2020, Author Love, novella, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Summer – part two- Beauty & the yeast By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Charlie, Delilah and their adorable cream tea bus have found themselves caught up in the filming of a lavish period drama on the Cornish coast and it isn’t long before Lila finds herself drawn to the handsome male lead.
But Lila has made a habit of making rash decisions and it’s one of the reasons she’s hiding out in Cornwall. Could this be one impulsive step too far for her, or is there the promise of something wonderful on the sea air…?

Review: Part two pinged through to my kindle at the right time. A much needed and welcome distraction to the craziness that is the corona virus. None of us could have predicted how this would effect and change our lives. For me this came through on day two with no work schedule, I love reading and having time to dedicate to my blog and to sit with family but I’m desperately missing the routine and day to day that work brings to my life.

In part two Lila is flying solo with the Cornish Cream Tea bus and she’s doing a smashing job of looking after the bus and fulfilling the needs of the cast and crew of Estelle. In this latest instalment Lila’s friendship with Keeley starts to flourish with the pair of them opening up over their separate worries.

Now I have to mention Sam – that sandy haired blue eyed beauty really does need to be on my doorstep especially on days like today. I found myself wholeheartedly embracing the romance of it all. I love how he can seem like two different people the confident actor and the shy guy. I loved seeing him cosy up to a certain someone it seemed to develop slowing but I was embracing it and full of such love – fully immersed in the story.

I don’t want to say too much about the story there is very little of Charlie and Daniel as they are off exploring San Francisco whilst Lila is switching up the coffees and embracing new ideas on the bus. She does get to do some cool stuff with the loveable Sam and Toby and seeing her friendships blossom with the cast and crew.

As her relationships are changing Lila thinks more and more about her fraught friendship with best mate Clara and in a conversation with Keeley she starts doubting herself. I love that the catalyst of that conversation has Lila desperate to prove she’s changed and learnt from her impulsive mistakes can she Sam and Charlie help change the fate of Estelle and the Cornish Cream Tea Bus.

I wasn’t particularly happy with how it ended as I just want to continue reading about the Cornish coast and their gorgeous residents. Part two was a welcome distraction that should have been read quite quickly but it allowed me to delve in and out of real life – during a time when I wanted and needed to escape. I’ve made another book boyfriend giving me unrealistic ideals but I can’t wait for Sam to come back into my life in part three.

Thank you Cressida for being the light in such an unpredictable time for of uncertainty.

2020, Author Love, novella, Publication Day, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Summer: part one All You Knead is Love By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb:Everyone’s favourite bus goes on a summer adventure full of sunshine and the promise of romance…

Charlie has a new helper on her bus, her free-spirited and loveable cousin, Delilah, who’s paid a visit to the charming Cornish village of Porthgolow and is helping out on Charlie’s adorable cream tea bus.
When the Director of a new TV series filming further along the coast tells Delilah that the bus would be the perfect addition to their onsite catering, she takes him a bit too literally, and before long she and the bus have taken a rather unexpected journey…

Review: So if you’re not new to the blog you will remember I was hooked on the first Cornish experience – where I first met Charlie. Who instantly stole my heart and then alongside Charlie I also fell wholeheartedly for Daniel. The rollercoaster ride of the will they won’t they had me itching for the next instalment.

So when Cressida said she would be returning to the Cornish coast, my interest was already piqued. It’s great to have Charlie and the gang back although in this first instalment we meet her loveable cousin Delilah Lila to her friends.

Today is publication day of the second instalment of this story and for me it’s a much needed distraction in a crazy world right now. I loved going back and I’m loving seeing Lila open up to Charlie and in seeing her confidence change. I’m also loving seeing the story of the TV show and in the blossoming friends and romances. I can’t lie it’s also good to have the loveable Daniel back…..

Right without further ado I believe it’s time to put my current book down and to get back to the bus and see what Lila is up to right now….if you’re lucky I maybe back with another review shortly.

2020, Author Love, ebook, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Broken Hearts at Brightwater Bay By Holly Hepburn

Blurb: On paper, Merina Wilde has it all: a successful career writing the kind of romantic novels that make even the hardest hearts swoon, a perfect carousel of book launches and parties to keep her social life buzzing, and a childhood sweetheart who thinks she’s a goddess. But Merry has a secret: the magic has stopped flowing from her fingers. Try as she might, she can’t summon up the sparkle that makes her stories shine. And as her deadline whooshes by, her personal life falls apart too. Alex tells her he wants something other than the future she’d always imagined for them and Merry finds herself single for the first time since – well, ever.

