Books

A Spring Affair: Willow Cottage – Bella Osborne

I was so excited to be able to read the next part in Beth and Leo’s story. I have grown to care for Beth and Leo and only want what is best for them especially as in this book we find more about what Beth is running from and why.

The cottage is really starting to take shape and trying to save money, Beth is determined to do as much as she can on her own. Even though Jack has helped she realises that she is getting too close to him especially when she learns something about his past. Bella puts two and two together and sadly makes five, and it is this which sets her on a path to alienate herself from everyone again. She is not planning on staying at Willow Cottage for long and it seems she may have to move quicker than she first thought.

When a rain-soaked day ends up with her kitchen flooded, she has no choice but to turn to Jack.

In this part we see more of Carly and her boyfriend, Fergus which was great as it added more depth to the book. Of course Carly and Fergus knew little of what Beth was running away from but as they learn so do we. As backgrounds are filled in on the characters as the story progresses it made me want to keep reading but now I will have to wait for the final part.

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

Willow Cottage : A Spring Affair is out on 23rd March.  The final part is due out in May with the complete book out in August. 

 

 

Books

Sunrise at Butterfly Cove – Sarah Bennett

Attracted by the cover and nothing more really, I picked this book up. Not knowing what I was going to get, after having read some rather weaker women’s fiction I was a bit wary with this choice.

Within the first couple of pages, all doubts were thrown away as I settled into this wonderful novel. Right from the beginning you are swept up into Mia’s life.

Mia is heartbroken, her future was taken away from her when her husband died. She has not moved on in any way apart from doing one thing, buying a run down guest house by the sea and singlehandedly renovating it. Whilst not quite estranged from her family they have taken other paths and routes through life and Mia has now distanced herself from them all.

The only family she has is Madeline and Richard, local residents at Butterfly Cove who have taken her under their wing and been helping with the house.

That is until Madeline stumbles upon Daniel Fitzwilliam, newly arrived from London and looking for a place to stay. Madeline just knows the prefect guesthouse for him.

Trouble is the guesthouse is not finished and Mia is not looking for any guests yet.

Daniel is running from something and seems hurt by the actions and decisions he has made.

A friendship begins to develop and they both recognise something in each other and slowly a healing process takes place.

As relationships heal, move forward so does the renovations on the guest house and it becomes very much a feature of both Mia and Daniel. The future is held within the walls, decorations, colours and the photographs.

Whilst you could say it was inevitable what was going to happen, I think the story has a lot more depth to it and a lot of raw emotion and love is contained in the short amount of pages than can be found wanting in some much longer novels. It is this which kept me reading, kept me awake to see the guest house develop, to see Mia grow stronger, to see Daniel forget his past and for everything to come together. All the characters are fully developed and this is what makes it a real strong story.

And the best bit of the novel – this is in fact the first in a trilogy. Which means I can go back and visit Butterfly Cove.

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

Sunrise at Butterfly Cove is out now. 

Books

The Cosy Coffee Shop of Promsies – Kellie Hailes

There is quite a lot packed into this novel and it is relatively short at only 155 pages.

Mel is living her dream of settling in one place and running a coffee shop and she does not need a man to make her life fulfilled and complete.

That is until she goes into the local pub and sees a brand new sparkling coffee machine.

Tony is trying to do anything that he can to save the pub, that is his main focus. The women seem to never stick around in his world. The pub has become the other woman.

Mel is prepared to do battle with Tony.

Promises are made, but they are heavily weighted one way. With the imminent arrival of her mother who is seeking for the right one, Mel needs a fiance and needs one quick.

A deal is struck, but will emotions and feelings remain out of it?

I enjoyed this novel, it was a very light read. However, I did skim read some of it because it had a predictability about it, not much was gripping me. I think what was missing from this novel was the secondary stories from some of the other characters. It’s total focus was Mel and Tony and I felt that they would have been given more depth if we had some sort of interaction with other characters and their lives. Even Mel’s mother is not very two-dimensional.

A light read for when you need something to enjoy but perhaps not get swept up in.

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

The Cosy Coffee Shop of Promises is out now on kindle. 

Books

February Roundup

It being a short month, February I have been reading shorter stories. Mainly because they have been available for me to read through netgalley and I have to confess to being rather requesting happy and now I need do some serious reading in the coming months.

I caught up with Shelia Norton – The Vets at Hope Green: Follow Your Heart which was part two of this serialised novel. Because I have started the novel this way, I will finish it this way.

Same applies to Bella Osborne – A Spring Affair: Willow Cottage this was the third part, so there is only one more to go before I have finished this story.

Obviously I prefer reading full novels and when I was given the opportunity to read Trisha Ashley – The Little Teashop of Lost and Found. I think it is the longest novel by far that she has written and it is definitely one of my favourite of the year and one of my favourite’s of hers. This is a book which you can disappear into and not come out of for ages!

Another of my favourite books so far this year is Jennifer Ryan – The Chilbury Ladies Choir, beautifully told through letters, notices and diary entries about the Second World War. This is an excellent debut novel and I thoroughly recommend it.

Of course when you choose books from netgalley, you are not always sure what you are getting and whether it will be a good book or not. I thought T.P. Fielden – The Riviera Express was going to be in the vain of a golden-age murder mystery story. But it did not work for me at all, I think it was the prose that jarred when reading it. Shame and the reason I finished it was I had to know who the perpetrator was.

