The Forgotten Summer By Carol Drinkwater

The annual grape harvest at the Cambon family’s magnificent vineyard is always a cause for celebration. But not this year. When an accident destroys the crop, leaving the estate facing ruin, Clarisse Cambon knows exactly who to blame – her daughter-in-law Jane. 

It’s just the latest incident in a decades-long feud whose origin both women have concealed from Luc, who struggles to keep his wife and mother on speaking terms. But is Luc the saint he appears to be? When tragedy strikes, Jane is thrown into doubt. What secrets has her husband been keeping?

Forced to take charge of the ailing vineyard, Jane uncovers further proof that Luc may not be the man she fell in love with twenty years ago. And, worse still, she knows that her old enemy Clarisse is the only one who know ths truth…

Initially I was apprehensive about this book because I didn’t fully understand the Algerian history side of the story but I continued reading it and I’m really pleased I did because the focus of the story soon became to unravel.

The three main characters were very well written, Clarisse came across as a right old dragon and reminded me of an old lady that used to go around my home village making everyone’s life a misery but my mum liked her and saw a different side to her.  Jane came across as very down to earth and Luc came across as strong willed but well and truly under his mothers thumb.  As the story went on, it soon became clear, why the characters were like this.

This book opened my eyes to how much effort and preparation goes into wine making, it has even made me want to go on a wine tasting day to fully appreciate wine. Even the making of the olive oil was fascinating.

There were so many ‘I didn’t see that coming’ moments in this book, it kept me wanting more. I think this story would make a great TV drama.image

Summer At Shell Cottage by Lucy Diamond

A seaside holiday at Shell Cottage in Devon has always been the perfect escape for the Tarrant family. Beach fun, barbeques and warm summer evenings with a cocktail or two – who could ask for more ?

But this year, everything has changed. Following her husband’s recent death, Olivia is struggling to pick up the pieces. Then she makes a shocking discovery that turns her world upside down.

As a busy mum and GP, Freya’s used to having her hands full, but a bad day at work has put her career in jeopardy and now she’s really feeling the pressure.

Harriet’s looking forward to a break with her lovely husband Robert and teenage daughter Molly. But unknown to Harriet, Robert is hiding a secret and so, for that matter is Molly ……

When I first started reading this, I thought I had predicted all what was going to happen – boy was I wrong ! This book is very unpredictable, which I love about a book, always the sign of a fantastic book in my eyes. There are so many twists in each chapter,that left me wanting more. I read a quarter of the book in an hour !

The characters are all pleasant and down to earth. There are quite a few characters in this book but I found it easy to remember who was who. I loved the Thelma and Louise relationship between Olivia and Gloria.

This was my first Lucy Diamond book I have read and I will be reading more ….Maybe ”””’Spring At Shell Cottage’, Lucy ?image