Desperate to get her life back on track, Merry leaves London and escapes to the windswept Orkney Islands, locking herself away in a secluded clifftop cottage to try to heal her heart and rediscover her passion for writing. But can the beauty of the islands and the kindness of strangers help Merry to fool herself into believing in love again, if only long enough to finish her book? Or is it time for her to give up the career she’s always adored and find something new to set her soul alight?

Review: The minute a Holly Hepburn series is announced I normally at least order the first part and that is exactly what I did with this beauty. I was still awake around midnight on publication day, so I managed to read the prologue and the first chapter before my tired eyes started telling me to get back to this in the morning. If I hadn’t been captured by sleep this would have been an easy one sitting read, although I’m glad I got to discover this gorgeous setting and intriguing characters for a little longer.

From the moment I met Merry I liked her, she’s full of charm and character. Let’s face it she’s a writer so I was always going to adore her. During the prologue Holly set the scene in the most upsetting of ways for poor Merry she literally didn’t see it coming and my heart literally broke for her. Knowing Holly and her heroines though I knew early on that Merry is a tough cookie who deserves much better in life.

I’m such a fan of Holly’s writing and I love how there is differences for adverts, texts and emails it makes it feel more real if that makes any sense. I’ve never visited the Orkney Islands but I feel like Holly has painted an extremely atmospheric description of what the islands are like, they feel peaceful and full of life. Making me feel how I feel when I visit some of my most favourite holiday destinations that have me feeling happy and content.

As Merry discovers more and more about the locals and the history it’s as if you can feel the weight off her shoulders simply disappearing. Merry and Jess are the best of friends they are so different though and that works. Everyone needs a straight talking Jess who will tell you exactly what you need to hear even if you don’t really want to hear it.

I’m really enjoying everything about this novel and it’s shaping up to be another fantastic story from Holly. I’m intrigued by our Clark Kent in Niall and I’m hopeful that Magnus also makes a few more appearances. I cannot wait to see where the second part takes us in April.

2019, New Author to me, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized

Novella Review: Stepping Out By S.J.King

Blurb: WINNER of the Books and the City Choice Award in the #heatseeker short story competition, Stepping Out is a poignant, inspiring short story about acceptance, self-love and finding the courage to be who you really are.

Paula has been practising walking in her new red velvet heels for weeks. So far, she hasn’t made it past her front door.

But tonight is different.

With the help of her sister, a panty-girdle and a little bit of Dutch courage, Paula is stepping out, for the very first time.

Will she find the courage to show her true identity to the world? And if she does, will they accept her?

Review: I purchased this on 16th September 2018 and just under a year later I’ve finally read it. The Heat-seeker winners that I’ve read have been fantastic and following Hannah Pearl’s treat I instantly downloaded this one. For one reason or another it’s taken me this long to read this but I truly enjoyed this short read. It’s the perfect tonic in between reads and kept me entertained with a coffee and a biscuit just after my breakfast and in between my lunch whilst at the seaside.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this novel, from the off I worked out it was heavily focused on anxiety but considering the title I was a little naive in what I thought it was about. An extremely well written short that had me on the edge of my seat throughout constantly wanting more and not feeling like I’d been short changed by the novella. I wholeheartedly felt captivated by the thoughts and feelings of someone overcoming these sort of challenges, and how it changes even the smallest of events hence Paula’s night out taking so much effort and preparation.

A truly heartfelt and powerful read of anxiety change and the love of a sister.

2019, ebook, novella, Quick Reads, Short Story, Uncategorized

Novella Review: After Hello By Mhairi McFarlane

Blurb: A short story sequel to the bestselling romcom You Had Me At Hello!

In You Had Me At Hello, the one who got away came back… but what happened next?

Together, apart and then back together again, Rachel and Ben had a rollercoaster ride to get here. But now happily in love and partners in crime once more, it feels like it’s all been worth it.

But when a face from the past reappears, misunderstandings come between them once more.

Can they hold on to their happy ever after?

Review: I fell in love with Mhairi’s writing style and her characters when I read You Had Me At Hello. It was a heartfelt read that had me from the get go. I loved Rachel and Ben and their university times really did make me smile. My time at uni wasn’t as interesting as there’s but I did have a crush although it was never on the scale of best friends Ben and Rachel. In that novel I grew increasingly frustrated with them because I could see how they were meant to be.

I’m ashamed to say I’ve had After Hello on my Kindle on both my paper white and my iphone since 26th Jan 2017. As I’m on holiday and having just finished a book I thought let’s see what novellas I have. I love Mhairi’s style and whenever I read any of her books I’m hooked so I knew this would be the perfect tonic and I was oh so right.

