see Beth back as she now sees what sort of life she could have had if she had left Lavender By.

Eliza has moved away to be with her husband and she doesn’t come back home too often, but when she does all three girls get together. But it looks like Eliza is going to move even further away from Lavender Bay.

Of course this book has romance, and that is provided by Eliza’s brother Sam. A chef. And a man who has a caring streak which simply jumps off the page as you read about him. Sam is also back home, because his father is ill and needs to take things easy. He has left behind a prosperous career to come back to the pub he knows as home. Sometimes it is nice to come home but you still need aspirations and when Sam meets up again with Beth, he realises that perhaps what he can achieve is actually in Lavender Bay.

Plenty happens in this book and just when you think everything is going well, there’s a twist and it is almost like everyone has to start again.

Sarah Bennett manages to weave a story with warmth, humour, love and a sense of community and brings to life a fictitious place as if I could pop down to Lavender Bay to breathe the sea air and perhaps wander into the Emporium before popping to the local pub for a swoon over the hunky barman and chef!

I look forward to my return to Lavender Bay in the Summer.

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

Spring at Lavender Bay is out now


Books · Jottings

February Roundup

I don’t know about you – but I have so many books to read that sometimes I find myself just staring what I have on my actual shelves as well as on my virtual ones too and actually not getting much reading done.

When I am reading, it is a few pages at night and then my eyes close….zzzzzzz. Too much television watching I think. However some of the programmes that always race the beginning of the year are not finishing and that means I go to bed earlier, keep warm with a good book instead.

So in February I have been everywhere reading wise and the thing I can say about every book I have read is that I have enjoyed them all.

Being part of the Lynda Page – All the Fun of the Fair blog tour meant I could pick up a book by an author I have never read before and start at the beginning of a very interesting series of books about a travelling fair. This is historical saga writing at its best and a genre I love to read.

Of course I always love to read authors that I know are going to deliver on their books a simply great story and that was the case with the latest from Trisha Ashley – The House of Hopes and Dreams I am convinced her stories get better and better and I only have two of her back catalogue to catch up on now. Trouble is I will have to wait an age for a new book but in the meantime I got down to the seaside

Sarah Bennett – Spring at Lavender Bay is the first in a new trilogy and this will keep me busy throughout the year no doubt! When the weather is grey and the days short there is nothing better than reading sunshine with books like Sarah’s.

Of course in winter all you want to do is eat comfort food and what better than a homemade pie and my mouth was watering while reading Cathy Bramley – Hetty’s Farmhouse Bakery. I really enjoy Cathy’s novels but I have to read them as a whole and not in parts, as I like to immerse myself int he storyline.

I balanced out all of this nice sunshine and romantic notions with Robert Galbraith – Career of Evil, the third book in the series so far. I wanted to read it before the third television programme was broadcast. I had a week to do it and because of the excellent writing and plotting, despite the gruesomeness of the story I finished it with 48 hours to spare! I hope I do not have to wait too long before the next one is published as I love Cormoran and Robin – such a wonderful dynamic.

Short amount of books for the shortest month of the year and doing nothing to the years overall total – but I am enjoying my book choices and I hope you enjoy reading about some of them on this blog.