Monday, 1 August 2016

Summer Reading List - Second Instalment!

Here goes with the second instalment of my Summer Reading List. I'm sure you'll agree we're pretty spoilt for choice with the wide range of great reads by some amazing authors...


Plumberry PB low  430 x 669

What the Blurb says:

Verity Bloom hasn't been interested in cooking anything more complicated than the perfect fish finger sandwich, ever since she lost her best friend and baking companion two years ago.

But an opportunity to help a friend lands her right back in the heart of the kitchen.  The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is due to open in a few weeks' time and needs the kind of great ideas that only Verity could cook up.  And with new friendships bubbling and a sprinkling of romance in the mix, Verity finally begins to feel like she's home.

But when tragedy strikes at the very heart of the cookery school, can Verity find the magic ingredient for Plumberry while still writing her own recipe for happiness?

What I Say:

Originally published in four instalments The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is now available as one book, complete with the obligatory beautiful cover by Kate Forrester. I'm a huge fan of Cathy Bramley's novels and this one is no exception. It's a well-rounded story, full of likeable characters, set against a beautiful backdrop which will have you hooked at the first page.  In typical Cathy Bramley style, her writing  flows effortlessly across the pages, making Plumberry a real pleasure to read and impossible to put down!  The perfect 'feel-good' holiday book.

TRANSWORLD BOOKS  ISBN:  9780552172080
twitter:  @CathyBramley


Front Cover

What the Blurb says:

When Rosalind's fifteen-year-old daughter, Stephanie, ran away with her teacher, this ordinary family became something it had never asked to be.  Their lives held up to scrutiny in the centre of a police investigation, the Simms were headline news while Stephanie was missing with a man who was risking everything.

Six years on, Ros takes a call that will change their lives all over again.  He's going to be released from prison.

Years too early.  In eleven days' time.

As Nathan Temperley's release creeps closer, Ros is forced to re-examine the events that led them here, back to a place she thought she'd left behind, to questions she didn't want to answer. Why did she do it?  Where does the blame lie?  What happens next?

What I Say:

This is the impressive debut novel by winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition, Eva Holland. A fascinating story, told from the point of view of the neurotic Rosalind Simm whose daughter, Stephanie, ran away with her geography teacher six years earlier. Eva's writing places the dysfunctional Simm family under the spotlight where, such close scrutiny suggests all is not quite as straightforward as it seems. Pacey and gripping, this is something gritty to get your teeth into.

ORION BOOKS  ISBN:  978409157045
twitter: @HollandEva


What the Blurb says:

Nina is a bookworm who dreams of running her own little bookshop.  But real life is a bit trickier than the stories Nina loves, as she discovers when she moves to the beautiful wild highlands of Scotland to turn her dreams into reality...

What I say:

After taking redundancy, librarian and book-lover, Nina Redmond invests her payout in a van with romantic dreams of turning into a mobile book shop, and somehow finds herself in the beautiful Scottish highlands.  There really is plenty to like about this book: interesting characters, lashings of humour and vivid descriptions which all add up to make it an addictive read. Definitely one to curl up with on your sun-lounger.

SPHERE  ISBN:  978-0751553932
twitter: @jennycolgan


What the Blurb says:

What would you do if you found out that your husband, your father, your son - was not who you thought? Could you ever love him again?

Luke Livingstone is a lucky man.  He's a respected solicitor, a father and grandfather, a pillar of the community.  He has a loving wife and an idyllic home in the Oxfordshire countryside.  Yet Luke is struggling with an unbearable secret, and it's threatening to destroy him.

All his life, Luke has hidden the truth about himself and his identity.  It's a truth so fundamental that it will devastate his wife, shatter his children, rock his community and leave him outcast.  But Luke has nowhere left to run, and to continue living, he must become the person - the woman - he knows himself to be, whatever the cost.

What I Say:

Phew! This is a compelling read of a bold subject matter right from the get-go. Sensitively written yet thought-provoking, I particularly like the compassion demonstrated by the writer as she delves into Luke Livingstone's fragile state of mind, together with the emotional struggles faced by his family as they come to terms with his shocking revelation. I can guarantee that from the first page you'll be utterly engrossed.

ALLEN & UNWIN  ISBN:  9781743318751
twitter:  @charitynorman1



What the Blurb says:

Kate and Becca aren't just cousins, they're best friends.  Growing up together, they've shared all the milestones - childhood parties, eighteenth birthdays and now a double-wedding day.

Kate and Charlie were meant to be.  That's what everybody said.  So why have things turned out so differently?

Best friends are forever, and true love always finds a way.  Doesn't it?

What I Say:

This is a warm and cosy story charting the intertwining lives of Kate, Becca, Charlie and Julian. Happy and, at times heart-wrenching, there are plenty of unexpected twists and turns along the way. What I found particularly appealing was the way each chapter was an invitation to celebrate a different life event, such as a birthday party, wedding etc., allowing you to  join the characters at different stages in their lives, while keeping complicated family dynamics neat and tidy and easy to follow. A great holiday read that will exercise a whole gamut of emotions!

SIMON & SCHUSTER UK  ISBN:  9781471155055
twitter:  @julietstories


The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans

What the Blurb says:

You follow the hidden creek towards a long-forgotten house.

They call it Keepsake, a place full of wonder...and danger.  Locked inside the crumbling elegance of its walls lies the story of the Butterfly Summer, a story you've been waiting all your life to hear.

This house is Nina Parr's birthright.  It holds the truth about her family - and a chance to put everything right at last.

What I Say:

With such an inviting blurb I couldn't wait to settle myself down somewhere quite so I could lose myself between the pages of this book.  And I wasn't disappointed. This is another story with a beautiful backdrop - Cornwall this time - that switches between Nina's story and that of her grandmother, Theadora, aka Teddy. As the author weaves her way into the past through generations of sadness, secrets and lies she delivers a vivid, yet complex story that will keep you thinking about it long after you've read it.

HEADLINE UK - ISBN:  9781472221346
twitter: @HarrietEvans

Well, that concludes Part 2 of my Summer Reading List. It's a bit of an eclectic mix of, I hope, something for everyone. I'm now off to work on Part 3 which, for those of you who prefer to take your Kindle on holiday, will focus solely on digital books. Until then...happy reading!


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