I love a novella I know a lot of readers always complain how they are too short but for me they are fantastic quick reads that I like to slip alongside my longer reads. In After Hello I found myself getting angry as Ben and Rachel were the dream team for me in You Had Me At Hello in thinking their happy ever after wasn’t meant to be I was feeling heartbroken. I should have remembered how much Ben used sarcasm to get his point across.

A lovely reunion with Rachel, Ben and the girls. I never tire of reading stories about characters I have fell in love with it’s just like reuniting with old friends. It’s got me thinking of my university bunch and all we went through together.

Thank you Mhairi for taking me back to them, although I don’t think Ben and Rachel’s story has finished….

2019, august, ebook, novella, Quick Reads, Review, TBR, Uncategorized, update

A Patchwork Family – Part One – Moving On By Cathy Bramley

Blurb: Gina Moss is proud of herself: she’s just had the most amicable divorce ever. No arguments, no fuss, no drama. It means she has plenty of time and energy for her thriving childminding business too.

Welcome Cottage is both home and workplace for Gina. It sits just on the edge of The Evergreens – a grand if slightly run-down Victorian residence to three octogenarians who have far too much fun for their age: Violet, Delphine and Bing.

But a tragedy puts her older friends at risk of eviction – and Gina in charge of the battle to save them. It might be her first fight, but it’s one that Gina is determined not to lose…

Review: It’s been a while since I’ve read a Cathy Bramley novel and when this series was mentioned I instantly pre-ordered it, them good old 99p kindle purchases. I had hoped to have read and reviewed on publication day but that wasn’t to be. See I’m getting more organised but I’m also wanting to read more and more.

Part one is aptly named – Moving On as Gina has accomplished her amicable divorce and later on in the instalment there are more tragic circumstances. It starts with Bramley’s trademark wit, I’d heard of divorce parties via another book and the meal between Gina and Eric sure was full of laughs. It’s extremely rare that marriages can end well – but they are one of those rare breeds. The scene in the restaurant had me laughing out loud, but it also made me want to know more as they got on so well, I’m sat there wondering why they called time on their marriage.

It being part one it sets the scene and the groundwork for the story with the hint of what’s to come. What I’ve grown to love about these type of series’s is that you are left eager and wanting more and this did not disappoint. A Patchwork Family crosses over to The Lemon Tree Cafe as it’s based in the same town with some of the same characters. In realising that I realise I only read the first part of that story, so that will need to be rectified but August is proving to be a busy one.

Gina is a character that I instantly liked, she’s a go getter and wants the best out of life. A tragedy makes her realise she needs to live every day like it’s her last.

I loved the sentiments in this novel, friends and family come in all shapes and sizes and I loved the variation of age groups. You have the older generation who Gina is extremely fond of and then you have the children to whom she is also fond of. Being a childminder and an extremely good and experienced one at that. It also showed me that families can be a blessing and a curse. I don’t want to spoil the intrigue so I won’t say anymore than that. I want to see whether Dexter pulls through for the sake of his family.

2019, Author Love, july, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Part four – The Icing on the cake By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Can Charlie pull off the perfect showstopper?
Charlie has fallen in love with Porthgolow village and they adore her vintage bus, now getting a new lease of life as the best place to have a Cornish Cream tea in the whole of Cornwall. Charlie and her bus have heralded a new start for Porthgolow too, but the one fly in the ointment is Daniel Harper who is still resisting the charms of Charlie and her bus. Can Charlie bake her way into his heart or is it time to admit that her Cornish dream has got a soggy bottom?

Review: Now from how part three concluded I always knew that part four would have a special place in my heart and would be the hardest to finish. I initially read the first chapter just after midnight on release day and had subsequently started reading on my walk into work, however, work, lack of sleep and the heat meant it took me a little longer to finish this beauty.

What I will say is Cressida played an absolute blinder as expected by a series part four had lots of moments that made you gasp. From the very beginning I was heavily invested in these characters and watching them experience full on life changing emotions really got me. I don’t know about those characters pulses racing at that point mine definitely were. I loved what that part of the story suggested and the messages underneath both incidents.

If I had been off work the day after I had started reading at midnight I would have been hooked on this in one sitting. In a way I’m glad I got a little bit more time with Charlie and the gang.

There were a number of quotes from Charlie’s late uncle Hal that really made me stop and think….

There is nothing that can’t be overcome if you believe in yourself

this is definitely something that I should listen to. In my own worst critic.

Another that really made me smile was a description for Porthgolow

It’s a proper slice of magic

I could use that sentence about a few of my favourite places in the world and it’s a line and sentiment that proper made me smile.

