A Christmas Wish on a Carousel – Lottie Cardew

I was instantly drawn both by the cover of this book and by the title and I couldn’t wait to read it.

I liked the sense of mystery in this book. Why was Cara still living free of charge in the annexe of the house owned by her former employer, when she hadn’t been their Nanny for years? Why does she perform man ’duties’ for family, when she is no longer employed by them? Why can’t she say no? Why was the broken snow globe so precious? Had something happened to Cara’s parents? Why does Cara need ’Dutch Courage’ just to go out for a drink with Greg? Why does Cara feel uncomfortable merely talking about her past? Does she subconsciously self destruct, when it comes to relationships? Why do her friends feel the need to be so protective of her? Why does every relationship end up in self-sabotage? What is she hiding about her past? What’s the story re Des and Uncle Wilf?

My mind was consumed with intrigue, the minute I started reading and I was fully invested in Cara being granted a fantastical wish, following her mystical carousel ride at the local Christmas fair. This ride did actually conjure up an eerie, evocative, almost magical sense of deja vu the next day! Had that ride really happened, or was it the product of an overactive imagination? After all, who else remembered seeing the carousel!

‘Uncle’ Wilf and Greg were both interesting additions to the storyline, albeit 2 very different characters. But, could either or both be considered a potential love interest for Cara? That does remain to be seen, although the fact that Cara refers to Greg as ’Great on paper Greg’ almost doesn’t auger well for him! Can the ‘sensible’ choice trump the potentially more dangerous, yet ultimately more exciting choice?

Octogenarian? Perdita makes an interesting entrance into Cara’s life. In face despite her age she seems to be a breathe of fresh air in Cara’s life; quite philosophical. Upon hearing about Cara’s date with Greg, she beseeches Cara to ‘Make sure he makes your heart sing, Cara!’ What wonderful, inspiring words, despite her advancing years. More hopefuls embarking on a new relationship would do well to heed those words! In truth though, Perdita seems almost as unreal and ethereal as the Christmas market carousel ride.

I felt for Cora – that her parents had died in quick succession, unable to live without each other. The author dealt with Cara’s feelings with the utmost empathy and I felt this would be a comfort for anyone going through the same kind of trauma in real life. it takes genuine talent to write so sympathetically and this little snippet of Cara’s back story contributed towards explaining why she behaves in the way that she does. It doesn’t however explain why Jojo treats Cara in the way she does. But is Jojo right, that things with Des are not as they should be?

From the very beginning this great book is crammed with mystery, but you will of course have to read on for yourself to find out the answers, although you will have to appeal to your spiritual side to grasp a proper understanding of the story. This story was a bit different, but that difference shone out like the brightest star in the sky and compounded my enjoyment of the whole thing; indeed I felt thoroughly touched by the whole story.

Oh why did I start reading this book so late in the evening that I become so compelled to read on, that I end up staying up all night reading! Take heed, or staying up all night may be your fate too!

To purchase this book for yourself: https://bit.ly/AChristmasWishOnACarouselcx

A Winter’s Wish for the Cornish Midwife – Jo Bartlett

A veritable treat – the next episode in the Cornish Midwife series – albeit a reminder that winter is approaching rapidly!

I did feel for Toni, who had ostensibly been railroaded into getting married, just to appease her future Mother-in-Law, who seemed to have been playing on her MS diagnosis for some years now. As I saw it, there was suspicion in Toni’s mind that she loved Aaron more like a Brother than a lover – after all, they had grown up in each others pockets, both only children and with their respective families very close.

I’m not going to ruin things too much, but Toni did move on – you will have to read for yourself to find out why – but when she fIndus a new partner, she struggles to move on and is very secretive about her new love – but how long can he put up with this? They surely can’t keep their relationship a secret forever. Yes, Toni has her reasons, but still…….

This story dealt with some heavy issues with the utmost empathy and I’m certain that some would find comfort from it.

I enjoyed this read from start to finish and can’t wait for the next in the series!

