Meet Me At Pebble Beach by Bella Osborne

Synopsis:

Regan is holding a winning lottery ticket.
Goodbye to the boyfriend who never had her back, and so long to the job she can’t stand!
Except it’s all a bit too good to be true…

When Regan gets pranked, she finds herself jobless, homeless and boyfriendless in one fell swoop.

Luckily her friendly seaside community provides a beacon of hope, proving to Regan that sometimes you really can rely on the kindness of others – and one local in particular, a handsome fireman called Charlie, helps Regan realise that this could be her chance for a fresh start.

Armed with a list of ways to change her life, Regan decides it’s time to step out of her comfort zone. Because – as Charlie knows all too well – life is for living . . .

My thoughts:

Thank you Avon Books, Bella Osborne and NetGalley for my digital review copy – my thoughts are my own. This is the first book I’ve read by Bella Osborne and I was thrilled to be gifted a digital review copy after seeing great reviews.

I really enjoyed this book, lots of humour but also tackling some social issues such as homelessness. The character of Regan developed nicely – the opening chapters with the lottery ticket prank made me laugh out loud. As her friendship with Charlie develops, Regan needs to find ways to follow her dream to run her own business and to find a new home.


What a conclusion! I didn’t expect the ending of the story – may have had damp eyes a couple of times. Thank you to Bella Osborne for writing such great characters and making me care about them. This has been a great escape from the global pandemic and I will be recommending it to friends/family/readers of my blog.

The Weight of Small Things by Julie Lancaster

Synopsis

Nine-year-old Frankie Appleton likes to count gates.

One day she hopes to design the perfect gate – a gate to keep the bad things out.

Little does she know that the bad things have already got in.

Now her mother is dead, and the only other person with a house key has disappeared.

Frankie thinks she knows who it is. But first she has to prove it.

A delicately brutal exploration of what lies behind closed doors, and of the secrets and lies that form the fabric of every family, The Weight of Small Things is as charming as it is chilling.

My thoughts:

Thank you to Mirror Books for inviting me to read a digital proof via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own.

This was a difficult book to read due to the subject matter. I work with young people and the story kept shouting ‘safeguarding issue’.

The positives – Frankie is determined to get on with life despite the tough start to life she has had – she is a resourceful young girl who has been surrounded by a set of adults with major issues. She is determined to prove that her mother was murdered and the story is full of twists before we find out what really happened to Peggy.

The negatives – the stories are very dark – rape, suicide, prison, murder, child abuse.

I did read the book through to the end because I wanted to know what happened to Frankie, but I found the ending to be rather abrupt – I’m not sure if the final copy would have some further information. If you enjoy crime fiction, then you may wish to read a copy of this.

The Plus One Pact by Portia MacIntosh

I’m thrilled to be joining the blog tour organised by Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources today for this gorgeous romantic comedy by Portia MacIntosh.

Synopsis

What if your plus one could be the one…?



Cara has officially run out of men. Her most recent dates have gone from bad to worse, and when her dating app informs her there is no one left in her area to choose from, she is at a dead end.

But with a summer of events ahead of her, she needs to find a solution, fast; someone to keep her company at the never-ending weddings, family gatherings and gender reveal parties that she can’t face going to alone. So when she meets handsome, confident, Millsy on a night out she may be in luck. They could not be more different in personality, but he too has a summer of events ahead and is desperate to get his family off his back about finding a ‘nice girl’. What if they made a pact to help each other out and be a plus one for the summer? Just as friends of course…?

My thoughts:

Thank you to Boldwood Books for a digital review copy via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the review copy.

I discovered Portia’s books last year, starting with Honeymoon for One, and have enjoyed reading and recommending her humorous and uplifting books.

Having grown up and also attended University in Yorkshire, I thoroughly enjoyed the setting of this book – so many books seem to be set in London or at the coast. Cara and Millsy are great characters who strike up an unlikely friendship and Portia brought them to life in a book I devoured in a day.

I loved the pace of the story, the ups and downs of Cara’s summer, the awkwardness of meeting new people as a plus one, the awkwardness of her ex-boyfriend returning for her cousins wedding and the difficult relationship with her cousin and aunt. My personal favourite stories included Millsy meeting Cara’s boss at her wedding and the gender reveal party.

