Just for the Holidays- Sue Moorcroft

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When her sister splits with her husband, Leah finds herself agreeing to go on their holiday to a gite in France. She doesn’t expect to find herself in sole charge of her teenage niece and nephew with a steep parenting learning curve ahead of her. There is the added attraction of a helicopter pilot and his son doing up the place next door to improve matters slightly.

I loved the way Leah tackled her new responsibilities and found the way to their hearts through some good old fashioned baking, expeditions and water fights.

The book has troubled relationships, family issues, sibling arguments combined with some delicious meals outside at the gite and huge sparks of attraction thwarted at every turn.

The cover really entices you to pick this book up as a perfect summer read- and I guarantee you’ll want to carry on reading once you start. Making this the ideal read for your summer holidays. You’ll fall in love with the characters and the setting. I can’t wait to read Sue Moorcrofts next book as I love her writing style.

Summer at the Little Wedding Shop- Jane Linfoot

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I have really loved this series – from the descriptions of the shop with it’s little round window in the attic rooms to the wonderfully engaging characters all set amongst a gorgeous froth of stunning weddings and romance.

I pass a gorgeous wedding shop frontage every day on the bus- they recently acquired another shop- so they have 3 shops in a run- one for weddings, one for proms and one for ‘couture’- but the very end window has lace curtains tied back and a vintage sewing machine and mannequin with a tape measure and a table with a ledger/notebook on it. Every day this series of books pops into my head when I go past. I think about all the happy brides that must have used this shop and hope that the inside is as special as the one within this series of books.

I have a real softness for everything weddingy and think I’d enjoy being associated with that industry in some way- until I got the first rogue wedding I guess!

This book has the perfect mix of laughs, warm friendships, sparks of attraction and beautiful settings with oodles of fairy lights twinkling at twilight.

Kip seems to be going into competition with Poppy’s wedding business and the brides are also competing to get the best wedding reception with the new wedding planner and go into instagram war! I absolutely loved that part of the story.

I was so sad to say goodbye to these characters and the wonderful little wedding shop by the sea- but I have loved every single page of the whole series!

Recipe for Love- Ruth Saberton

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This was another gorgeous return to Polwenna Bay- where you can imagine looking out on the sea amongst a group of familiar friends. I really love this series and can’t wait for the next book already!

Here we follow Symon Tremaine, who trained in Paris as a chef and is enjoying great success in Polwenna. He reveals a little bit of the way his past is shaping the way he lives now. We also get to see the compassionate side of Evil Ella and at times feel sorry for her!

Emerald is a fresh character who arrives in a whirl, adding a new dimension and its great to see the way she affects the whole community. I look forward to reading more about her in future books.

It really is like settling down for a cuppa with your best friend, in your kitchen , reaching for just one more chocolate digestive and then being sorry to reach the last one!

The Forever House- Veronica Henry

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Veronica Henry is one of my favourite authors and I loved immersing myself in the history of Hunters Moon in Peasebrook. Sally and Alexander are facing the heartbreaking decision to sell their ‘Forever’ home due to personal circumstances and we hear all about their early courtship and the house that has been in Alexander’s family for a long time.

Sally agrees to use Belinda’s estate agency to sell their house because she likes to find the perfect house for her clients and  dresses them for their sales so that the full potential can be seen and they can imagine their lives in a beautiful house.

I loved the history of how the house came to mean so much to them- and the book was like my own little pocket of a magical escape into a dreamworld the whole time I was reading. It truly captured my imagination.

The story of the open weekend to allow potential purchasers to view the house reminded me of my personal dream of a ‘forever house’. My husband’s grandma owned the most beautiful house with it’s own coach house and every Christmas a huge stunning Christmas Tree would stand in the entrance hall and enchant me.  It had servants bells in the kitchen and had been most recently used as his Grandpa’s gp surgery. They had a tennis court in the back garden and his mum played at Junior Wimbledon, The whole history of the house just seemed so magical to me. I think I only stayed there once – but we had a room with patchwork quilts and that just completed the perfection in my eyes!