To read this great book for yourself, use this link: https://amzn.to/2UQHO2c

The Sister Pact – Lisa Swift

I immediately warmed to Brooke because she appeared to be an intensive workaholic; a strong, powerful, single female. It felt sad that she had grown so far apart form her Sister Rhiannon; Rhianna came across as the most dreadful snob – although a sudden change in her circumstances affected the whole family. Their Mum, Janey, has been single for two long and I could understand why she might like some male company again.

I felt for Brooke, as the future of their family pub was looking most uncertain, and a chain was trying to buy the family out. The pub meant everything to Brooke, but they desperately needed to do something as a family to improve the finances of the business.

Rhianna – despite her snobbery, deep down she was a family woman and I hoped that she could once more settle into the arms of her wider family.

Hayden brought a breath of fresh air to the pub, although as a single Father, struggling to make ends meet, he had his own issues to deal with.

I really found myself hoping that as a team, they could do something together to improve both the finances of the pub and the inter-family dynamics. As for Hayden, I hoped that he could ameliorate both his finances and that of the pub, and perhaps even have a bit of love brought into his life. It just felt as though he deserved more from life. Another person who deserved mire was Janey. Read the book fir yourself to discover her wonderful surprise!

I thought that this book dealt with some huge issues, with the utmost empathy. These included starting to date again in later life, after bereavement, marital issues and family disagreements. I thought the book would offer both encouragement and empathy to anyone in the same kind of situations. Above all the book dealt with the strength of family; it showed how strong families should be, putting them above all else. I appreciated this.

To find out what ultimately happens, you will need to purchase this great book for yourself; just use this link: https://t.co/L1FwisBXSK?amp=1

Sunrise over Pebble Bay – Della Galton

As I sit down to read this book, I feel a wave of comfort coming over me. Not only a book by one of my favourite authors, but a book set in beautiful Dorset where I grew up. It never fails to make me happy, reading about places that sound so familiar.

From the very start of the book, I loved the author’s descriptive language. An example was in the very first chapter, when she was describing the smell of a cake. I swear that having read that, I felt as though I could smell cake and it was quite literally making my mouth water! Alas there was no cakeage to hand!

What an utter treat to twig that Olivia’s significant other, Phil, is THE Phil from Della Galton’s ’Shooting Stars Over Bluebell Cliff’. What a treat! I do so love coming across ’old friends’ from previous books and Della Galton has an amazing gift for seamlessly including them and their backstories. It’s a bit like wearing an old pair of boots for the first time in ages, and just knowing, from having worn them so often before, that your feet are going to be on clouds all day long. (Apologies to Della, for comparing your character to a pair of old boots, but it’s meant in the most positive way).

I feel comforted, knowing that Olivia is in Phil’s safe hands – or is she? I’d certainly like to think this is the case, but I was somehow getting the impression that he was hiding something from Olivia, for example he still hadn’t shown her his bedroom. I sincerely hope to be proven wrong, having become quite attached to Phil and Olivia, both as individuals, as well as as a couple. Could it possibly be something to do with his passion for acting? That he was actually being the man that he thought Olivia wanted him to be, as opposed to the man he actually was?

I loved the commonality threading through this series of books – of the feud/strange friendship between Mr B, the chef, and Phil. I know it’s childish, but each little prank raised a chuckle from this camp and it felt to me like a really nice, clever touch, to tie the books loosely together.

I did feel a little concerned though at the toy blue/pink elephant in the nursery throughout this book. I really liked Phil and Olivia as a couple and I so wanted them to have aligned future plans. Things didn’t seem to auger that well, in that Olivia didn’t want to bring the subject up with Phil, whilst Phil was seemingly oblivious of anything going on, even with the talk of Ruby, Olivia’s sister’s imminent baby.

I felt that the author dealt with the subjects of pregnancy and infertility in an intelligent, empathetic manner. it was clever, the way that the lives of Ruby and Olivia were seen to mirror the lives and experiences of their Mother and Aunt Dawn. Both Rub and the girls’ Mother had seemed to have no trouble conceiving, whereas Olivia worried that she was getting too old and it might never happen, and Dawn had been due to go and see a fertility expert when her Husband had died unexpectedly. This backstory mitred perfectly with the current story and I felt it would give Olivia the confidence to actually have a proper conversation with Phil about it. After all, she was just surmising that having a baby could potentially be an issue. As to the empathy of the writing – I thought that those in the same kind of situations might garner comfort from the written word. Ruby was feeling that she would get a huge amount of family support, whilst the Olivias out there would surely be comforted by the offer to play a huge part in a niece/nephew’s upbringing, in the way that Aunt Dawn had with Olivia and Ruby. Stuff the acting parts and auditions – it seemed to me that life is one big play and Olivia was being offered the part of her life (a part that I myself have coveted) – that of hands-on Aunt.

