My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 30th July 2022

Hello and Happy Saturday!!  A lovely baby robin has been out and about in my garden this week so that’s been lovely to watch…. and keeping me on my toes making sure there’s enough food put out for him/her!  A small price to pay!

And it’s been a much better bookish week too with 5 books finished this week, 2 of which were audiobooks! So yay!  Now if only I was that motivated to get the reviews done….  And just 1 newbie for my bookshelves and nothing from Netgalley!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

THE BOOKSHOP by PENELOPE FITZGERALD (audiobook) – 3 STARS

THE LITTLE HOUSE BY THE SEA by TRACY REES – 5 STARS

SOULJOURNER by PAUL STEVEN STONE – 5 STARS

OH WILLIAM by ELIZABETH STROUT (audiobook) – 3 STARS

THE LIGHTHOUSE BOOKSHOP by SHARON GOSLING – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Just one from my subscription with the fabulous RENARD PRESS

FOGGERTY’S FAIRY by W.S.GILBERT

‘Take care. The consequences of an act are often much more numerous and important than people have any idea of.’

Today W.S. Gilbert is best known for the comic operas he produced in collaboration with Arthur Sullivan, a creative partnership that diverged over the supernatural. Unlike Sullivan, Gilbert was a great fan of fairy tales, and Foggerty’s Fairy, one of his most unjustly neglected plays, is a brilliant farcical comedy that hinges on the wish-granting of a fairy.

Loosely based on his short story ‘The Story of a Twelfth Cake’, Foggerty’s Fairy considers the dangers of playing with the past. Trying to shore up his relationship, a man enlists a fairy’s help to make a few tweaks in his past – he soon realises, however, these small changes have made great waves through time, and his present becomes unbearable.

CURRENTLY READING

SNEGUROCHKA by JUDITH HENEGHEN

HAPPY READING!!

#BookReview THE MOVEMENT by AYISHA MALIK #TheMovement @headlinepg

ABOUT THE BOOK

With words come power. But do you speak out or shut up?

Everywhere Sara Javed goes – online or outside – everyone is shouting about something. Couldn’t they all just shut up? One day she takes her own advice.

At first people don’t understand her silence and are politely confused at best. But the last thing Sara could anticipate is becoming the figurehead of a global movement that splits society in two.

The Silent Movement sparks outrage in its opposers. Global structures start to shift. And the lives of those closest to Sara – as well as strangers inspired by her act – begin to unravel.

It’s time for the world to reconsider what it means to have a voice.

A sharply observed novel, charged with compassion and dark wit, that will spark important conversations about how we live, relate and communicate now

.PUBLISHED BY REVIEW

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon


MY REVIEW

Wow!! This has gone straight into my favourite books of 2022!! This is one of those books that is perfect for the times we are living in as it balances out so many pros and cons of this ever increasingly loud world that we live in nowadays. Once I’d started this book I just couldn’t put it down!

Sara is a successful author, but she’s sick of the shouty world she finds herself living in. People jostling for their opinions to be heard and shared online and IRL – something I think we can all relate to! – so she does the unthinkable and takes a vow of silence. Much to the disgust of her Publishers who want her to accept awards, make speeches etc about her book. So The Silent Movement begins and her silence gets the world talking, and makes a lot of people worry.

Two women she inspires, Grace and Zainab, then share their stories of their journey into the Silent Movement and I loved seeing different perspectives of other characters and the dialogue it sparks between people. Women have fought so hard to have a voice so is the actions of people joining this movement, undermining all that women fought for?! Or is there more power in silence?

The story is told over a number of years and follows these women on their different paths and the reactions over the world are quite staggering. A lot of powerful people are worried, and the parallels with how we found ourselves living fairly recently with strict guidelines really struck home with me. The governments try banning the movement, the resistance grows – it throws up so many moral questions that you will find yourself for and against it at some point as you read!

it also throws out the dilemma that are some people just making noise for the sake of it? By people being quiet they find themselves with more time to think, and deleting social media also makes them happier individuals…. so very true of our reality now!

This is an epic book that centres on the right to choose, something also very central to the world of today. This is a book that made me think so much about what I say, how to say it and how our actions can impact so much, especially around the subject of feminism and women’s rights. A staggering book that needs to be read by all!! Go buy it!! Thank me, silently, later!!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE LITTLE HOUSE BY THE SEA by TRACY REES

ABOUT THE BOOK

Bluebells bob in the salty sea wind and the cottage gate swings open to reveal the inky-blue cove. It’s exactly how Kitty always pictured it… except in her head, she wasn’t standing here alone.