The neighbouring houses were nursing home and the owners snapped up his grandparents house when they decided they needed to downsize. When they decided to sell many years later , they held an open day and we tagged along to have a nose, luckily not having to prove that we could afford it! A lot of the people there were doing the same- as the architect was well known in the district. Unfortunately I didn’t win the lottery that weekend- so it was destined never to become our Forever House! But we can all dream

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My own personal dream home- our children enjoyed playing in the huge gardens and posing for photos on the huge sprawling staircases and even being shown up the little stairs to the attic rooms.

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The back of the house overlooked magnificent sprawling gardens with steep slopes for little children to run down and well worn paths to sit down with cousins for even more photos to be taken. The drawing room had a piano which the grandchildren loved to gather round and the fires had embroidered fire guards which are presently sitting in my inlaws dining room!

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The coach house which they once wanted to convert to a guest room. I was totally dazzled by this house when I first met my husband. Indeed his grandma let us have one of the antique clocks that hung on the walls because I so openly admired it!

I love books that transport you into a dreamworld and loved this chance to revisit many happy memories of a house that could become a Forever House for anyone who spent time there.

Summer at Conwenna Cove- Darcie Boleyn

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This was the perfect summer read- easy to lose yourself in a wonderful setting amongst great characters who quickly become new friends. Eve has had a stressful time and when things come to a head she heads down to Cornwall to stay with her aunt who owns 2 fishermen’s cottages in Cornwall. I could just imagine opening the door and being wrapped in the warm Cornish hugs and feeling like you’d come home!

Her aunt rents to a handsome man called Jack who is nursing demons of his own. He helps out at a greyhound rescue centre and Eve finds it very healing to spend time there. I loved the scenes at the rescue centre and the way they help the dogs find their forever homes. Jack is also helping to heal the stress away from Eve.
Eve’s aunt sounds like the perfect lady to spend time with- happy to open her home and make you feel welcome and providing a safe haven for healing vibes.
I adore books set in Cornwall and absolutely loved every page of this one.

You can buy your copy here

The Darkest Lies- Barbara Copperthwaite

This was a real page turner- drawing you into it’s pages and refusing to let you go to sleep. Just one more page- I can’t leave them here!!!!!!! A really chilling book centred around every parents nightmare. A 13 year old girl goes missing and no one in the village seems to have seen anything- but Melanie begins to suspect that everyone is hiding something.

We hear from Melanie, Beth the daughter and an unidentified monster who is really frightening. Melanie begins to wonder if she knew her daughter when a little pink notebook reveals some teenage secrets. Melanie is worried that the police aren’t doing enough and decides to investigate despite being told that she must leave the investigation to the police. She is also horrified that the media seems to be ignoring them.

You are left wondering who might be responsible and who the chilling narrator is and what is in store next.

I really didn’t want to put this book down and was desperate to find all the answers. I loved the way that things were leaked and revealed and you could feel the pain of Melanie’s parents and the different ways that they were dealing with it.

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Ella’s Ice Cream Summer

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You are guaranteed to be laughing out loud very quickly when you start reading a Sue Watson book. I love that the characters are ‘real’ people. Ella has been left behind in the digi age by her own mum and it’s so amusing hearing about her mums foray into twitter and internet dating!

Ella’s family is holding secrets. Her mum stopped talking to her own sister when Ella was quite young. She still spent many summers in Appledore- which is an area I loved. We wonder what was behind the split.

When her aunt dies she finds out that she has been left the family ice cream van and not a share in the cafe as she hoped. She decides that as her homelife is disintegrating around her and her teenagers are travelling over the summer- that she will take the ice cream van out to earn a living.

Her solicitor sounds dreamy- a surfer who spends the summer in the family office to earn enough money to spend time surfing in exotic destinations.

I’m so pleased to see that there will be a follow on book which says it features new characters- hoping to get a little update on Ella aswell. Sue’s books are the perfect summer read- guaranteed to lift your spirits and cheer the day up.

You can buy it here.