Monday, 30 June 2014

The Cottage on the Corner- Shirlee McCoy

A really charming book set in Apple Valley. It was very much like Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove in style and enjoyment factor.

Charlotte is the local baker and she supplies local events with plates of cookies, cakes and scones- all presented with pretty teapots full of flowers so that her baking is an event on it's own. She is saving to open her own shop in the town and you can just imagine the baking heaven that it will be. Apple Valley folklore says that her special chocolate cupcakes have men proposing to their partners in a daze of calorie induced happiness. She presently refuses to make them anymore- although there are some lurking in the depths of her freezer.

She attends a wedding as the book opens where she had supplied the cake. We are introduced to the other main character of this book when he brings her back to the bouquet throwing. He has a reputation for being a bit of a ladies man- but when his ex drops a 3 year old on him whilst she jets off for a job interview he has to start looking at life differently.

There is a spark of chemistry between the two and when Charlotte agrees to babysit ZuZu one day it sets off the first step in their realising that they enjoy each others company.

It delightfully brings in the other characters who may well feature in their own story in further books in the series. It was a delightful read and an author I will look out for in the future.

Supplied by NetGalley for a review

The Seafront Tea Rooms- Vanessa Green

"The Seafront Tea Rooms is a peaceful hideaway, away from the bustle of the seaside, and in this quiet place a group of women find exactly what they've been searching for.

Charismatic journalist Charlotte is on a mission to scope out Britain's best tea rooms. She knows she's found something special in the Seafront Tea Rooms but is it a secret she should share? Kathryn, a single mother whose only sanctuary is the 'Seafront', convinces Charlie to keep the place out of her article by agreeing to join her on her search. Together with another regular, Seraphine, a culture-shocked French au pair with a passion for pastry-making, they travel around the country discovering quaint hideaways and hidden gems. But what none of them expect is for their journey to surprise them with discoveries of a different kind . . ."

I received a copy of the first few chapters of this new book- from Net Galley.

Charlotte writes reviews of teashops for the paper and is always looking out for quaint or outstanding places to enjoy. She appears to have a slightly strained relationship with her sister and is getting over a broken engagement. She is looking for more teashops to submit her reports and the excerpt ends with her finding the tearooms with the lacey curtains and aromatic teas in little tins ready to be chosen and savoured by the new guests. It draws you in and leaves you wanting to hear the rest of the story.

Characters are introduced that from the 'blurb' will be major parts of the story including the aupair from France.

I really can't wait until this one is released and I can read further. I loved her first book- one of my favourite reads last year and I can just imagine that this one is going to join my favourite lists this year aswell.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Purgatorium- Eva Pohler

I was sent a copy of this book for review by Goodreads.

"Seventeen year-old Daphne Janus is floored when her parents agree to let her accompany her best friend to a getaway resort on an island off the coast of California. She doesn't know her parents have sent her to the Purgatorium as a last-ditch effort to save their child.

Her best friend and life-long neighbor takes her to a mostly uninhabited island with a wildlife preserve on one side and Chumash Indian ruins on the “haunted” side. The resort might be beautiful, the beach pristine, and the views from the headland amazing, but strange things begin to happen that soon have Daphne running for her life. At first she finds the therapeutic games thrilling: the ghosts that visit her room, the dropping elevator, and the kayak incident are actually kind of fun once she recovers from them. But when her horse bucks her off during a trail ride and she becomes lost on the haunted side of the island, it’s not fun anymore, and she wonders if her parents have sent her there to help her or to punish her."

Although not initially sure what to expect from this one it was a real page turner. 

Daphne goes to a paradise island type resort with her best friend after a very stressful time.They swim in a beautiful pool with a glass bottom where they can watch the sea creatures. She finds once she is there that they are providing a therapy service for her to face her fears. She gets stuck in an elevator and inside a cave when the tide comes in. Are these part of the therapy or just accidents? Then on a pony trekking expedition she is thrown off her horse and becomes scared that she does not know who she can trust. She tries to flee- but are the people she meets part of the therapy or do they belong to the more tourist side of the island. If she can reach that side of the island will she be able to catch a boat to safety.

I loved the suspense during the book - and wondering what was going to happen to her next.
This is the first part of a series and I am already keen to read the next book in the series.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Teashop on the Corner- Milly Johnson

I was lucky enough to be chosen as part of Team Milly. The first 'perk' was receiving her new book ahead of the publication day. It was exciting to receive a lovely wrapped pressie in the post.

She's one of my favourite authors and couldn't wait to curl up with this one.

Product Description

The magical new novel from Sunday Times top ten bestseller, Milly Johnson
Life is full of second chances…if only you keep your heart open for them.
Spring Hill Square is a pretty sanctuary away from the bustle of everyday life. And at its centre is Leni Merryman's Teashop on the Corner, specialising in cake, bookish stationery and compassion. And for three people, all in need of a little TLC, it is somewhere to find a friend to lean on.
Carla Pride has just discovered that her late husband Martin was not who she thought he was. And now she must learn to put her marriage behind her and move forward.
Molly Jones's ex-husband Harvey has reappeared in her life after many years, wanting to put right the wrongs of the past before it is too late.
And Will Linton's business has gone bust and his wife has left him to pick up the pieces. Now he needs to gather the strength to start again.
Can all three find the comfort they are looking for in The Teashop on the Corner? And as their hearts are slowly mended by Leni, can they return the favour when she needs it most…?
A story of love, friendship and second chances that will warm your heart and rekindle your hope.

My review
This was a real treasure of a book- now my favourite Milly Johnson book so far!!!!!!!! I really hope there are further books planned so that we get to catch up with the wonderful characters.

I would love to have a teashop near me that sold 'classic' themed items- I'd be penniless within weeks probably. All of the characters meet in the newly opened cafe and then each Tuesday and discuss the classics from that week! Each character brought something new to the book and it was interesting to hear more about their life stories.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of this book by being a part of Team Millie and would love to say a huge thank you for selecting me and not leaving me on the sidelines from PE days at school!

Milly confirmed that we will be revisiting these characters in another book and I can't wait.

My friend Adele went to meet Milly when she was signing copies of her book in Chesterfield and said that she was lovely.
She also met Lucy Diamond when she was signing her book- and very kindly she got a copy signed for me as a complete surprise.