Kellie Hailes – The Cosy Coffee Shop of Promises was a passable diversion but not a very strong example of women’s fiction. Predictable but the characters were not very well-formed and I could not connect with them. There are better novels out there.

An example of a better novel is Sarah Bennett – The Sunrise at Butterfly Cove. I was hooked immediately, I cared about the characters, I shed tears and wished for a happy ending. And it is great that I can go back to these characters and the setting as this is the first in a trilogy. Whilst it was a relatively short read, there is much packed into the pages it felt much longer.

I end the month with two books on the go, catching up with another one from netgalley as well as continuing the wonderful stories of Sidney Chambers.

Books

The Vets at Hope Green – Shelia Norton

I have started another four part serialised novel and this time I am taken from city to country with Sam.

Her life as a receptionist in the city vets is okay but she wants more, she secretly would love to be a vet. But it has always been out of her reach. Sam seems to always be broke and lives in a poky flat and rarely gets any fresh air. Arguing with her boyfriends seems to be the norm and he isn’t that interested n the future either.

When she gets the opportunity to go and visit her Nana, she jumps at the chance to take stock of her life.

Staying with her Nan, she grows fond of the old dog Rufus who has given her Nan meaning and purpose since her husband died. It seems that Sam has arrived at the right time, to help with Rufus.

It is through this that she meets Joe, the local vet. He seems to have a great affinity with animals but his skills with dealing with humans is rather lacking. Sam and Joe clash.

But the Sam receives some news, which might mean she needs to return to London.

Back in London, Sam realises that life is not for her there. Her boyfriend is less than supporting and she realises how much she misses the countryside and the love that her Nana gives her, so unconditionally,.

Trouble is her Nana seems to have not been herself.

Step forward Sam and a little stray cat called Ebony. Sam has an idea which will solve not just some of her problems but her Nana’s as well.

However she has to encounter Joe again in and it seems that her skills as a receptionist could well be put to good use, for a while anyway as Sam has left  London with something else not just a little black cat.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read these novellas, I look forward to the next two parts. 

Part One is out now and Part Two is published (for kindle) on 16 Feb. Parts Three and Four in March and April resepctively. 

If you want to wait until June, then you can read the novel as a whole – still in my opinion they best way to enjoy any story. 

Books

Books in 2016

I am probably a bit late in looking back at my books of 2016 but it is still January.

I read 101 books and therefore I completed my challenge on Goodreads and go forth with 100 in 2017.

So with thanks to Goodreads – 101 books equates to 31,182 pages. The longest at 683 pages, the shortest at 17!

Never mind the statistics – what about the books.

The Storm Sister – Lucinda Riley. I have the third in The Seven Sisters series to read and I am putting it off, because I know I will love it so much – how peculiar! It is by my bed waiting I promise.

The Ballroom – Anna Hope is a beautifully written book. And with it also being her second novel, she creates something wonderful in this story. I recommend it.

I think 2016 was a year of reading basically what I wanted, with little thought to what I should have been reading and certainly reviewing. That is why I iindulged in some “family saga” novels. Rosie Goodwin is an example of this and I had to indulge in all of Dilly’s story from beginning to end. Dilly’s Sacrifice, Dilly’s Lass and Dilly’s Hope complete the trilogy.

I seem to return to a lot of places in 2016. Early in the year there was Helen Pollard – The Little French Guesthouse, followed by its return. I spent the whole year on and off with Holly Hepburn – At The Star and Sixpence. Tilly Tennant introduced me to The Little Village Bakery and I got to spend Christmas with them too. Then Phillipa Ashley and I were at Summer at the Cornish Cafe and I spent Christmas there as well.

I caught up with Cathy Bramley at the Plumberry School of Comfort Food and was delighted to share Christmas Dinner with them too in Comfort and Joy. I shared Christmas with Holly Martin under a Cranberry Sky and a Starlit Sky. I was back in Tindledale for The Secret of Orchard Cottage and again with them at Christmas with Not Just for Christmas.

Wynbridge was the place that Heidi Swain brought to life in Summer at Skylark Farm and again I went back at Christmas with Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market. I did the same with Bella Osborne and Willow Cottage as well.

What is wonderfully comforting about these books is it feels like you are going back to old friends when you pick up the books. Getting a glimpse into their lives.

Of course there are other authors and characters I have revisited. I love Mirabelle Bevan and caught up with these tales and waiting patiently for the next. I am behind with the delightful Flavia de Luce so I have more of them to catch up on which is great. I am also all up to date with The Little Village School series by Gervase Phinn.

I spent a lot of time I think this year, devouring book after book because I wanted to know what happened next and I did not want to leave the characters behind.

Of course there were new books to consider, ones that were different from what I normally read, there was looking back a lot less thrillers in 2016. The ones worthy of a mention are Lissa Evans – Crooked Heart, Cath Staincliffe – The Silence Between Breaths, Kate Williams – The Storms of War, Anthony Horowitz – The Magpie Murders and Tracy Rees – Florence Grace.

I do not have a favourite book of the year, I enjoyed them all for different reasons  as they provided joy, sadness and tears all at the right time. I think that is the best way to enjoy reading and I aim to continue doing exactly that in 2017.

 

 

Books

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.