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

Practice makes Perfect – Penny Parkes

This novel follows on from Out of Practice, which I read but did not review last year. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to read this one and be taken back to Holly, Taffy, Dan, Julia and a cast of characters in the country town of Larkford.

Holly has settled into the doctor’s practice and also has moved on in her life, now she has embraced change she has welcomed Taffy into her heart, her home and her twin sons lives.

Of course nothing is going to be easy for Holly and her fellow doctors, the surgery is about to be burden with being an NHS model surgery and it is up to all of the doctors to work together, to make sure they do not fail. Of course there are some who want to prove that their model cannot possibly work.

And it might be the case when you have Julia, who is developing her media potential with a documentary crew following everyone’s moves. Grace has decided she will no longer be the woman she was and make some changes that surprise many and her working practices mean that perhaps the surgery can be a shining example to others.

This book packs a lot into the pages and you are swept away with all the characters and their exploits with the surgery as the background, the draw for them all. Whether it be the doctor’s themselves or some of the more eccentric patients who come in. In whatever you job you are in, there is that common humour that draws people together, it is true and is very much reflected here. I loved the introduction of Alice and her assistance dog Coco whose role was fascinating.

An enjoyable read, as good as the first and one that you will make you laugh and cry in equal measure. If you like books where you feel like you are part of the community whilst reading them, then this book is certainly for you.

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

I have also spotted a short story featuring the lovely folk in Larkford and so I am off to carrying on catching up. I do hope there will be more novels, there is so much more that I secretly want to see happening to these people. 

 

 

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

The Breakdown – B. A. Paris

Driving down a road in the middle of the storm is what Cass promised she would never do, but she will get home quicker that way.

That is until she sees a car at the side of the road. A woman is in the car.

What does Cass do? Stop and make sure she is okay? Drive by?

What if your actions, the choice you make, the guilt, then haunt you.

It is this catalyst which the rest of the story is based on and has us as readers launched head first into Cass thoughts and feelings as she begins to break down from what she knows is reality.

Strange phone calls, objects not in the right place, parcels arriving, all point Cass towards dementia, she might be too young but her mother died of it and she has never told her husband this. Her husband even starts to question her sanity. It seems Cass is very much on her own with this guilt, this belief.

As Cass life begins to unravel slowly, ironically the pace of the book picks up. It is a page turner, because whilst you feel so much sympathy for Cass, I did reach a couple of points where I thought she really did have dementia. The author could have taken the plot any number of ways and it was this that kept me reading.

The niggles about the story never went away for me and I guessed fairly early on who had to be behind it but the writing was so good that I even began to doubt the author was going to take us in that direction. Could you breakdown all actions separately and see them as isolated events, or were they all part of a very cleverly weaved plot. The only way to know was to keep on reading.

An excellent thriller, certainly nothing like her debut novel and if this is the quality of writing and work for that notorious ‘second’ novel then I cannot wait for what the author writes next.

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

The Breakdown is out now.