One big question remains though – could a blast from the past change everything? The said blast, alongside a current day confession, certainly presented Olivia with one heck of a moral and romantic dilemma. What exactly was he up to? Was he actually stalking Olivia? Would he set off a potentially lethal chain of events? An additional dilemma – facing the choice of an audition for a mainstream TV series, or supporting her Sister for the birth of her baby, what would Olivia choose? I am not going to spoil things for you though and you will have to read the book for yourself to find out what ultimately happens.

This was a throughly enjoyable book, simultaneously heartwarming yet heart-wrenching. Della Galton certainly has a gift for taking normal characters, like you and me, with normal families and the issues that go with them and every day problems, like parenthood and relationships; she then works her magic on their very being, to bring something truly magical to the reader. A novel that keeps you, the reader satisfied from beginning to end; a novel where you end up caring unconditionally about the characters and what happens to them; a story that feels so real, you almost sense that you have been absorbed into the story. A book that brings joy from the start, down to the very last word on the final page, such that whilst you do not want to put the book down, you equally do not want it to end. One can only hope that there are more chapters in the pipeline. My serious side has not had enough of the beautiful Dorset countryside, whilst my silly half simply can never get enough of schoolboy kitchen pranks. Whilst I can’t imagine such a feud being allowed to continue in an establishment such as the Bluebird Cliff Hotel, on paper they never fail to amuse me! I was clearly a schoolboy in another life!

To purchase this book for yourself, just use this link: https://amzn.to/3BOAWmA

The Village Inn of Secret Dreams – Alison Sherlock

Happiness /ˈhapɪnəs/.

Happiness is what I feel when I settle down with a good book and a cuppa or a glass of wine.
I felt immensely happy to be given the opportunity to review this new Alison Sherlock book, a further delve into life in the village of Cranbridge. If this book is half as ‘The Village of Lost and Found’, then it will be a surefire winner.

I felt for Belle, having secretly fallen for her childhood friend, Pete. After kissing him, he ended up living in Singapore for years. Is there any hope of anything between them, now that he is coming back to Cranbridge? The romantic in me wants things to hit off between them, although practical me can foresee nothing but pitfalls!

Molly, Belle, Lucy and Amber seemed like the ultimate quadrumvirate from the outside and I just found myself wanting to be one of their gang. It felt to me as though as a group, they had brought life to what was otherwise a fairly humdrum, old fashioned village, with not a lot going for it. It would be a tragedy for the pub to close down or be sold; after all, who knows what could end up replacing the pub. In the previous book, the group had been involved with the rebirth of the village store and the advent of the community hub had come about due to their efforts in trying to save the village newspaper.

However, is the pub salvageable? it gets very little business. If Lucy was able to save her Uncles newspaper, why couldn’t they come up with a plan to rescue the pub. After all, on paper, it sounded idyllic. Auntie Angie’s culinary ineptitude was surely a causative factor to the pub’s problems! I must however confess to feeling rather sad at Belle’s belief that despite her fairytale name, there wasn’t necessarily a prince waiting in the wings for her, especially with the potential sale/closing down of the pub leaving her future to uncertain. What is life, if you can’t allow yourself to dream from time to time! Poor Belle, it seemed so sad to me, that she couldn’t bring herself to talk to anyone about her concerns for either the present or the future.

I do like a book with a bit of mystery; with Belle and Pete both hidings things too, this novel seems to have mystery in pages! Cranbridge seems to provide some kind of sanctuary to Belle, but sanctuary from what!? She is young and gorgeous, but still seems hell bent on blending into the background; the princess of not geting noticed. Oh Belle, please just let your friends and family in; they just want to help!

