Tuesday, 26 May 2020

The Bookshop of New Beginnings by Jen Mouat

"It’s never too late to rewrite your story…
It’s always been Emily Cotton’s dream to own her own bookshop. But sitting among shelves of haphazardly stacked books in a damp old barn, the reality feels a little different.
Kate Vincent hasn’t been back home in six years. But when she receives a desperate email from her childhood best friend begging for her help she doesn’t stop to think. Scenes of idyllic holidays with the Cotton family dance in her mind and she books a one-way ticket home to Wigtown.
But life for the Cottons isn’t all as she remembers and the secrets which once drove Kate and Emily apart are finally threatening to come to the surface. Now as the pair work together to save Emily’s failing bookshop – can they too begin a new chapter of their friendship?"
Previously published as Summer at Bluebell Bank

I loved this book.  It made me smile (at times grin) and it made me cry.  

I was a little hesitant to start with but I was soon drawn in by the characters and the storyline and, shortly after that, I was hooked.  At times, I found it really hard to put down.  Each of the characters in this book really goes on a journey and comes out the other side as a slightly different person.

The Bookshop of New Beginnings is a story of love at first sight, heartbreak, jealousy, running away, true friendship, sibling rivalry and love, soulmates, lies and loss.

The book is set in Scotland; there are a few descriptions of this but I wouldn't say the location is particularly prominent.  However, the writing is descriptive and I could easily picture the bookshop, Bluebell Bank and the characters.

Whilst I would happily have read more, the ending was a delight and felt completely wrapped up.  I was glad to be left without any loose ends.

A wonderfully heart-warming story that would be a perfect summer read.

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Christmas at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennett

"When talented artist Nee Thorpe returns to Butterfly Cove for her sister’s wedding, it’s only a matter of time before she has to face her own bridegroom – Luke Spenser – the man she impulsively married, then left in the middle of the night.
Nee hasn’t picked up her paintbrushes in months, a part of her is broken. She knows Luke might never forgive her, leaving him was the biggest mistake of her life – but could coming home for Christmas be the best decision she’s ever made?
Maybe all she needs is a little Christmas miracle…"

The final book of The Butterfly Cove Collection and, boy, it isn't a disappointment.  

I absolutely revelled in being able to return to Butterfly Cove, catch up with the characters I had grown to love in Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove and delve further into the story of Luke and Nee.  Whilst Kiki's children don't feature that heavily in this book, I was so glad to see them back and learn a little more about where they ended up!

This book could definitely be read as a standalone book, however, I highly recommend reading all three together.  Sarah Bennett's writing is incredible; you get a good mix of the main characters' history, their present and their future and it all feels so effortless.

This book wrapped up all the other storylines nicely; I was completely satisfied with the series but I was sad to leave which has to be a sign of a good set of books.  Without question, my favourite series for some time.  I cannot wait to delve into more of Sarah Bennett's books in the future. I have already purchased two of the Lavender Bay books to get me started.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennett

"When Kiki Jackson’s marriage falls to pieces, there’s only one place that she knows she can escape to – her sister’s little guesthouse in Butterfly Cove.
But she’s worried that turning up on bride-to-be Mia’s doorstep, especially with her two adorable children in tow, will spoil her sister’s imminent wedding plans!
Luckily, handsome neighbour Aaron Spenser offers to share his new cottage with Kiki until she’s back on her feet. And as the wedding draws closer, Kiki realises that Butterfly Cove may be offering her little family more than just a new home…
Maybe this is where her new life begins…?"

WHAT A BOOK! Sarah Bennett goes straight into my top authors with this absolute delight of a love story.
It didn't take me long to fall into this story where Kiki instantly felt like a good person and I instantly disliked her husband Neil.  There are quite a few different characters in the story but they all come to have their own very special place in the story as well as meaning in each other's lives.  I adored the interaction between Aaron and Kiki's children - it is so beautifully written.
A real feel-good story which is absolutely ideal for a summer holiday read.  I became so invested in the characters and their lives; I cried multiple times and finished the book in less than 24 hours (easy on hot sunny weekend day in lockdown!)
I was satisfied with the ending of Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove but it left me desperately needing to know more about Kiki's future.  I immediately headed to the internet to find out whether there were more in this series (as it felt like there needed to be) to discover that there are three books in the Butterfly Cove series and this is the second.  There is a book for each of the sisters - Kiki, Mia and Nee.  I immediately purchased both of the other books so I could enjoy some more time at Butterfly Cove.  I was absolutely confident that I was going to love being able to revisit the characters I learned to love in this book as the focus shifts in the other two books.

Finally, to say that whilst this is the second book in a series, it absolutely can be read alone.  I adored it.  Having now read all three, I would recommend you invest in all and enjoy them in order to get the most of the story and the characters!
I received a free copy of this e-book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Sunrise at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennett

"After a nightmare year, Mia Sutherland is hoping for a fresh start! She’s putting the past behind her and pouring all her savings into renovating a crumbling guesthouse in peaceful Butterfly Cove. Nothing will distract her from achieving her dreams!
That is, until her very first guest, Daniel Fitzwilliam arrives – quite possibly, the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen. He’s only here for a week, but already Daniel has turned her world upside-down. And as the tide turns, it’s clear that Butterfly Cove has more than one surprise in store for Mia…"

This is the first of a trilogy centred around Butterfly Cove.  I actually didn't realise this until after I'd read the second book (Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove, having received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review) and I took instantly to the internet to discover whether there was more (it was that good!).  As I wanted to continue the story from where I'd left off, I actually read the third (and final) book next and then came back to read the first.  I found it really interesting to read this way round as, whilst I knew what was ultimately going to happen, I loved watching it unfold and recognising the references from the other two books.  However, to avoid any spoilers, I would certainly recommend reading the books in order.

This is the book in which the guesthouse at Butterfly Cove really comes to life - from a crumbling wreck into the beautiful house that Mia has created in her mind.  It also becomes more than just a guesthouse; it becomes a home for Mia and Daniel.  This is a story of, not only a fragile house, but two fragile souls who are brought together and the result is ultimately magnificent.  It is emotional at times and I know the writing has to be good if it can make me cry (which it did!)

I read this book in one sitting on a sunny Sunday afternoon and it was throughly delightful.  A truly delightful love story and an exceptionally easy read.  Sarah Bennett is a new firm favourite of mine, without question!