The Cornish Cream Tea Bus was an extraordinary treat that will make you salivate for afternoon tea and cake but it will also tug on your heart strings and stay there. A tasty treat with some truly powerful messages one that I won’t forget. I would love to see Cressida revisit these characters someday.

2019, ebook, july, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Part Three Scones Away By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Charlie’s toughest technical challenge yet…

Now that Charlie’s Cornish Cream Tea bus has taken off, everything should be going swimmingly- the locals love her baking, Marmite adores getting his paws wet in the crystal-clear sea at Porthgolow beach, but Charlie has managed to get on the wrong side of the mercurial owner of The Porthgolow Hotel, Daniel Harper. He wants her to pack up her doillies and pastry cutters and take her bus elsewhere, but can Charlie convince him that they have just got off on the wrong foot and that her bus could be the start of something wonderful for the little village?

Review: I’ve truly loved every second of Charlie’s story and Cressida has made me excited for my Summer trip to the coast. Although my travels will take me to the Kent coast not the Cornish one but alas it’s given me a spark. Nothing beats that glisten on the water and the feel of sand between your toes.

Anyway that’s enough of my daydreams this beauty pinged through on Wednesday evening at midnight and if I hadn’t been so hot and bothered and still reeling from the last book I had finished I could have easily read at the stroke of midnight. Seeing as the next instalment is the conclusion I may just do that.

Part three – has to have been the most intense of instalments, it’s the real meaty part of the story with lots of OMG moments constantly keeping you guessing. Now in these sort of stories there’s almost always a man behind a woman’s thoughts. In this case in part there is two guys – it’s not quite a triangle but it could have been. So I don’t want to say too much as part three has shaped my opinions on Ollie and Daniel. Although I have to mention Daniel because if you can read this and not feel anything for the hotel owner then hats off to you. I however found myself a little breathless – Cressida describes the perfect kiss on a beach location.

In reading a number of these novella style books part three is always the cliffhanger leaving so many unanswered questions. Charlie has come so far that I hope she gets the ending she deserves and I’d like to hope that it includes Daniel and staying put in Porthgolow. But we shall see.

Once again I’ve had to stop reading this treat as it’s made me extremely hungry at times. I’m going to miss the Cornish coast and watch this space I may have to dive in at midnight on 25th July.

If you fancy a trip to the coast with a slice of afternoon tea look no further. I will miss these guys when this story concludes.

2019, novella, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Part Two – The Eclair Affair By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Charlie unveils her signature bake….

Charlie and Marmite finally arrive in the picture-postcard Cornish village of Porthgolow in their vintage Route-master bus. Not everything is as it seems and Charlie’s friend, Juliette, tells her about the owner of the big hotel on the hill who has managed to upset the locals. That doesn’t stop Charlie and Marmite making new friends and the bus finds a new lease of life as the perfect mobile cafe for afternoon tea. But what will Charlie make of enigmatic Daniel Harper when they meet, and more to the point, what will he think about Charlie and her bus parked outside of his lovely hotel?

Review: After loving part one I was itching for part two. Although you have been warned do not read this instalment on an empty stomach, otherwise you will want all the sweet treats you can find.

In diving into part two I had read four chapters really quickly, and I was immersed in every page. I really like Charlie – she’s a likeable character and I’ve loved seeing her change the opinions of some of the more frosty residents of Porthgolow.

Where part one was the groundwork and the foundations of Charlie’s story part two is where you’re caught up in Charlie’s world. In part one we’re left completely unsure of Daniel Harper and his motives all round but in part two there is a much softer side to him and he’s really stirred up a number of emotions for Charlie. Having been betrayed by former love Stuart – she’s been carrying that sadness and as much as she’s been lonely at times she’s threw herself into making a success of Hal’s Gertie. In a short time she’d had so much heartbreak it’s only natural to feel wounded and to want to shut herself off emotionally. Throwing herself into her work seemed to be the answer until she was told to take a break in heading to Cornwall she was meant to be resting but Charlie had to see if she could make a go of the bus. The transformation has been amazing and even her most frosty residents seem to realise she’s not just a flash in the pan – she’s really made a stir in Porthgolow for the better.

I don’t want to give too much away but the situation with Daniel Harper gets extremely intense and a little bit under the collar if you get my drift. Although in saying that I now need to mention the loveable Ollie. There is something about Ollie he’s extremely caring and thoughtful but Charlie cannot deny he doesn’t make her heart flutter and after all she’s been through she deserves the works in the relationship stakes. I love how uncle Hal’s sayings and wisdom seem to come to Charlie at exactly the right time.

I’ve really loved the first two segments of The Cornish Cream Tea Bus and I cannot wait for my next instalment next week.