It seemed such a shame that it looked like the pub was going to have to be sold. This was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for Belle, as it was all she had ever known. I must confess to having had a rather unladylike snigger at the description of landlady Angie’s cooking as ‘soggy, dry or inedible. Sometimes all three at once’. This seemed like quite an achievement to me! I couldn’t help but wonder whether sorting out the culinary offerings of the pub would go someway towards reviving this village institution’s fortunes.

People often say things they don’t really mean – the words just kind of slip out, but Pete makes a promise of such immense proportions he must almost have wished he could have bitten his tongue off! The big question is surely as to whether or not he can follow through with his promise. Did he inadvertently make the offer due to his latent love for Belle? Is this reciprocated? Is there a future for them?

You may be able guess from my writing, the extent to which I enjoyed this thoroughly entertaining book; a contemporary prodigal son meets a modern Disney-style princess. A story that I didn’t want to come to an end. I can but hope that there may be another chapter depicting the inner workings and the lives and loves of Cranbridge in the offing?

I really do hope that my enjoyment of this story is reflected in my review and that you will buy this book for yourself, in order to get the answers to the many unanswered questions.

To purchase this book for yourself, follow this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Village-Inn-Secret-Dreams-heartwarming-ebook/dp/B095H4TH6F/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3KUJNYKMKRYQZ&dchild=1&keywords=the+village+inn+of+secret+dreams&qid=1633426911&sprefix=The+village+i%2Caps%2C156&sr=8-1

High Blue Sky – Victoria Connelly

I so enjoyed the prequel to this book, it was with great anticipation and excitement that I pounced upon the opportunity to read this second book and to perhaps find out a little more about Abbie and Edward.

As we fall well into Autumn (please excuse the pun) it felt refreshing to open a new book in the throes of Spring. Abi and Edward are so different in so many ways, but I still hold out hope of them getting together, even if I was disappointed at how slowly their relationship had progressed in the last year. As they both let their first apartments in Winfield Hall out, it feels like a test of their potential future together. On one side you have level headed businessman Edward, who vets his potential tenants carefully, making sure they are good for the rent – whilst Abbie, who is also a successful businesswoman and artist, wants to rent her apartments out at minimum rent, to struggling artists.

I felt sad that Abi’s Sister Ellen hadn’t mellowed at all, even after downsizing to improve her finances. There was a bitter tinge to her – a sense of being hard done by and of everyone around her getting something for nothing. I was further saddened by the fact that her behaviour seemed to be causing issues with her children. Absolutely heartbreaking.

Call me wet (quite literally), but I found myself crying real tears at Ronnie’s gesture of kindness towards his friend Abi. He came across as such a kind gentle man and it was utterly heartbreaking to me that he had lost his wife and was still learning to live without her.

Aura, Abi’s new tenant was a beautiful etherial creature; a wise soul. Call me mad, but I felt calmer, just reading about her and I held great hopes for a relationship between her and Harry, Edward’s tenant, even though his parents would invariably not approve of her.

I loved everything about this book, from the cover and chapter one, right through to the very end. The residents found Winfield Hall a comforting place to live and I found it comforting to read about. I enjoyed reading about love and heartbreak, the kindness of those with few comforts, the generosity of those with gifts not if this world. The holistic side of the book left me feeling a sense of calm both for the characters and for myself. It seemed so rare to me, that feeling of wellbeing that I seemed to garner from reading a fictional book.

Did I find any answers to my burning questions though?

  • Why does Edward have a limp?
  • Will there be any romantic successes in this book?
  • Will Oscar and Edward sort out their relationship? Can their relationship survive them both liking Abi (in a romantic sense)?
  • Will Aura sort out the situation with her Brother?
  • Can Harry reconcile with his Parents over Aura?

You will have to read this mesmerising, feel-good book for yourself – and I defy you to not feel at least a little affected by Aura and her presence. I know that I feel sad that this book is over and I look forward to the next instalment with great anticipation.

To purchase this book for yourself, just use this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/High-Blue-House-Clouds-Book-ebook/dp/B096KDLB6X

Autumn Dreams at Mermaid Point – Sarah Bennett

What a treat – I am truly honoured to have been given the opportunity to review the next book in the Mermaid’s Point book, by Sarah Bennett. Not only do I get to read what will be a fantastic book, but I get the chance to catch up with some old literary friends – which is what many of Sarah Bennet’s amazing characters have become to me. I love Sarah Bennett’s fun, intelligent writing and I can only hope that she has many more characters and plot lines in the offing.

