A Winter Kiss on Rochester Mews by Annie Darling

A Winter Kiss on Rochester Mews by Annie Darling

 

 

40540663Publisher: Harper Collins

Publishing Date: 29th November 2018

Series: Lonely Hearts Bookshop #4

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 416

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

A heartwarming and hilarious Christmas romance!

Tis the season to be jolly!

But on Rochester Mews, two unlikely lovebirds are struggling to find their festive cheer.

Star baker Mattie has hated Christmas ever since she had her heart broken on Christmas Eve. The only thing she hates more is the insufferable Tom, who has rubbed her up the wrong way since she started running the tearoom next door to his bookshop. So when Mattie and Tom are left in charge in the frantic festive days before Christmas, it might be cold outside but things are sure to heat up.

Can a bookshop full of romantic novels, a life-sized reindeer and a mistletoe kissing booth persuade two scrooges to fall in love with Christmas… and each other?

Rating: five-stars

In “A Winter Kiss on Rochester Mews” we’re back to Happy Ever After, the best romantic fiction bookshop in the world, and to the adjoining tearoom run by Mattie Smith, a very talented patisserie chef. She’s been running it for two years already, after coming back from Paris – heartbroken and disappointed and badly judged. This all happened around Christmas, so it’s not a wonder that she’s not the biggest fan of the festive season. Or men. Tom Greer still works in the bookshop, wearing cardigans with patches on the elbows, and the only thing that he has in common with Mattie is the fact that he also hates Christmas. Other than that, it seems that they rub each other only the wrong way. But after Nina moving out from the flat above the bookshop, Mattie and Tom become flatmates – how is it going to end?

There are so many things happening in the bookstore and at the tearoom! Posy is heavily pregnant and ready to cry at any given moment, Nina is back at the shop and is determined to bring the festive atmosphere there, and so with the reindeers in their original size, mistletoe photo booth it slowly starts to look like “Christmas vomited over it”, which for Tom and Mattie, both total anti – Christmas, is at least one common ground to complain.

This time the story focuses strongly on Tom, the enigmatic and enigma – like member of Happy Ever After team who hates romance, and Mattie, who always wears black, runs the tearooms by the bookshop and hates all man. Again, those two, as well as the rest of the gang, and they’re all mentioned in the book, hallelujah, they were just my kind of characters – believable in the way they were, with their ups and down, secrets and troubles, with days that were sometimes better and sometimes worse and their banter, and you know, it is often that you want to bang the characters heads together for them to see the light eventually – and I didn’t want to bang their heads together! They were simply brilliant as they were. Although, I must admit, there was a moment that I felt so sorry for Mattie, when she was blanked out by the others after revealing Tom’s secrets, and I mean, they all – Posy, Verity and Nina, all wanted to know them, right, and then Tom also blanking her out and it was just soooo unfair.
I love how all the characters have their own stories to tell. Mattie’s heart was badly broken in the past and the return of her ex – boyfriend Steven doesn’t bode well. Tom, the very modern feminist, was so full of surprises and well, he always meant really well, even though it might not have looked like this at the first sight. The way those two were starting to find each other in this very complicated and uncomfortable arrangement of living in the same flat above the bookshop was absolutely sweet, hilarious and uplifting. Annie Darling, just like Debbie Johnson, can so brilliantly write about feelings and emotions, they’re so beautifully captured and they simply sound genuine and honest.

I’ve finished reading this book grinning from ear to ear, there was so much joy and optimism here, it really made me feel better and lighter. It was a delight to read and it was almost as good as the first book in the series, “.The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts” though, to be honest again, it is probably one of the most gorgeous novels in the world and of all time. I really could read more about the Lonely Hearts Bookshop, it’s one of my absolutely favourite series, and I so hope to see more from the characters in the future, though guys, to be totally honest, the last sentence in this book looks like the very final one, sniff.

Altogether, this book was a perfect read – I loved every single moment of it. It was full of fantastic characters that are down – to – earth and brilliantly funny and comic moments, but it also touched upon some heavier issues. There was the Christmas spirit, bookshop full of romance books and mouth – watering festive baking – I don’t need anything more! Highly recommended!

 

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Crazy in Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

Crazy in Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

 

36413429Publisher: Harper Collins

Publishing Date: 14th February 2018

Series: Lovely Hearts Bookshop #3  (read my review of part 1 here,  part 2 here )

Source:  Received from publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback (out on 5.4.2018)

 

 

Synopsis:

You can go crazy searching for the one…

Tattooed, pink-haired, Bettie Page lookalike Nina is addicted to bad boys. Like Heathcliff and Cathy, Nina firmly believes that true love only takes one form: wild, mad love, full of passion and fire and tempestuous arguments, and she won’t settle for anything less.

But years of swiping right has uncovered nothing but losers and flings, and Nina is no closer to finding her One True Love than she ever was. And when a man from her past walks into the shop Nina knows she has nothing to fear. The geekiest boy in her school has become a boring business analyst who’s welded to his iPad and with his navy blue suits and ginger hair, Noah has no chance of making her heart go pitter patter.

Which just shows how little Nina knows about bad boys, business analysts and her heart…

Rating: five-stars

I absolutely adore Annie Darling’s books and I’ve already fallen in love with all her characters. “Crazy in Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop” is the newest addition to The Lonely Heart Bookshop series and yes, you can read it as a stand – alone, but I’d really heartily recommend to read the two previous books in the series as well – they’re just too brilliant to be missed.