This is a no spoilers review so I can’t say any more about the story, except to say that in the middle of a global pandemic, it gave me the opportunity to laugh out loud on numerous occasions.

Thank you Portia for another enjoyable book – I loved the other books, but I think that this is my favourite.

Portia MacIntosh

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2HJQnC2  

Author Bio – Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of 12 novels, including It’s Not You, It’s Them and Honeymoon For One. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real life experiences.

Social Media Links – 

Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/PortiaMacIntoshNewsletter

https://portiamacintosh.com/

http://facebook.com/portia.macintosh.3

http://instagram.com/portiamacintoshauthor

http://bookbub.com/authors/portia-macintosh





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A PERFECT CORNISH ESCAPE by PHILLIPA ASHLEY

Thrilled to share my review for this lovely book on my blog today. Originally it was going to be shared next month as the main publication date is 11th June – however I heard yesterday that special advance copies are now in Tesco – time to add a copy to your ‘essential’ shopping basket in person or online.

Synopsis:

Summer in Cornwall is the perfect time for a fresh start…
Seven years ago, Marina Hudson’s husband was lost at sea. She vowed to love him for the rest of her life – but when kind-hearted Lachlan arrives in Porthmellow, should she deny herself another chance at happiness?

Tiff Trescott was living life to the full as a journalist in London – until her boyfriend’s betrayal brought it all crashing down. Fleeing to her cousin Marina’s cottage, Tiff feels like a fish-out-of-water. And when brooding local Dirk wins a day with her in a charity auction, she’s thrown headfirst into Cornish life.

This summer promises new beginnings for both Tiff and Marina. But are they too good to be true?

My thoughts:

Thank you to Avon Books/Harper Collins for gifting a digital advanced review copy of this book to me via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own. This was an Easter 2020 read for me and I enjoyed my first ever visit to Porthmellow – this was the perfect way to visit Cornwall during Lockdown.

I have seen great reviews for Phillipa’s books and I have now be added her previous books to my wish list.

This book follows Marina and Tiff, cousins who have led very different lives since they used to spend summer holidays together in Cornwall as children. Both have to deal with the baggage from their past and to move forward with their lives.

The stories evolved well as we joined Marina and Tiff on their year of making new friendships – I loved how kindness and community were central to the story, as was the local lifeboat and volunteers.

Hopefully by the time this book is published, the Lockdown will be easing, but I recommend this book for a relaxing read anytime of the year – maybe with a glass of Pimms and a plate of seafood or a Cornish pasty.



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An Almost Perfect Holiday by Lucy Diamond

As we head into the summer of 2020, many of us have already waved goodbye to our plans for a summer holiday – I know that I won’t be relaxing by a pool in Spain or fossil hunting in Lyme Regis anytime soon. However we can still enjoy a virtual visit to Cornwall with this fabulous novel by Lucy Diamond, published in paperback in the UK today. I’m looking forward to picking up a paperback copy to add to my Lucy Diamond collection.

Synopsis:

Summer is here, and down in Cornwall Lorna’s holiday cottages are fully booked. The sun loungers are lined up beside the swimming pool, the sky is blue and a new set of arrivals are on their way…

Em’s planned the perfect break with her teenagers plus her new boyfriend, George… but now his difficult six-year-old is coming too. Will their romance survive the realities of parenthood?

Maggie’s hoping a seaside holiday will bring her and her daughter closer together, but when her ex makes a surprise reappearance, it changes everything. Can she trust the man who broke her heart?

Olivia has escaped the domestic grind, only for the past to catch up with her. Maybe the time has come to confess all – if she can find the courage…

Meanwhile, the teenagers are running wild and love is in the air. With friendship, heartache and secrets in the mix, will this holiday turn out to be a scorcher – or simply too hot to handle?

My thoughts:

I have read the majority of the Lucy Diamond novels (I usually take the latest paperback on holiday) and this is one of my favourites. It is a well written book with characters brought to life in such a way that you feel as if you know them personally.

The four main female characters all have various forms of ‘baggage’ – loss of loved ones, ex husbands, new relationships, extreme tiredness etc. They spend a week in Cornwall at Lorna’s holiday cottages and their lives will never be the same again. I loved the way the individual stories evolved and became woven together.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan for a digital proof copy via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own.