Nerissa is a wonderfully kind character, still haunted by the tragic death of her fiancee 20 years ago, but I can’t help thinking that she needs to move on. I can’t believe that her fiancee would want her to be mourning him like she does, over 20 years later. I hated the way that Gareth’s Mother Margot treated Nerissa and I am sure that Gareth would have wanted the two women to support each other. It seems that Nerissa has tried to be supportive, but as for Margot – I can only assume that being consumed by grief, makes her behave the way she does towards Nerissa. I found this very sad, as they were both clearly grief-stricken, and should have been providing support to each other. I did however want to give Margot the benefit of the doubt, due to the grief.

Laurie is joy personified and if I was feeling sad, and I was in Mermaid’s Point, I think her cafe would be the first place I would go for a bit of solace in the form of a chat, a coffee and a piece of cake. I found myself captivated by Nerissa as a character and desperate for her to be happy. I must stress that this doesn’t necessarily point towards finding new love. Happiness for Nerissa is more about coming to terms with the past and learning to love herself. I strongly feel that she can’t move on and find new love until she has come to terms with the past and has learned to love herself again. I just felt glad that she had strong family support behind her, whatever she did. You can never have too much family love and support in my opinion.

An indication of the sort of kind, selfless person Nerissa is, is the way that she provides support to Jake’s Mum Linda. What a wonderful person, to set aside her own issues, to try and help another, whom she sees as less fortunate than herself. All this, whilst having worries about her own future – namely her job and her accommodation (which came with the job).

Tom seems to be struggling with his own grief, as well as trying to care for his two teenage children. He is a totally likeable character, even he does seem out if his depth at times. Oh how I wanted Tom and Nerissa to get together – they seemed made for each other, although I must admit, Nerissa came across as being younger in this book, than she did in the last. I also found myself drawn to how well Tom’s children seemed to get on with her. It felt as though they had a female role missing in their lives – that Nerissa fitted into perfectly.

I enjoyed the organic growth of the relationship between Tom and Nerissa. indeed, who would have imagined that the undoing of a wetsuit could make two people so hot under the collar! I so wanted the pair to get it together, but didn’t want a tragedy to make them closer.

If you were left in any doubt, I can confirm that I loved this book; Sarah Bennett did not let me down, with just the right mix of love, romance and family. A veritable feel-good book of the highest echelons that just made me feel happy. My only issue was that it was over too soon; I wanted to stay in Mermaid’s Point forever! I can only hope that there is another visit in the pipeline? Might I suggest a Christmas story about Alex and Ivy?

To purchase this book for yourself, please use this link: https://amzn.to/3hcHcv8

Annie’s Autumn Escape – Debbie Viggiano

As it pours with rain outside, it feels like the most appropriate season to be reading and reviewing this new book from Debbie Viggiano.

This sounded like a feel-good story, but i realised upon reading the first page that this wasn’t actually the case. I think the first sniff of a break up is inordinately worse when one party, as in this case, has absolutely no idea that there is any kind of problem with the relationship. I really do feel the utmost empathy for anyone who is on the receiving end of this kind of out of the blue announcement and I felt that the author dealt with the situation with empathy. She was similarly sympathetic with the subject of dementia, dealing with it with just the right mix of humour and empathy. I know that dementia is not a laughing matter, but sometimes I think you have to laugh at laugh at life – otherwise you’d cry. Indeed I loved the comment from Annie’s Mother at Annie’s 60th birthday soiree, ’I’m not sixty years old myself, so you can’t possibly be that ancient’!

I had the utmost respect for Annie, in that she decided to deal with her grief by going on holiday with her friends. Indeed, camaraderie was a strong theme throughout this book, from Annie’s friends gathering around her and being so thoughtful, to Cathy, the pub landlady, sticking up for her in the most unexpected fashion.

I liked that this story was post covid and that it gave me the opportunity to holiday in the sun vicariously through Annie. I enjoyed the fact that she was able to enjoy the sun with her friends, regardless of what anyone else thought. I personally hate the way that family members sometimes behave as though you are answerable to them regarding your personal life and I thought that the author captured this irritating trait perfectly!

