Books

The Beachside Flower Stall – Karen Clarke

The Beachside Flower Stall sees the author returning to Beachside Bay, which she introduced us to in her first novel The Beachside Sweet Shop. Instead of sweets to indulge ourselves in it is flowers!

Carrie returns to help Ruby, her aunt with her flower stall whilst she is feeling a bit blue. Carrie is totally out of her comfort zone with flowers being an accountant she much prefers figures. But with nothing else to do it seems that it is the best option.

Carrie is not only launched into running a flower stall without any help as Ruby’s assistant Jane decides she needs to do something to bring her marriage back to life immediately, she also agrees to provide flowers for a local wedding.

However, the wedding might be a problem. It is between her schoolgirl crush, Tom and her one time friend Megan. She escaped from them before, will she have to do it again?

Can Carrie put the past behind her? Can she interfere in Ruby’s past successfully? Or will it all be a disaster?

This is a book with wonderful laugh out loud moments, not least from some of the situations Carrie finds herself in. With plenty of heart warming moments too this book has it all for a satisfying read.

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

The Beachside Flower Stall is out now. 

You can read more about the first in the Beachside Bay series, The Beachside Sweet Shop here

 

 

 

Books

Confetti at the Cornish Cafe – Phillipa Ashley

Just over a year ago I as introduced to Penwith and to Cal and Demi, in the first of this trilogy. I returned there at Christmas and I was more than thrilled to complete their story with the last of the trilogy Confetti at the Cornish Cafe.

First off I need to say that you really must go back and read books one and two before you start on this one. There is enough to reference back so you get a sense of the characters and the journey they have been on. You can read it without the history of the other two, but I feel that you will not get full enjoyment out of the book as you could. Satisfying the author does not simply regurgitate the previous two books so you get a sense of place, she simply refers concisely and succinctly.

With Kilhallon Resort expanding and find its feet as a unique destination for a break and some escapism. Demelza’s the on site cafe which is also open to locals who wish to walk past and experience the atmosphere, the views and of course the cakes is going to be the place to be seen if you are anyone that is anyone!

Demelza’s and Kilhallon is going to be a wedding venue, for a not so secret wedding. Of course they can cope, Cal and Demi can turn their hands to anything, as Demi tells the happy couple. It seems that to satisfy the bride and groom they are going to have to pull out all the stops to make sure it does not leave the wrong impression.

Of course you know it is not going to run smoothly and not everything is going to come up smelling of roses, in fact the opposite as it seems there are quite a few more people involved in this wedding as well as the bride and groom and they all want different outcomes.

Cal and Demi have some difficult times ahead, and whilst trying to manage all of this they are both trying to find a place and purpose in life and they are both not sure if it is together.

Surely organising a wedding can make them see something?

The third and final book of this trilogy is as good as the previous two and I am going to miss reading about how Kilhallon Resort is developing and of course Demi, Cal and the ensemble supporting cast who have made these books a thoroughly good read.

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

Confetti at the Cornish Cafe is out now. 

You can catch my reviews of the first two novels here and here

Books

May Roundup

I have to say that May has been the month of the kindle only two of the eight have been actual books I can hold in my hand. The rest have been ebooks downloaded from netgalley to get ahead of the reviewing game and enjoy some really good books.

So as well catching up with netgalley requests, I found myself going back to something familiar and picked up the next book I have not read in the Agatha Raisin series, M.C. Beaton – Agatha Raisin and a Spoonful of Poison. I am still a few behind in this series, so I know I have some back up reading whenever I need it.

I also caught up with Fern Britton – A Good Catch, which was different from her more community focused novel as this was very much about getting the right man at whatever cost.

I have to confess to reading a lot of women’s fiction this month, but felt I needed a bit more of a thrill and that is why I picked up the current B.A. Paris – The Breakdown. A second novel which was as gripping and thought-provoking as the first. What would you do?

Sometimes it is nice to know the author that you are reading, not necessarily personally but the familiarity of the writing. although in this case I have seen the author speak. Emylia Hall – The Thousand Lights Hotel is her latest novel and takes you away to Italy, to another life and what you are searching for. Beautiful!

I have finally finished the Willow Cottage series of books, which was released initially in four parts. Bella Osborne – Summer Delights: Willow Cottage, publishing series of books seems to be very popular I do much prefer reading the whole novel. That way I can really absorb myself in the book.

Finishing a series of books is always good,because all the loose ends and unknowns are cleared up and there is enough unknowns left for you to know that their stories will go on long after the author has stopped writing and we have stopped reading them. Therefore I was excited to return to Penwith and Phillipa Ashley – Confetti at the Cornish Cafe. The final part of the trilogy does all the things I have mentioned and it was great to catch up with all the characters.

Quite a lot of my reading seems to be books that are set in Cornwall and that was no different with Liz Eeles – Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea. A debut novel which managed to give you a character you could love to hate. I look forward to seeing what else this author writes.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I do take part in many crafts, one of the most popular is paper crafting which is something I have never really got into, but I know many that have. Despite that I was drawn to the new novel, Carole Matthews – Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses which had so much packed into it, it was another novel which I couldn’t be torn away from.

How was your May? I hope you enjoyed what you were reading, is it moving towards a more summery feel?

Books

Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea – Liz Eeles

How can you become so irritated by a character that it actually keeps you reading a novel. This was the case when I picked up this novel and started to get to know Annie Trebarwith.

She has no ties at all, no family although she is clearly still very much grieving for her mother, she thinks she is a free spirit and has no need to need to be tied down to anything or anyone.

A letter arrives, inviting her to her family home, to her great-aunt Alice who she never knew existed. With nothing else to do, whilst being between jobs and between men, Annie makes the trip down to Cornwall.