Lucy Diamond (from Amazon.com)

Lucy Diamond grew up in Nottingham and went to university in Leeds where she studied English Literature. After graduating, she worked in publishing and at the BBC, and in her spare time she began writing children’s books under a number of different pen names. 

Two small children later, an evening class in creative writing motivated her to try a longer piece of fiction and explore some of her own feelings about motherhood. This eventually became a novel, Any Way You Want Me, and she was thrilled when Pan Macmillan made her an offer of publication.

Now the author of fourteen novels and a Sunday Times bestselling author, Lucy writes with warmth and honesty about the joy and surprises, as well as the complications, that love, family and friendships can bring.

Lucy now lives in Bath with her husband and three children and writes full-time.  


Her website is http://www.lucydiamond.co.uk

She is on Twitter @LDiamondAuthor, and has a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LucyDiamondAuthor.

You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac


Thrilled to share a mini review for a book read from my Kindle after too long in my TBR pile.

Synopsis:

Jess and her ten-year-old son William set off to spend the summer at Château de Roussignol, deep in the rich, sunlit hills of the Dordogne. There, Jess’s ex-boyfriend and William’s father, Adam, runs a beautiful hotel in a restored castle. Jess is bowled over by what Adam has accomplished, but she’s in France for a much more urgent reason: to make Adam connect with his own son. Jess can’t allow Adam to let their son down because she is tormented by a secret of her own, one that nobody – especially William – must discover.

By turns life-affirming, heart-wrenching and joyful, You Me Everything is a novel about one woman’s fierce determination to grab hold of the family she has and never let go, and a romantic story as heady as a crisp Sancerre on a summer day.

My thoughts:


After reading my first Catherine Isaac book a couple of months ago (Messy Wonderful Us), I finally got around to reading this book which has been sat on my Kindle for quite a few months.

This book is a voyage of discovery for Jess who travels to France with her son William, to spend a summer holiday with her ex/his dad, Adam. The story covers topics such as friendships, illness, addiction, keeping secrets and lack of communication, but overall is an uplifting read about the importance of love.

The majority of the story is set in France, at Adam’s holiday resort. As this is the nearest I will have to travelling there this year during the worldwide lockdown, the descriptions of the places to visit and the food, were much appreciated. This was the perfect book to read in a sunny back garden on a bank holiday weekend.

I must admit that Messy Wonderful Us is still my favourite book by Catherine Isaac, but this is a very close second.

To see my review of Messy Wonderful Us visit https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2020/03/29/bookreview-messy-wonderful-us-by-catherine-isaac/


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A Wedding at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

Thrilled to share my thoughts about the latest book by Veronica Henry, being published later this week.

Robyn Moss just wants a simple wedding. A quiet ceremony; a picnic on the beach; dancing barefoot on the sand until the sun goes down. But first, Robyn has one very important thing to do – before embracing her future, she needs to uncover her past. As she sets out to find her birth mother, a tangled thread of love, loss and betrayal that ties together three generations of women begins to emerge.

As her wedding day approaches, Robyn discovers that where there is heartbreak, there is hope – and that in the end, love will always win.

My thoughts:

Thank you to Orion for gifting a digital ARC via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

I discovered Veronica Henry’s books when A Family Recipe was published, and I have been reading her books ever since. I’ve enjoyed all the Beach Hut books so far (The Beach Hut, The Beach Hut Next Door and Christmas at The Beach Hut) and was thrilled to return to Everdene. As the UK (and many other countries) are currently on Lockdown, this was also a chance to visit the coast whilst staying safe at home. Although there are some references to previous characters, this book does not require you to have read the previous books (but I recommend that you do).

I love how Veronica weaves her stories together in this book, introducing great characters for you to care about, beautiful locations and lots of delicious food. This story looks at family relationships, friendships, choosing happiness and preparing for a wedding. After reading this book in the sunshine of our back garden, I felt happier and in need of my own beach hut for the garden.

I hope (and expect) to see this book on the summer 2020 bestseller lists. It is a lovely uplifting read and should be enjoyed with a glass of Pimm’s or a fruit cider.

Veronica Henry:

Veronica Henry was a television script writer before turning her hand to fiction. She has published sixteen novels which she describes as realistic escapism – her setting are gorgeous, but her characters have problems and dilemmas everyone can identify with.

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