Kitty Roberts spends her days searching for the perfect home for two… until her boyfriend dumps her. Devastated, she flees to a tiny seaside village called Pennystrand, where she spent golden summers as a child, before her family fell apart.

At first, Kitty’s dramatic escape proves to be exactly what she needs – golden sunsets over warm, sandy beaches, lovably eccentric new neighbours and even a blush-inducing run-in with Cory Hudson, a floppy-haired local surfer with a heart-stopping smile.

But just as Kitty feels herself beginning to heal, Cory reveals that his time in Pennystrand is nearly up. What’s more, some strange reactions to Kitty in town make her wonder if her connection to this place might go deeper than she thought.

What is this tranquil little village hiding? It seems there’s a secret in Kitty’s past that is about to turn her life on its head once more… Is she ready for the truth? And will it bring her and Cory closer together, or drive them apart?

A page-turning story full of unexpected twists and turns. It will make you smile, laugh and wish you could visit Pennystrand! Absolutely perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Heidi Swain and Carole Matthews.

PUBLISHED BY BOOKOUTURE

PUBLICATION DATE – 24TH AUGUST 2022

PRE-ORDER LINK

AMAZON

MY REVIEW

Loved Loved Loved!! This is one of those books that puts a smile on your face and warms your heart! And it was just a wonderful treat to read in the sunshine – and to know that you’re not alone in being someone who searches estate agents looking and dreaming of that perfect life away from it all!

Kitty is the main character in this book and she’s looking for something but she’s not sure what! Her happy times are spent in estate agents looking for a dream house, away from the noise and bustle of London – her other half Mitch doesn’t share that dream but fate soon finds a way for her to follow her own path!!

So she finds herself moving to Wales to reassess her life, in a place where she has happy memories from her childhood and with her family. She finds a lovely spot to stay with a nice landlady, and soon finds herself at the heart of the village, trying to make new friends and find a new way of life.

I loved how she threw herself into her new life, and how new doors, literally!, opened up for her! There was lots of fun banter and the introduction of Cory really spices things up and their relationship was just perfect! There’s also a little mystery thrown in, along with some shocking family secrets and I just loved how the story evolved and didn’t want it to end! Home truly is where the heart is!!

★★★★★

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 24th July 2022

Hello! Happy Saturday!!  And we made it through the heatwave here in the UK – blooming heck it was hot!  And normally when it’s hot it means I read more! Not this week! I think the heat just fried my brain and I failed miserably on the reading front!

Just one book finished for me this week, an audiobook,  but 3 new additions to the Netgalley shelves – oops!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY by BONNIE GARMUS (audiobook) – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Netgalley lured me in with 3 newbies this week!

THE ROMANTIC by WILLIAM BOYD

publication – October 2022

Soldier. Farmer. Felon. Writer. Father. Lover.
One man, many lives.

Born in 1799, Cashel Greville Ross experiences myriad lives: joyous and devastating, years of luck and unexpected loss. Moving from County Cork to London, from Waterloo to Zanzibar, Cashel seeks his fortune across continents in war and in peace. He faces a terrible moral choice in a village in Sri Lanka as part of the East Indian Army. He enters the world of the Romantic Poets in Pisa. In Ravenna he meets a woman who will live in his heart for the rest of his days. As he travels the world as a soldier, a farmer, a felon, a writer, a father, a lover, he experiences all the vicissitudes of life and, through the accelerating turbulence of the nineteenth century, he discovers who he truly is. This is the romance of life itself, and the beating heart of The Romantic.

From one of Britain’s best-loved and bestselling writers comes an intimate yet panoramic novel set across the nineteenth century.


THE GIRLS WHO DISAPPEARED by CLAIRE DOUGLAS

publication September 2022

Three missing girls. A twenty year mystery. A woman who may be able to crack this cold case.

In a rural Wilshire town lies The Devil’s Corridor. A road which has witnessed eerie happenings from unexplained deaths to the sounds of a child crying at night.

But nothing more puzzling than the Olivia Rutherford case. Four girls drove home but after their car crashed only Olivia was found.