Annie arrives in a place she think as the back of beyond, with no phone signal and certainly no vibrant night life. She arrives into a community. Something Annie has no experience of whatsoever and she finds the thought of it frightening and curious in equal measure.

As the health of her great-aunt is somewhat precarious, Annie decides that she will stay on a bit longer to be able to perhaps help. To keep her occupied, she does in fact embrace community life by becoming involved in the reboot of the local choir. Its past tainted with tragedy.

But as finds out going over past events can sometimes to reveal some skeletons which are perhaps best kept hidden. Annie goes from being a unlikeable character to one that has time to take stock, to reflect and question everything she has been told and what she believes.

Annie finds much more by the sea than an aging aunt and a quiet life.

This is an excellent debut novel and a story which captures you and takes you on a journey. There was some predictability to perhaps one part of the story for me, but that was only a minor part as I was swept away with the weather, the scenery and the music of the choir.

I look forward to returning to hear the choir sing again by the sea.

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


Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea is out now. 

 

 

Books

Willow Cottage: Summer Delights – Bella Osborne

Here I am at the final part of the Willow Cottage series. I was hooked from the start and rather impatient to keep reading what was happening next, because of the breaks but at last I can find out what happens to Beth, Leo, Jack, Carly and Fergus.

Things were looking up for the main characters towards the end of the part three, but here we open the conclusion not knowing what is going to happen.

Willow Cottage despite the many teething problems seems to have affected Beth and Leo much more than they thought and it takes Jack to rescue them from it all. But no matter what Jack does, he cannot seem to do it right and it is with heavy heart that Beth puts the cottage on the market.

She is still running away to protect her son, Leo but more importantly herself. Trouble is her friend Carly decides that she wants Beth help in getting married within weeks. Running away now suddenly does not become an option for Beth.

As everything comes together the past rears its ugly head and has some surprising effects on many of the village residents. It is time to make some decisions and take a risk and make some happy ever afters!

This is a lovely escapist novel and with some perhaps surprising turns within the story it still finished with all the ends tied up and lovely heartwarming feeling.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book and finish off the series for me. 

Escape to Willow Cottage which is all four parts together is out in August and the best way to read the book in my opinion. 

You can read reviews of 

Part One

Part Two

Part Three 

Books

A Talent for Murder – Andrew Wilson

No one knows the truth about Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance in 1926. We can all surmise from what we do know, but what we don’t know we can perhaps weave a story around. This is exactly what Andrew Wilson has done in this exciting novel, a must for all Christie fans.

In a strange turn of events it is Christie who has to contemplate murder rather than write about it in her popular growing novels. Can she actually commit a crime?

The majority of the novel is told from Agatha’s point of view, we learn of the effect the loss of her mother has had on her, the breakdown of her marriage and the devotion to her child. Is it these things that could possibly drive her to commit a murder?

The rest of the novel’s narrative is told in a different way and we see an outsider trying to use the mysterious disappearance to further her career. Using methodology that would not look out of place in any of the Poirot and Marple books it seems that perhaps someone has inadvertently stumbled upon the true reason for the disappearance. Can the truth be revealed before it is too late?

Of course in true Christie style with perhaps a slightly more darker graphic side to events not normally found in her novels, the truth is revealed which will perhaps shock readers. But then did you see what was happening, did you spot the red herrings, the obvious clues. No? I didn’t and that is probably what makes this a very clever novel.

We will never know the true story of those ten days of disappearance in 1926. Not even Christie herself refers to them. But a theory or a possibility that it might not have been all that it seems, gives you an excellent start to a story.

If you are a fan of Golden Age Murder or of Christie herself this makes an excellent read as it celebrates what is at the core of Christie’s novels and how they still work years after they were published and are as popular today as then.

A Talent for Murder is published on the 18 May. 

 

 

 

Books

The Forever House – Veronica Henry

We are all dreaming of finding ‘the house’, the one you know that will tick all the boxes and be the place that you stay forever. Belinda Baxter is in that position, even more so as an estate agent in the village of Peasebrook she gets to look at some really great houses.

As the commission on the houses she sells comes in, she is getting nearer to having the funds for that forever house. Now she just needs to find the right one.

Hunter’s Moon is a house that could be someone’s forever home and it is with sadness and regret that Sally and Alexander are choosing to put it on the market. It has been in Alexander’s family for over fifty years, but it was left to his wife Sally when his mother died. It is Belinda Baxter who helps the family sell the home.

However as Belinda soon discovers there is more to the selling of this house, than simply the need for cash. It is the memories that are triggered and the stories that the house could tell.

And so Veronica Henry takes us back to 1967, to when Sally and Alexander first met and the other inhabitants of Hunter’s Moon take over the story in the past.

I was hooked, especially with the dual narrative which I do enjoy reading. It can be a difficult thing to pull off successfully, but I think the author has achieved it with aplomb. She has taken two very different views of Hunter’s Moon and I fell in love with both of them. Everything is described so well that it brought the place to life, I could imagine the state of the kitchen that Sally walked when she first went there, and the wonderful way that it has transformed when it looks like Sally is going to have leave it all behind.

Of course there was romance within the pages of the novel, not just with the house itself but between some of the characters. However I felt very much that this was merely in the background and it was not important for the happy ending to be about girl meets man and falls in love. The book seems to deal with all different aspects of love and the heartbreak that can sometimes accompany it.

A wonderful family story, which I felt was different from some other Veronica Henry’s previous novels and I felt quite sad when I finished the book.  I wished it had gone on forever.

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

The Forever House is out on the 18th May.