There ere more serious sides to this book – a prime example being the relationship between Annie and her parents. I thought the author wrote and Annie’s Mother’s dementia with an appropriate mixture of humour and empathy and I felt that anyone going through a similar situation would feel a certain level of appreciation from the situation.

Throughout this book, I thoroughly enjoyed the humour and I was completely blown away by the organic nature of ‘Gerard’ and Annie’s relationship. As for Annie, I was entirely enchanted by her personality and joi de vivre and ended up wishing her her best life, whatever that might turn out to be.

To purchase this book for yourself, please use this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annies-Autumn-Escape-laugh-out-loud-romantic-ebook/dp/B09BNWKKP3/

A Little Piece of Paradise – TA Williams

TA Williams is one of my favourite authors, so it is with great anticipation that I sit down to read this new tome. I have decided that it is almost a disadvantage, being a favourite author of mine; I can be pretty unforgiving and want each book to be as good as the last, if not better – and then I start wonder how these authors can keep the standard up. With TA Williams I have no such fears, as he continues to surpass himself with each new book. His writing is truly amazing.

Sophie and Chris are clearly animal lovers (I am judging this by their behaviour around the beautiful black Labrador, Jeeves), and that automatically endeared them to me, being an animal lover myself. The only think I was actually surprised at, was that Chris and Sophie were not a couple. I thought from the very first page, that they seemed to behave like a well established couple. Jeeves particularly tickled me with his ’I’m starving’ face – written for sure by someone who has at some point been blessed to be the custodian of a labrador!

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to inherit a fabulous Italian castle from a Machiavellian Uncle, even if it did mean having to live under the same roof as your estranged Sister for three months. We didn’t know anything about why the Sister, Rachel had left in the first place, but I surmised that she did care about her Family deep down, in that she had let them know, however briefly, that she was safe.

Animals have an uncanny knack of being able to bring people together and very early on in this story, I find myself seriously invested in the characters and wanting Jeeves to bring them together into a genuinely happy, cohesive family.

I love a bit of mystery in the books I read and in this story I found myself intrigued as to why Sophie and her Sister Rachel had fallen out, before we had even met Rachel. Was it over a Man, money or a combination of the two? Needless to say, I could be completely wrong and the tiff could be over something else entirely. Regardless of the cause, it must have been a fairly serious argument, for the two women to have fallen out to quite the extent they had and I found this unsettling.

It is a testament to TA Williams that the writing in this book is such that it all seemed so real and I found myself so invested in what happened at such an early stage. For example, I found myself genuinely caring about each individual’s eventual outcome. I wanted the two sisters to be best friends, I wanted them to find real love and I oh so wanted them to inherit their Uncle’s estate.

You can tell that TA Williams is an animal lover, who has owned dogs, by the way that he writes about them. I was particularly touched by the excerpt where Jeeves comforts Sophie when she is upset about her uncle. This section was written in such a beautiful, sensitive way, it really touched me and having experienced this kind of affection from animals myself, I was overwhelmed by how realistic this prose was. A mutual love for their Uncle left me with the hope that this mutual affection might lead to the two women getting closer and realising their late Uncle’s wishes.

The descriptive language in this book left me in awe, at a fellow human being able to produce such a cornucopia of strings of words together, such that I felt myself transported to rural Italy, with its unique, luscious blend of sights, sounds and smells. At times I could close my eyes and I almost found myself transported to the location in the book. Oh to own a TARDIS!w

This book provided a first class lesson in humility; an example of how things that are said or events can appear one way to one person, yet have a different meaning to another. A lesson in forgiveness. One could just hope that Sophie would go at least some way towards understanding previous actions of Rachel, even if she found them hard to forgive.

This was an outstanding book on many fronts.

  • The author’s ability to produce another great book in a long list; how does one manage to produce so many great books that whilst similar in style, all tell a unique story.
  • Unique yet believable characters, showing that its never to late to make amends.
  • The overarching sense of true love.
  • An overwhelming sense of family.