Twenty years later, journalist Jenna Halliday is covering the case. But the locals aren’t happy with this stranger’s arrival. Least of all Olivia.

Jenna soon starts receiving threatening notes and it is clear someone wants her out of this town before she suffers a dark fate . . .

THE LITTLE HOUSE BY THE SEA by TRACY REES

publication – August 2022


Bluebells bob in the salty sea wind and the cottage gate swings open to reveal the inky-blue cove. It’s exactly how Kitty always pictured it… except in her head, she wasn’t standing here alone.Kitty Roberts spends her days searching for the perfect home for two… until her boyfriend dumps her. Devastated, she flees to a tiny seaside village called Pennystrand, where she spent golden summers as a child, before her family fell apart.At first, Kitty’s dramatic escape proves to be exactly what she needs – golden sunsets over warm, sandy beaches, lovably eccentric new neighbours and even a blush-inducing run-in with Cory Hudson, a floppy-haired local surfer with a heart-stopping smile.But just as Kitty feels herself beginning to heal, Cory reveals that his time in Pennystrand is nearly up. What’s more, some strange reactions to Kitty in town make her wonder if her connection to this place might go deeper than she thought.

What is this tranquil little village hiding? It seems there’s a secret in Kitty’s past that is about to turn her life on its head once more… Is she ready for the truth? And will it bring her and Cory closer together, or drive them apart?


CURRENTLY READING


SOULJOURNER by PAUL STEVEN STONE

HAPPY READING!!

#CoverReveal THE COTTAGE IN THE HIGHLANDS by JULIE SHACKMAN @rararesources @G13Julie

Delighted to be part of the cover reveal today for the forthcoming release of THE COTTAGE IN THE HIGHLANDS by JULIE SHACKMAN!  My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for letting me be part of it all with so many other wonderful Bloggers!

And here it is…..😍😍😍

THE COTTAGE IN THE HIGHLANDS

The Cottage in the Highlands

When Leonie Baxter finds herself out of a job and out of a relationship, she’s at her wits end. Her life has just been turned upside down and she needs a plan, fast.

By chance, on a walk with her rescue puppy, Leonie stumbles across a striking house in the woods; fully furnished but unoccupied. As a journalist, she is determined to find out more, after all, reporting is in her nature.

But her attempts are thwarted by Lily Cruickshank who lives in the cottage next door. Why won’t Lily help Leonie? And who is the mysterious Flynn Talbot, whose letter Leonie finds inside the house?

And in uncovering the secrets of the abandoned house, will Leonie open her own heart and let love back into her life?

The brand new escapist story from the bestselling author of A Secret Scottish Escape and A Scottish Highland Surprise, for fans of Jo Thomas, Trisha Ashley and Cathy Bramley.

Pre-order Links:

 UK – The Cottage in the Highlands: Relax and unwind with the brand new winter romance (Scottish Escapes, Book 3) eBook : Shackman, Julie: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

 USA – Amazon.com: The Cottage in the Highlands: Relax and unwind with the brand new winter romance (Scottish Escapes, Book 3) eBook : Shackman, Julie: Kindle Store

Publication Date: 1st December

Author Bio – 

Julie Shackman is a former journalist from Scotland, who has always wanted to write feel-good romance. As well as being an author, Julie also writes verses and captions for greetings card companies. Julie admits to having an obsession with stationery and handbags. She is married, has two sons and has a Romanian rescue puppy, Cooper. The Cottage in the Highlands is Julie’s seventh novel.

 Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/julie.shackman

https://www.instagram.com/juliegeorginashackman

#BookReview BLUE HOUR by SARAH SCHMIDT @headlinepg @Emily_JP #BlueHour

ABOUT THE BOOK

She thinks of blue mountain, her favourite place. ‘We’re going somewhere where we can be safe. We never have to come back here.’ She eyes the rearview mirror, keeps a look out for headlights, keeps a look out for him.

As dawn breaks over sleeping houses, Eleanor straps her infant daughter Amy, into the back of her car. Together they will escape the private hell of Eleanor’s marriage to make the drive to blue mountain, a place of enchantment and refuge that lit up Eleanor’s childhood. Can she be sure that her husband, Braun, is not on their trail?

