Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe (Cherry Pie Island, #1) by Jenny Oliver

Dear Reader,


The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Café (Cherry Pie Island, #1)

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Welcome to Jenny Oliver’s brand new Cherry Pie Island series!

Home, Sweet Home….?

There’s nowhere more deliciously welcoming...

When Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say her newly inherited Dandelion Café has seen better days! And while her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London she remembers, Annie’s not convinced that Owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’ll be keeping for long. Not that she can bear the idea of letting her dedicated, if endearingly disorganized staff lose their jobs. Plus café life does also have the added bonus of working a stone’s throw away from millionaire Matt and his disarmingly charming smile!

One (shoestring budget) café makeover, a few delightful additions to the somewhat retro menu and a lot of cherry pie tastings later, The Dandelion Café is ready for its grand reopening! But once she’s brought the dilapidated old café back to life, Annie finds herself wishing her stay on the island was just a bit longer. She always intended to go back to the big city…but could island living finally have lured her back home for good?



MY REVIEW:


What a great way to begin the Cherry Pie Island series. First off what a gorgeous cover - love the sky blue. I just knew by the cover that this was going to be brilliant and of course its written by Jenny Oliver!

We meet Annie White who finds herself in a dilemma. She has inherited the run down Dandelion Café which is not in the best of shape but there is something about it that is tugging on the heart strings. Annie decides to bring it back to life. She has made some past mistakes and there is certain people that will not let her forget this. Her know-it-all brother does not agree that Annie should re-open the café so she is determined to prove him wrong and with plenty of help from a great cast of characters, Annie is on a mission.

This was such a feel good story. It was warm and atmospheric. I enjoyed reading about the steps Annie took to kind of reinvent herself. I look forward to the second instalment. Well done, Jenny!


Enjoy!


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1267179485?book_show_action=false


Kind regards,
Ailish


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Dear Reader,


BOOK DESCRIPTION:


The House We Grew Up In by Lisa JewellMeet the Bird Family

All four children have an idyllic childhood: a picture-book cottage in a country village, a warm, cosy kitchen filled with love and laughter, sun-drenched afternoons in a rambling garden.
But one Easter weekend a tragedy strikes the Bird family that is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear them apart.
The years pass and the children become adults and begin to develop their own quite separate lives. Soon it's almost as though they've never been a family at all.
Almost.
But not quite.
Because something has happened that will call them home, back to the house they grew up in - and to what really happened that Easter weekend all those years ago








MY REVIEW:


Wow what a book! This was something a little different and completely unexpected. Lisa Jewell is a beautiful writer and she is able to captivate and draw you in right from the start. This novel is about the Bird Family, Lorelei, her husband Colin and their four children - Megan, Bethan and twins Rory and Rhys. They have a seemingly idyllic life in a Cotswold Village. Every year Lorelei arranges a traditional Easter egg hunt but one Easter Sunday a tragedy strikes the Bird family and none of them are the same again.

This is a powerful story and at times heart-breaking. Lisa cleverly switches between past and present with flashbacks over the years of each of the family. The characters are very well written.
The story begins with Megan and her daughter as they return to the family home to sort out the run down house and from there our story progresses. Lorelei is an extreme hoarder that is bordering on the obsessive.

This is a very moving story and I look forward to reading more from Julie.



https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1272594078?book_show_action=false


Enjoy!



Kind regards,
Ailish



Wednesday, 6 May 2015

In The Shadow Of Winter by Lorna Gray

Dear Reader,

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

In the Shadow of Winter by Lorna GrayThe Cotswolds, 1947

The relentless winter of 1947 holds post-war Britain in its deadly grip, and Eleanor Phillips rides out from her beleaguered Cotswold farm to rescue a stranger lost in the storm. But the near-dead man is no stranger and when she recognises Matthew Croft, the old ties of a failed romance tug deeply. Her sweetheart has returned from the war…

Suspicion, the police and the panicked flight of a desperate man beat a path to her door. And with a wanted man hidden in her home and stealing back into her heart, Eleanor must be on her guard—for the net is closing in on them both and enemies are all around.


MY REVIEW:

This story is set post World War Two, Eleanor and a young boy Freddy find a man in a foot of snow - clearly in an agitated state. Seeing him in a troubled state, they decide to bring him home. When he starts to fight them Eleanor gets such a shock when she realises that it is Mathew Croft, a man she knew before the war. They struggle to get him in to the house and once they remove his soaked clothes they realise that he has been attacked. Mathew insists to Eleanor that no one must know where he is and then the mystery unravels.

I enjoyed Lorna Gray's style of writing. She sets the rural scene after the war, very well and we get a sense of how people are getting pieces of their lives back. Eleanor is a strong character, hardened by life but we get to know her as the novel progresses as it is from her point view. The story is slow to begin with but the pace is picked up half way through with a few twists and Eleanor really comes in to her own.

This is a great debut from Lorna Gray. I am looking forward to her next book.


Enjoy!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1266321298?book_show_action=false


Kind regards,
Ailish