I feel a need to discuss the ’elephant in the room’; a work of modern romantic fiction written by a man? While it’s not that common, we would do well to recall Sophie’s words ‘Men can and do write romance’. There is no doubt in my mind that this is resoundingly true and that TA Williams is amongst the best authors of any sex when studying contemporary romantic fiction. His work is outstanding and this book is in my opinion, a shining star in a sky of romantic fiction. This book is not to be missed, and its only fault is that it was over too soon. I’m sure that there is another book’s worth of story to be told, featuring these characters.

To purchase for yourself, just use this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09F5QJQDZv

The Cosy Cottage in Ireland – Julie Caplin

What a delight, to be reacquainted with old friends, in sisters Hannah and Mina and a fantastic treat to be given the opportunity to follow Hannah’s story and to get to know her a bit better this time.

I admired Hannah, as someone who didn’t/couldn’t cook – giving up her job, to attend a culinary school in Ireland for 6 weeks. Actually, I either admired her, or was astonished by this uncharacteristic move, in that those who can’t cook tend not to want to cook, and most certainly don’t enjoy cooking. This could turn out to be a VERY long 6 week period of time for Hannah and she could become desperate for the help of her more culinarily inclined Sister, Mina.

Hannah has a bit of an ’incident’ in the hotel where she is staying one evening, but not to worry – its not as though she’ll ever see the guy again?

As you can no doubt tell, I warmed to Hannah, as I had done with her Sister in a previous book. These two young women have turned a tricky childhood into a modern day grown up success story. As I read though, I was having doubts about Hannah – more precisely I was worrying about what has driven her to give up her job and come to Ireland for a cookery course, when she has never, to my knowledge, shown any kind of leaning towards doing that. I felt there was an element of mystery as to how Hannah had ended up in Ireland; hopefully we will get some answers. She does mention ’wanting to butt out if real life’. I do love a bit of intrigue though and it has no doubt added to my enjoyment of this book.

I loved the way that Connor and Hannah interacted with each other. There was tangible chemistry between the pair. A prime example was when they ate out together. It was almost as though they were performing a sexy dance like an Argentine tango together, such were their movements and the way they communicated; each obviously hiding something; both giving out just enough information about themself, but obviously guarded and taking care not to relay too much information. Again I found myself increasingly consumed by this pair and their stories and desperate to get to the bottom of what was going on. The whole story was becoming, in the words of the great Lewis Caroll ’Curiouser and curiouser’ and I was struggling to put the book down.

Picture the scene. A non cook on a 6 week gourmet cookery course, comes face to face with the guy that she has just had a one night stand with (NB not only a one night stand, but a following morning sneak out of shame to boot) when he turns out to be the Son of the cookery school owner). Its uncertain as to whom is most shocked, since neither was particularly open or honest about why they were in Ireland. Still that is surely such a far fetched idea that would never happen……or would it? In so far as Conor is concerned, there is certainly more to him than meets the eye.

Conor came across to me as a likeable, amiable chap, although as I’ve implied, we don’t have a clear picture of his past or present. He had a tendency to be prickly and defensive – but why? Has he been hurt in the past, or is there some kind of dark secret that is making him like he is?

Fate brings the pair closer together – although it seems that they protest a little too much!

This beguiling read had me oozing with questions. I really wanted to know what was going on with Conor and his past and I was intrigued by his oddly behaved neighbour Moss Murphy. What on earth was he up to? As for Hannah, what was the real story behind her coming to Ireland? How will she cope with the new temporary living arrangements? Will she be able to keep her hands off Conor? Will Hannah actually learn to be able to / to love cooking? Will Hannah put her experience of boundary law to use? And last but not least, who, of Conor and Hannah, is the biggest fat eejit?

To find out these answers and more, you will need to read this marvellous book for yourself.

This is a beautiful, eloquent story about unrequited love and love at first sight, that left me enchanted and desperately wanting more.

To purchase this book for yourself, use this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cosy-Cottage-Ireland-heartwarming-bestselling-ebook/dp/B08XTLCNLV/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2VEKIY68HJCHU&dchild=1&keywords=the+cosy+cottage+in+ireland&qid=1632750763&sprefix=The+cozy+cott%2Caps%2C153&sr=8-1