As the car eats up the long miles of highway, so Eleanor’s mind dives back into the depths of her childhood, and into her fraught relationship with her mother, Kitty. Kitty a woman who wanted so much, in marriage and in love. Kitty who always tried to hard to bend Eleanor, her brother and her father, to her image of the perfect family.

In her masterful second book, Sarah Schmidt, acclaimed author of SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE? reworks the classic road novel to tense, devastating, and ultimately redemptive effect.

PUBLISHED BY HEADLINE BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

This was an exquisite read. Often troubling, very dark and unflinching in the way it explores relationships, it is a story that grips you from page one and still has a hold on you long after you close the book up after finishing it.

It’s the story of a family over different generations – starting with the dramatic story of Eleanor who is leaving with her daughter Amy, walking away from her marriage, to escape to blue mountain where she has the strongest memories from her childhood. It was her refuge and you notice that nature is always her ‘get out’ at the most troublesome of times and that leads the story to take us back to her mother and father, cleverly switching between the 1970’s and the 1940’s.

The story of Kitty is another shocking aspect of this book. It tells of a troubled relationship with Eleanors’ father and how the times shaped their lives. Her life was always focussed on getting away from her parents, so she became a nurse tending to returning soldiers and it’s here she meets George and quickly falls in love. But they’re young and their passion soon fizzles out but she feels obligated to be with him – it seems to become her duty to take care of him when he returns a shell of his former self, dealing with his mood swings and she is pregnant too.

What follows is an exploration of those expectations of what life is – the reality of motherhood, the impact of mental illness on those around, and trying to make sense of it all and trying not to let history repeat itself. Noticing those signs and trying to change the course of your life, but then walking that same path allows her to understand what really was going on back in her childhood that she missed seeing.

This is a brutal book at times, it shares some explicit scenes as the author isn’t afraid to confront the worst of human relationships – the lengths people go to for love and the fine line between that and control. You get that sense of ownership, be it of a parent over a child, or a lover over a partner, and how dark and soul destroying that impacts on the people involved.

There is so much hurt in this family that your heart just breaks as you read their stories. There’s tragedy throughout and it can make this a very disturbing read at times, but it just lays bare the realities and complexities that humans face, and how that shapes them in their journey and future relationships.

There are shocking revelations littered throughout which just adds to the emotional impact of this story, but it is a staggering piece of work and although it may break you at times as it did me, it is one of those powerful stories that you feel honoured to have read. Stunning! 

★★★★★

My thanks to Emily Patience and Headline Books for the advance copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview SUMMER AT SEASPRAY COTTAGE by ANGELA BRITNELL

ABOUT THE BOOK

What would you do if you inherited a Cornish cottage by the sea?

If you’re Thea Armitage, sell it as soon as possible. Whilst there’s no denying that Seaspray Cottage has its charm, it just holds too many bad memories for Thea to consider keeping it – although at least spending the summer preparing it for sale gives her a distraction from troubles back home in Tennessee.

What Thea didn’t count on was her worst Cornish memory moving in right next door. Local bad boy Harry Venton played no small part in Thea’s decision never to return to Cornwall twenty years before – and now he’s her neighbour! Could things get any worse?

Except Harry isn’t the boy he was, and as Thea comes to realise that her opinion of him was built on lies and misunderstandings, perhaps things will start looking up for her summer at Seaspray Cottage.

PUBLISHED BY CHOC LIT

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: Summer at Seaspray Cottage: An uplifting, feel-good summer romance! eBook : Britnell, Angela: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/summer-at-seaspray-cottage/id6442943846?uo=4&ls=1&at=1l3vpUI&ct=kgsztl%7Cchoc-lit.com

Kobo: Summer at Seaspray Cottage eBook by Angela Britnell – 9781781891179 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom

Google: Summer at Seaspray Cottage – Angela Britnell – Google Books

Nook: Summer at Seaspray Cottage by Angela Britnell | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

MY REVIEW

This was just delicious!! It’s one of those books that you just totally lose yourself in and start packing up your belongings so you can move to the location featured – and hope to bump into someone like Harry!!

The story centres around Thea and her return to an area she was desperate to get away from in her youth. She inherits a cornish cottage by the sea, idyllic for most people, but her plan is to sell it ASAP!

On her return she reconnects with her friend Kelsey, and also Harry, who was the main reason she left 20 years ago. He’s not liked by many of the locals, but had a tough upbringing and Thea knows him better than others so she’s always willing to fight his corner, despite their relationship ending on a bad note. But time is a healer eh, and now they’re all grown up maybe there is peace to be had and old feelings to explore!!

