Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Making Wishes at Bay View by Jessica Redland

"Callie Derbyshire has it all: her dream job as a carer at Bay View, finally she has found the love of her life. Everything is perfect.

Well, almost.

Ex-partners are insistent on stirring up trouble, and Callie’s favourite resident, Ruby, hasn’t been her usual self. 

But after discovering the truth about Ruby’s lost love, Callie is determined to give Ruby’s romantic story the happy ending it deserves. After all, it’s never too late to let love in again. Or is it?"

The characters in this book are larger than life; the villains (yes, there's more than one baddy!) are particularly unpleasant and the heroes are quite lovely.  

I have to admit that my favourite part of the story was Ruby and her 66-year long love story which I loved seeing come to a conclusion.  This was the part for me that made me properly grin and brought a tear to my eye.

 Making Wishes at Bay View is the first in a four book series (Welcome to Whitsborough Bay) and I'm going to be diving straight into the next book, New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms.

This is a story which isn't just "chick lit"; it covers adoption and the rejection / unwillingness to engage that comes with it, difficult family relationships and tales of long lost loves!

Making Wishes at Bay View is out now and can be purchased here on Kindle or in Paperback (prices correct at time of writing):


Saturday, 18 July 2020

One Summer in Italy by Sue Moorcroft

"When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.
So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.
Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…"

One Summer in Italy brings together the story of three individuals, Sofia, Amy and Levi.  I easily warmed to all three of them although I found Amy a little annoying, or I suppose "young", at times which I guess is good character writing as she is a teenager!

The romance element of this book is less at the forefront than I remember from Sue's other books and I felt friendship was more of the dominating feature.  However, Levi is a typical Sue Moorcroft hero and this isn't to be ignored! 

I loved the setting in Italy and the hotel that Amy and Sofia work in and found it really easy to visualise.  

 A story of friendship, family, secrets, travelling and, of course, love!  I found it to be an extremely easy read, ideal for a relaxing summer break!  I've never been disappointed by Sue Moorcroft yet...!

One Summer in Italy is out now and can be purchased here on Kindle or in Paperback (prices correct at time of writing):


Saturday, 11 July 2020

The House by the Sea by Louise Douglas

"When Edie’s mother-in-law, Anna DeLuca, dies, she is relieved. 

Edie blames Anna for the accident that destroyed her family. So, when her will lures Edie to Sicily and the long-abandoned Villa della Madonna del Mare, she sees through Anna’s games.
Suspecting Anna is meddling from beyond the grave to try to reunite her and her ex-husband Joe, Edie is determined to leave Italy as soon as possible. But before she can, the villa starts to shed its mysterious secrets.
Who are the girls beside Anna in her childhood photos, and why has one of them been scratched out? Why does someone, or something, want them to leave the past untouched? The villa is a place where old ghosts feel at home, but does their legacy need to be laid to rest before Edie and Joe can move on…"

At times I found Edie slightly annoying with her need to constantly refer to her little boy who died in an accident when he was young, however, I imagine that a mother's loss is all consuming so who can blame her really?
I got past this and generally I really enjoyed the story which I got into such that I needed to keep turning the pages.  The location and the characters really came to life for me and I found it all very easy to visualise.
The ultimate trajectory of Edie and Joe was fairly obvious from the beginning but it was a nice journey to watch them go on and there were other twists and turns, together with interesting characters, along the way to hold my interest.
It is a story of loss, love, secrets, abusive relationships, and learning to share with one another.

The House by the Sea is out now and can be purchased here on Kindle or in Paperback (prices correct at time of writing):

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Just for the Holidays by Sue Moorcroft

The #1 bestselling author returns for summer! Grab your sun hat, a cool glass of wine, and the only book you need on holiday…
"In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy.
Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for – but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.
But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…"
It is hard to believe that it's been 9 years to the day since I first blogged about Starting Over by Sue Moorcroft, having discovered Choc Lit, and since I fell in love with Middledip and Ratty!  9 years on, Sue Moorcroft's books and Ratty still remain strong within my memory!
I loved this book and I really felt like I had lived through the journey with Leah and the others and it really is quite a journey.  Time may have weakened my memory but I do think Ronan might just give Ratty a run for his money!!  He isn't just gorgeous but he's gentle, caring and responsible.
Leah is an incredibly independent woman and she needs all the strength she can get with the things that are thrown at her in this book.  Inevitably, there is romance and this comes in the form of both adult and teen romance which I really adored.
A story that isn't just chick lit; it also touches on separation, mistaken infatuation, divorce, single parenting (from both the parent's and the child's perspective), infidelity, financial difficulties and sibling relationships.

I love Sue's books; her writing is just incredible with truly memorable characters and storylines that stay with you for years.  This is one of my new favourites.

In contrast to the title of the book, this book isn't just for holidays, however, would also make a fabulous holiday read.  I read this book exceptionally quickly on a sunny lockdown weekend and I highly recommend you add it to your to be read pile.
Just for the Holidays is out now and available here on Kindle or in paperback (prices correct at time of writing):

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Snowflakes at Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett

"The most wonderful time of the year…

Libby Stone has lived in Lavender Bay all her life. She loves the little seaside town and has big dreams to turn her father’s greasy old chippy into a dainty teashop – not that she’s told him yet!
Finding love isn’t easy amongst the cluster of coastal houses, but it’s not every day that someone quite as handsome and mysterious as Owen Coburn walks into the local pub.
And as the snowflakes begin to swirl on the promenade, Libby realises she’s falling for him. But Owen has been keeping a secret that could destroy everything…"

Snowflakes at Lavender Bay is the third in the delicious Lavender Bay series.  As always, it can be read alone but I'd strongly recommend the series and, of course, reading them in order.

The wonderful thing about the series is that each book focuses on a particular individual but you also get to revisit old characters and so you don't completely lose touch with the people you've come to love from previous books.

This book follows Libby who I feel like we know quite well from the previous books; she felt like the most unique character to me from the beginning.  Owen has also featured in each of the previous books in a much smaller role; I didn't warm to him previously but, by the end of this book, he had won me round!  In fact, the start of Snowflakes at Lavender Bay goes slightly back in time as you get to learn a bit more about Owen's backstory and you revisit parts of the earlier books which you now see from a different perspective.  

I loved Libby's dad the most and the journey he goes on in this book.  He just loves Libby so much and it's adorable to see.  Again, there is a fleeting mention of something with Libby's dad in one of the earlier books that only became clear and relevant in this storyline (I won't spoil it for you!).  Hands down to Sarah for weaving these 3 books together in such an incredible way.

Beth, Sam, Eliza and Jack feature lots so you get to see more of them too which I love!  I loved the part of this story which really integrated Owen into the friendship group which was Sam's new business venture.

The whole book (and series in fact) was very emotional and I was also very sad to leave Lavender Bay behind but can't wait for Sarah to introduce me to her next location and characters!

Snowflakes at Lavender Bay is out now and available to buy here on Kindle or in paperback (prices correct at time of writing):