How To Find Love In A Bookshop by Veronica Henry

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Emilia has just returned to her idyllic Cotswold hometown to rescue the family business. Nightingale Books is a dream come true for book-lovers, but the best stories aren’t just within the pages of the books she sells – Emilia’s customers have their own tales to tell.

There’s the lady of the manor who is hiding a secret close to her heart; the single dad looking for books to share with his son but who isn’t quite what he seems; and the desperately shy chef trying to find the courage to talk to her crush . . .

And as for Emilia’s story, can she keep the promise she made to her father and save Nightingale Books?

A truly magical story that will make you feel all warm inside and leave you wanting to read loads more books.

I loved how this book recommended so many books that I had never heard of and have now added to my list to read. I have reserved ‘Heartburn’ by Nora Ephron at my local library.

There are so many characters in this book each with their own story to tell and they all link with one another in some way, it actually reminded me of one of my favourite films ‘Love Actually’.

I especially like Thomasina and could relate to her as I work in a secondary school assisting cookery lessons and I am very passionate about helping the students learn to cook and develop a passion for cooking.

This book made me want to set up my own little bookshop, I certainly have enough books to stock one !! This also made me realise that it is important to support our local independent book stores to keep them going.

I had such a clear picture in my head of Peasebrook and its characters whilst reading this novel, I imagined Peasebrook to look very much like Diagon Alley from Harry Potter.

Thanks to Netgalley and Orion for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

My Name Is Leon by Kit De Waal.

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Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices and wearing pretend faces. They are threatening to take Jake away and give him to strangers. Because Jake is white and Leon is not.

As Leon struggles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile – like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, burying his hands deep in the soil, hanging out with Tufty (who reminds him of his dad), and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum. 

This book has been sat on my “to be read” pile for a while, I’m kicking myself now as to why because I absolutely loved every part of this debut novel , you wouldn’t believe it is a debut novel – it is that good , Kit De Waal you are a legend.

Set in the early eighties, this novel is told from nine year old Leon’s perspective. Poor Leon doesn’t really have much of a childhood initially due to having to look after his baby brother Jake as his mother Carol is too busy trying to sort out her love life it seems at first but then as you read on it transpires that she is suffering with Post Natal Depression, I felt sorry for Carol at this point. When Leon and Jake go into foster care with the lovely Maureen , Leon still feels it’s his duty to do everything for Jake and look after him as its all he has ever known, so when Jake is adopted by a new family my heart broke for Leon and I did actually well up at this point. Leon from then on seems lost without Jake and everything he does revolves around seeing Jake again. This novel reminded me of one of my favourite childhood favourites slightly – “Goodnight Mister Tom”.

This novel is full of emotion, childhood memories and even some humour (the bear and the rabbit story made me laugh out loud , I’m laughing as I type this!!). This novel also gives a real insight into what society was like in the early eighties, which I found fascinating but also shocking.

My Husband’s Wife by Amanda Prowse.

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Once a week, Rosie Tipcott counts her blessings.

She goes to sit on her favourite bench on the north Devon cliffs, and thanks her lucky stars for her wonderful husband, her mischievous young daughters, and her neat little house by the sea. She vows to dedicate every waking hour to making her family happy.

But then her husband unexpectedly leaves her for another woman and takes the children. Now she must ask the question: what is left in her life? Can Rosie find the strength to rebuild herself? More importantly, does she even want to?

A heart-wrenching but also heart-warming story that is told with such emotion you that you feel the pain and joy.

I must admit at first I struggled to get into this but it want down to the story, I think it was more me, a case of being too wrapped up in social media to read. Anyway the other night I switched off my iPad and turned on my kindle and had a good read and I found myself unable to put my kindle down. This book had me gripped !

It was predictable that Phil was going to leave Rosie for Geraldine Farmer from the first mention of Geraldine and her big house. As the story went on , I thought Geraldine “Gerri” was a heartless, deranged bunny boiler and despised her and how she had tore apart a family. I loved how Rosie was written , especially as she had a mummy tummy but didn’t let it bother her (too much pressure these days to shed that mummy tummy within a year of having a baby! ), the emotions she went through were very realistic. Her friend Mel was easily led astray by Gerri and left poor Rosie to deal with all her problems by herself. The children Naomi and Leona were well written, lively & funny little characters, I especially could relate to the part at the beginning when Leona stuck a runner up her nose, my daughter stuck a mini smartie up her nose when she was 2 and I can still envision the look on her face as chocolate dripped down from her nostril !!

The story wasn’t predictable apart from the Phil & Gerri part I previously mentioned, there were some real shocking ‘I didn’t see that coming’ moments.

This was my first Amanda Prowse book I have read , I will be on the look out for others and I highly recommend this book.

Thanks to Netgalley and Head of Zeus for allowing me to read and review this wonderful book , this is my honest opinion.

 

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

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Becca Fletcher has always hated Christmas but she has her reasons for being Little Miss Grinch. Now, though, she can’t avoid her version of ho-ho-hell – because she’s travelling to the Comfort Food Cafe to spend the festive season with her sister Laura and her family. She’s expecting mulled wine, 24-hour Christmas movie marathons and all kinds of very merry torture.

Little does Becca know that the Comfort Food Cafe is like no other place on earth. Perched on a snow-covered hill, it’s a place full of friendship where broken hearts can heal, new love can blossom and where Becca’s Christmas miracle really could happen – if only she can let it…

Never before have I started a Christmas book in September but I just had to read this one as soon as it was released on Netgalley. I loved Debbie’s previous book ‘Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe’ so I was very excited to read this and I loved every page.

This story is told from Becca (Laura’s sisters) perspective and she is very different from Laura. She initially comes across as a right Scrooge , she hates Christmas and has since she was young. I didn’t think I was going to like Becca , I mean who hates Christmas?? It’s the best time of the year! As the story goes on and reveals some of Beccas reasons for hating Christmas & the magic of the Comfort Food Cafe gets to Becca, she becomes very likeable.

It was lovely to be reunited with the Comfort Food Cafe gang again and even a couple of new characters were introduced. I felt this book delved more into how the Comfort Food Cafe works it’s magic, I wish there was a cafe like this local to me.

I loved the beginning, it brought back so many good childhood memories of Christmas , I especially can relate to Becca when she asked for a certain present but got something completely different, I remember one year I asked for Hungry Hippos but instead got a big teddy bear , which I still have to this day and my daughter loves it. Oh and I brought my children Hungry Hippos !! Debbie Johnson writes in a way that we can all relate to something in her stories , this is what makes a good book.

I really hope we are reunited with the Comfort Food Cafe gang again, maybe ‘Valentines at the Comfort Food Cafe’ ?

Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Impulse for this review copy, this is my honest opinion.