This is all about making peace with the past, and the more time she spends in the area, the more she grows and understands she’s right where she needs to be, despite her father back home in Tennesse wanting her to take the promotion he has offered her. There’s a lot about family relationships as there are many issues to sort out between various characters, and I really enjoyed seeing how they worked through their problems.

This is a story full of sexy seaside summer shenanigans!! I loved how the characters were mature about the more serious issues they were faced with and weren’t afraid to confront their feelings and see things from a different perspective! Now I just need to find a Harry of my own!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour SUN, SEA & STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE by ROSIE GREEN #BookReview @rararesources @Rosie_Green88

Delighted to be with you today on the Blog Tour for the wonderful SUN, SEA AND STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE by ROSIE GREEN!

My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

🌞🌞🌞

Sun, Sea & Strawberry Shortcake


It was meant to be a gloriously romantic getaway in Wales for Ruby and Hudson. That was the plan, anyway. But then friends start inviting themselves along, lured by the idea of unwinding in a chocolate-box pretty cottage, wandering the lanes and the coastline, soaking up the sun and the stunningly beautiful Italian-inspired architecture. With Ellie, Jaz, Fen and Madison popping up around every corner, plus another sinister mystery to solve, will the lovebirds ever find time to indulge their desire for sun, sea and . . . strawberry shortcake?

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3LPqFee

Author Bio –

 Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a country village cafe. Look out for ‘Clara’s Secret Garden’ out in August 2022.

Follow Rosie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green88 

MY REVIEW

Little Duck Pond Cafe crew – we meet again!!  The 22nd novella in this wonderful series has my heart warmed again, and it’s just one of those series that I just can’t get enough of!!  Roll on Book 23 coming very soon!!

This story is full of fun, drama and things are getting sexy!!  Ruby and Hudson are spicing things up, but there’s always something  or someone to get in the way, and even when they get away for some time alone, there’s more going on than they bargain for!!  It’s like Little Duck Pond Cafe on tour at the seaside this time!!

We also follow the story of Jaz which is  more emotional, but she’s the kind of character that you just want good things for and it’s always intriguing to see how she deals with her feelings and what is going on around her.

And there’s also mystery and scary things going on with new characters, Bee and her daughter Jodie, and that really added to the tension of things! I’m now forever checking my window in the hope that a scary face isn’t peering on!!  Ruby is always there to help out when needed and we know she loves a good mystery to solve!

This was a book that I couldn’t put down, but then I do say that about all in this series!  Each character has become someone that you have a connection with as we’ve learnt so much about them all over the previous books. You really go through the emotions with them all, and the new additions to each story soon feel like old friends too!  Another fabulous read!! Keep them coming please Rosie!!

★★★★★

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 16th July 2022

Hello! Hope you’re well!! I’m ok but melting in the heat!! Someone please make it stop!! And it looks to get even hotter in the UK next week….. I will never complain about grey skies and rain again… honest!!

BUT on the plus side, hot weather makes me read more!! It makes me conserve energy haha! So it’s been a good week with 5 books finished and only 1 addition from Netgalley!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

SUMMER AT SEASPRAY COTTAGE by ANGELA BRITNELL – 5 STARS

THE MOVEMENT by AYISHA MALIK – 5 STARS

THE DOVES IN THE DINING ROOM by LAURA LAAKSO – 4 STARS

THE HOLIDAY BOOKSHOP by LUCY DICKENS – 4 STARS

AN ITALIAN GIRL IN BROOKLYN by SANTA MONTEFIORI (audiobook) – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Just one from Netgalley…

HAVEN by EMMA DONOGHUE

publication date – August 2022

Around the year 600, three men vow to leave the world behind and set out in a small boat for an island their leader has seen in a dream, with only faith to guide them

In seventh-century Ireland, a scholar priest named Artt has a dream in which God tells him to leave the sinful world behind. With two monks–young Trian and old Cormac–he rows down the River Shannon in search of an isolated spot in which to found a monastery. Drifting out into the Atlantic, the three men find the impossibly steep, bare island known today as Skellig Michael. In such a place, what will survival mean?

CURRENTLY READING

LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY by BONNIE GARMUS (audiobook)

HAPPY READING!!

