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Since John bought me a new Kindle at Christmas I have been reading a lot more than I have done for quite some time. Every month I’m going to share a couple of my favourites so that you might find inspiration for your next read.
The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan*
Kathleen is eighty years old. After a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move into a residential home. She’s not having any of it. What she craves – needs – is adventure.
Liza is drowning under the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza dream of a solo break of her own.
Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can’t get her life together. But she knows something has to change.
When Martha sees Kathleen’s advert for a driver and companion to take an epic road trip across America, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. Travelling with a stranger? No problem. She’s not the world’s best driver, but it couldn’t be worse than living with her parents again. And anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?
As these women embark on the journey of a lifetime, they all discover it’s never too late for adventure…
I’d read other books by Sarah Morgan in the past and really enjoyed them so I was extremely hopeful about The Summer Seekers. Being completely honest, it took me a little while to get into this one and I picked it up a couple of times before before sitting down to finish it in one go.
I really loved the character of Kathleen. It’s not often I read books about 80 year old women but this one was feisty and with a lot of life in her. Kathleen had once presented shows about travel and after a bit of an incident at home, wants to get back out there for an adventure. She can’t drive herself so hires 25 year old Martha to drive her across Route 66 in America.
Although an unlikely pair, the relationship between Kathleen and Martha was a fantastic one and the banter between them was really entertaining. Each of them turned out to be good for one another, pushing the other to do things they might not ordinarily.
Not only is this book a bit of an adventure but it’s also about finding yourself and believing in yourself, no matter what your age is. One of my favourites from Sarah Morgan.
A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman*
When Scotland’s sleepiest hamlet becomes the centre of hot gossip, Layla Devlin finds herself caught in a mystery…
When Layla’s fiancée has an unexpected heart attack and dies – in another woman’s arms, no less – Layla is determined to pack up and leave Loch Harris, the village she’s always called home. But an unexpected inheritance and love for her quiet corner of Scotland send her down a new path.
Now Layla finds herself facing a whole new kind of drama. Rumours swirl that a celebrity has moved into Coorie Cottage and Layla is determined to have him headline her opening night at local music venue The Conch Club. But the reclusive star is equally determined to thwart Layla’s efforts. Rafe Buchanan is in hiding for a reason, and soon his past comes to Loch Harris to haunt him…
A Secret Scottish Escape starts off with a real bag, with Layla’s fiancé dying while having an affair. It definitely wasn’t the story I had expected at the start of the book but I wanted to stay with it to see where it was going to go. It was nice to see that Layla was trying to do something not only for herself but her community when she was faced with a dilemma about what to do next.
I really liked the array of characters in this book, especially Layla’s dad and his ex-bandmates. I’d say the first half of the book does a great job of being able Layla, her family and friends and how she copes with a sudden and dramatic change in her life. Unfortunately. the last half of the book lost me a bit.
With the introduction of the ‘Mask’ character, I felt like things got a bit silly and not flashed out enough. There was a very quick, well, I don’t want to even say romance, and then very quick changes with the characters. It wasn’t very believable and I felt like a lot more could have been done with these two characters earlier in the book. The romance could actually have been left out completely and I would have been happy.
Moments Like This by Anna Gomez and Kristoffer Polaha*
Book One in the From Kona with Love series depicting multicultural romance, love, loss, and redemption woven into a family saga set in the beautiful islands of Hawaii. Though connected, each installment can be read as a standalone.
After Andrea “Andie” Matthews chooses her career over a marriage proposal and then loses a promotion she worked so hard for, she jumps at the chance to take a break and help run a friend’s coffee shop. Alone in Hawaii, Andie befriends the staff and quickly grows to care for them, making her determined to revive the company.
As luck would have it, she meets the mysterious Warren Yates on Christmas Eve. They share a cup of coffee, some conversation, and even a moment, which leads to many more in the coming weeks. But when Andie learns who Warren really is—and what he actually wants—she is torn between her feelings and his deception.
Will Warren be able to win her heart back?
Hawaii is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit so I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to read a book set there. Before we even really get to the rest of the story, the setting was pretty perfect and absolutely magical. I have to say, this book only made me want to visit Hawaii more than I already do.
Andie, a workaholic, finds herself needing some time off from her regular job and takes up the chance to help a friend out with her coffee shop in Hawaii. I really enjoyed the friendship with Andie and Api and was glad to see that this was something continued throughout the whole book.
Warren was also a really fun character. For a lot of the book you realise that he has a secret but it’s not right until the end that you get to find out what that is. Andie and Warren get to spend a lot of time together over the course of the story so I really felt like they had the right amount of time to develop their relationship.
There’s also a cute reference to Life Unexpected, the show co-author Kristoffer Polaha starred in.
The Cosy Little Cupcake Van by Annette Hannah*
Camilla’s delicious cakes are the talk of her little village. If you need a perfectly iced mouthful of joy, Camilla ‘Cupcake’ is your woman. But after losing her mother, she finds her home and her business in jeopardy. She needs a little helping hand…
Thankfully her friends are always there for her, and when she is given an old ice cream van, Camilla’s dream of a cupcake delivery service is born. Now she can bring happiness – and buttercream frosting – to the whole town.
But when her ex Blake appears back on her doorstep, Camilla must decide if she can trust him again or if her heart might belong to someone else…
To begin, I wasn’t aware that there was a book before this one however, I really don’t think you need to have read it. I do like a book in a series that can also be read as a standalone.
Right at the beginning of the book Camilla goes though something life changing; she loses her Mum. For various different reasons she finds herself homeless and not being able to do the job she once did. Luckily, Camilla has amazing friends who rally round her and make sure she is okay. I absolutely loved the friendships in this book and they were such a special part of it.
There really is a lot to love about this book including the obviously adorable cupcake van, a nice romance with a sexy Canadian but I especially liked the theme of homelessness that was carried on throughout the book in a few different ways. I thought it was a really important topic and covered well.
This is such a cute and fun read that I really enjoyed and I didn’t really want it to end.
The Little Paris Patisserie by Julie Caplin*
As the youngest of four, Nina Hadley has always had her big brothers telling her what to do. So, when she’s given the chance to move to Paris and help run a patisserie course, she can’t say au revoir quick enough!
There’s just one problem: high-flying chef Sebastian Finlay is the owner of the patisserie. He’s also her brother Nick’s best friend – and the man she has secretly been in love with since forever.
Amongst the mouth-wateringly delicious eclairs and delicate macaroons, Nina’s culinary creations aren’t the only tempting thing she’s working with…
I started reading this series of books earlier in the year and although I read them out of order, it didn’t really matter. John bought me the rest of the series for my birthday and I couldn’t wait to read this one, having already met some of the characters in another book.
The Little Paris Patisserie is such a sweet story of a woman trying to get out on her own for once but also one about friends and meeting people in unexpected circumstances. I really loved Nina and Sebastian together and the back and forth between them was really fun to read. The next book I have to read is set in New York and I can’t wait to get started.
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