#GuestPost SUMMER AT SEASPRAY COTTAGE by ANGELA BRITNELL #Extract #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @AngelaBritnell

Hello and welcome to Books and Me! Today I have the pleasure of handing over the Blog to the lovely ANGELA BRITNELL as she shares an extract with you to help celebrate publication day for the fabulous SUMMER AT SEASPRAY COTTAGE

Over to you Angela…

🌞🌞🌞

RELEASE DAY POST: Summer at Seaspray Cottage by Angela Britnell

It’s lovely to be here again, Karen and thank you so much for inviting me to stop by on publication day my new release – Summer at Seaspray Cottage. The story is set primarily in my home county of Cornwall and Chough Cove is inspired by Mevagissey, the small fishing village where my mother grew up. I thought your readers might enjoy a small taste of the book so have picked out an extract for them. To set up the story: Thea Armitage has inherited her aunt’s cottage in Chough Cove and returned to Cornwall for the first time since she was a teenager. Harry Venton has also landed back in Chough Cove and this time he’s determined not to be driven out by either public opinion or the father he hasn’t spoken to in twenty years. Much to the dismay of many villagers he’s building a house and is there to stay. To say he’s shocked to come literally face to face again with the woman he’s never been able to forget – no matter how hard he’s tried – is an understatement of massive proportions ………………

‘Mr H, are you going to sign for this or stare into space all day?’ Jacko poked Harry’s arm and pointed at the waiting delivery driver.

Harry grabbed the tablet and used his finger to scrawl something resembling his name on the screen. Maybe he was a dinosaur but he preferred a pen and paper over these techy gadgets that made everyone look illiterate. ‘Cheers.’ He strolled away to check out the long planks of wood stacked up on the ground.

‘Bit dark aren’t they?’ Jacko came to stand by him, frowning.

‘They’re exactly what I wanted. They’re perfect.’ He stroked the weathered grey cedar. ‘Doesn’t it remind you of the ocean on a winter’s day?’

‘I suppose.’ The builder smirked. ‘Bloody freezing and blowing a gale you mean?’

Harry gave up trying to explain his vision for the house he’d been planning for years now.

‘I’ll get the lads to help me shift it all tomorrow.’ Jacko pulled out his car keys. ‘You coming for a pint? The wife’s got her book club meeting at our place so I’m staying out ’til they’re gone.’ He chuckled. ‘They’ll talk the hind legs off a donkey and none of it about the book.’

‘Cheers but not right now. There’s a few things I want to wrap up here. I might stop by later.’ It would sound rude to say all he wanted was to be left alone. Harry loved nothing better than seizing the chance to walk around his new property when no one else was about. These quiet times gave him the chance to study the progress they’d made and decide where he might want to make any changes.

Jacko tipped him a nod and ambled over to his dilapidated white van. Harry kept his fingers crossed this wouldn’t be one of the many days when the ancient van refused to start but it rumbled to life and drove off belching diesel fumes.

As it often did his gaze drifted to the row of old terraced houses on the opposite side of Polmorva Road and picked out the one on the far left with its fresh yellow paint where he grew up with his father. There were few fond childhood memories associated with the place. Georgie Venton had hated his son. Day after day, year after year he made Harry pay for causing his beloved wife’s death in childbirth. With the benefit of maturity, Harry had tried to understand the mind of a man maddened by grief but couldn’t yet find it in him to forgive. Since they started building he frequently spotted his father’s stooped figure standing by the door but he wasn’t there today. He felt a satisfaction deep in his gut at forcing Georgie to see how successful his son had become despite his tough beginnings.

With a smile he turned back to the half-completed building. Venton House. Perhaps it was vain to put his name on his new home but he’d earned his money the hard way so why shouldn’t he indulge himself for once? He pushed away a niggle of misgiving and studied the curved iron

framework sweeping across the front of the house, ready for installation of the floor to ceiling glass highlighted in thin strips of black wood that would front his kitchen and living space. The expansive view over the harbour and on out to sea would be second to none.

The boards that arrived today were destined for shingling the outside of the house so it would blend seamlessly with the environment around, picking up colour from the granite cliffs beneath and on stormy days the steel-grey skies and choppy waters. He’d steered as far as possible away from the jaunty nautical look beloved of so many coastal homes with their fake anchors and cheerful blue and white soft furnishings. Venton House’s design was deliberately stripped down and elemental. Harry quirked a smile. An ex-girlfriend once described him in a similar albeit less polite way.

Harry’s stomach growled and he struggled to remember if he’d eaten today. Jacko had offered him one of the mountain of doorstep sandwiches his wife packed him off with every morning but he’d been too impatient to stop working. Perhaps he should go for a pint with the builder after all and grab something to eat at the pub.

The stiff breeze whipping in off the sea made him shiver in his T-shirt and shorts. Although it was the beginning of June and summer in Chough Cove the difference between the sheltered harbour and up here on the exposed cliff was often night and day. In the middle of winter when there was no hiding from the worst of the weather his house would need every bit of its expensive underfloor heating system.

Harry bestowed one last quiet, satisfied smile on the half-finished building and strode off down the road. A few people nodded as he passed them by but no one stopped to speak. He told himself their reticence didn’t bother him because if his hard upbringing taught him one thing it was patience. Once they recognised he was here to stay and wanted to do his part to benefit the community he hoped they’d come around.

Strings of coloured lights twinkled against the external whitewashed walls of The Dolphin and the door stood open, allowing a constant stream of people to go in and out. The throbbing music and loud laughter drifting out set him on edge and he changed his mind about joining Jacko. He leaned on the harbour wall instead and rested his arms on the rough, uneven stones. The tide was creeping back in so the orderly lines of fishing and pleasure boats bobbed around like corks.

A peal of raucous laughter rang out behind him.

‘The fish and chips are gonna be my treat. Don’t argue.’

A woman’s drawling American accent made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

‘God you always were a bossy cow!’

The second voice he’d recognise anywhere. Kelsey Nancarrow. His oldest friend in the village who now avoided him whenever possible, only exchanging a polite nod if their paths unavoidably crossed. Her late grandmother, Vera, had been the Ventons’ next-door neighbour in Polmorva Terrace and took care of both Harry and Kelsey when they were young and their parents were all at work. They remained close as they got older until they were sixteen. It’d never occurred to him that Kelsey saw him as anything more than a good friend but apparently he’d been wrong and his rejection struck her hard.

‘Watch where you’re going,’ Kelsey yelled.

Harry jerked around as a woman barrelled into him and he automatically clamped his hands on her arms so she wouldn’t knock them both over. Her head flew up and the wide silver-green eyes with their fringe of soot-black lashes that’d haunted his dreams for years flared with shock. Thea Armitage stared at him as though she’d seen a ghost.

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So what happens next? Should they give each other a second chance or let the proverbial sleeping dogs lie? You’ll have to read the rest of the book to find out…

Thank you again for being such a wonderful supporter of my trans-Atlantic romances and I look forward to returning for a chat when my next book is released – a Christmas story involving a pantomime that is still a work in progress at the moment!

About the Book:

What would you do if you inherited a Cornish cottage by the sea?

If you’re Thea Armitage, sell it as soon as possible. Whilst there’s no denying that Seaspray Cottage has its charm, it just holds too many bad memories for Thea to consider keeping it – although at least spending the summer preparing it for sale gives her a distraction from troubles back home in Tennessee.

What Thea didn’t count on was her worst Cornish memory moving in right next door. Local bad boy Harry Venton played no small part in Thea’s decision never to return to Cornwall twenty years before – and now he’s her neighbour! Could things get any worse?

Except Harry isn’t the boy he was, and as Thea comes to realise that her opinion of him was built on lies and misunderstandings, perhaps things will start looking up for her summer at Seaspray Cottage …

Buying links: 

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3uqkiry 

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3bNvGar

 Apple Books: https://apple.co/3QbBfz9 

Nook: https://bit.ly/3QeSW0H

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About the Author:

Angela was born in St. Stephen, Cornwall, England. After completing her A-Levels she worked as a Naval Secretary. She met her husband, a US Naval Flight Officer, while being based at a small NATO Headquarters on the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark. They lived together in Denmark, Sicily, California, southern Maryland and London before settling in Franklin, Tennessee.

Angela took a creative writing course in 2000 and loved it so much that she has barely put her pen down since. She has had short stories and novels published in the US. Her novel Sugar & Spice, won Choc Lit’s Search for an American Star competition and was her UK debut.

Follow Angela on Twitter: @AngelaBritnell

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