This book, after Posy and Verity, focuses on Nina – the big – mouthed Nina, tattooed Nina, Nina with a penchant for vintage clothes and dating. And cakes. Being almost thirty, Nina is looking for her own Heathcliff and she’s picked many unsuitable men, and she starts to question herself, her lifestyle and choices. At the same time, things at the bookshop are not so rosy, so Posy decides to bring Sebastian’s friend Noah to look at the business practices. Noah is a total opposite of Nina and he plays on her nerves with his iPad, making notes on every single person working at the shop. And Noah doesn’t know it, but they used to know each other in the past, however it wasn’t the best past. Does the opposites attract? Is the truth ever going to come to light?

Guys, guys, guys. What a brilliant read was it again! It was such a joy to connect with all the characters that I’ve already fallen in love with and to see what’s going on in their lives. After making sure that Posy and Verity’s love lives are absolutely all right, this time Nina is our problem child. This time the girls doesn’t have to set Nina up on dates or sign her to dating sites because Nina absolutely has everything well in hand. However, mostly the guys are the wrong ones. I loved the way Nina didn’t treat herself too seriously She was fierce, she was quirky but she also had this more vulnerable side to her and she had conscience. She was believable and relatable in the way she acted and reacted, she had her ups and downs, she was sometimes rude but that was Nina all the way – she was honest and there was not beating around the bush with her, which I really, really loved – made a difference to so many meh characters in the women’s literature.
Noah… Well, Noah. Brilliant male characters just pours out of Annie Darling’s pen, and they are so different and each of them is in their own league. Noah was the best geek I could have ever imagine and I loved him. So there. I loved how he was around people, how he brought the Tupperware doses with vegan food home with resignation , and how, when he fell in love, then he fell with his whole body, head, feelings and emotions. I could so understand his pain, and I could see he felt betrayed but I wanted to shake him so much because he and Nina, though on the surface so different, were like match made in heaven, and I SO wanted for those two to stay together. Did they? Or was the hurt too big?
The characters in this story were great, just great. They grew on me immediately. I loved to see all the characters from the previous books, even if it was only for a moment or two, but them being there made me smile at remembering what kind of antics they got themselves into. They were all so brilliantly described, with tons of feeling and understanding from the author, she truly got into their heads and created the warmest fictional characters in the world. It is impossible not to like those people. The dynamics between them was also brilliantly captured, I loved all the banter and bitching and the fact that when one them needed help they could count on each other, on their support. It was all so effortlessly and realistically captured and the friendships and relationships just seemed so genuine. They complemented each other in great ways, no matter if they were main or background characters.

There was maybe not so much of the bookshop itself in this story, and so many tote bags, though Posy didn’t disappoint in that respect – no, I take this back, there was enough of the bookshop. Of stacking the shelves and customers drooling after Tom. The plot was easy but there were enough ups and downs to keep me glued to the pages, some disastrous dates and family birthdays. The humour was one of the best and I adored the jokes and the irony, it was just my kind of humour and I just wanted to beg for more.

It is so that any book can come close to the first book in the series, “The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts” but the next two are of course brilliantly warm, uplifting, funny reads and I love them all with all my heart. This novel was utterly romantic, full of friendship and acceptance, showing that looking different doesn’t mean you’re worse, that you should stay true to yourself and be proud of yourself, no matter what size you are and how many tattoos there are on your body, or if you have specs and a wonderful high school diploma – just be proud of yourself and believe in you, and I loved this message. It was hilariously funny and also there were moments it was very poignant, and the way the author balanced those feeling was great.
Altogether, it was – again! – an uplifting, optimistic story touching upon some serious issues and dealing with them in a great way. The characters were – again! – brilliant and very well outlined and I can’t have enough of them. My heart went to them all and all I want is to see them happy. It is full of warmth and it just felt like a group hug – wonderful, unputdownable read, another cracker in the Lonely Hearts Bookshop series. Highly recommended! And guys, what’s more important, there is another Lonely Hearts Bookshop book to come! I am only wondering – is it going to be about Tom? There was a little more about him and his thesis in the book, so maybe?

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

 

33145286Publisher: Harper

Publishing Date: 10th August 2017

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review!

Number of pages: 416

Genre:   Romance, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good job, four bossy sisters and a needy cat must also have want of her one true love. Or is it?

Another delightful novel from the author of The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jenny Colgan

Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and her fictional boyfriend Peter is very useful for getting her out of unwanted social events. But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.

Johnny could also use a fictional girlfriend. Against Verity’s better judgement, he persuades her to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and garden parties, with just one promise – not to fall in love with each other…

Rating: five-stars

Oh dear. Guys. I’ve fallen in love with “True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop” immediately – just like it happened when I’ve been reading the first book in the series “The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts” (and here you can read my review). Those two stories are heart – breakingly funny, warm, they tug at all the right heart strings and are full of the best ever comments, one – liners and characters. I could read Annie Darling’s books on daily basis.
This book was a little different to the previous novel, although I can’t tell you exactly what was missing this time, maybe I just had too high expectations but still it was a brilliant, poignant and hilarious read. However, if you haven’t read the previous book, I would highly recommend to do this before reading Verity’s story, and not because you are going to miss on the characters or plot, because this book can be read as a stand – alone, but because the previous novel was just magical.

Annie Darling has – again – created some of the best characters in the fictional world. This time the story focuses on Verity Love, who works in Posy’s bookshop. Verity may be a very extreme character – you know, there might be quiet and there might be quiet, and she was at the very end of the scale, but the descriptions of her introverted nature were so spot on, they explained her personality in such a perfect way that – even though I have my wild years behind me I am still an open person – I could just get Verity, I understood her with my whole heart and could see her need for peace and quiet. It was brilliant that she realised she’s not the easiest person to be around but it was even more great that she was trying hard not to overwhelm people with her need to be alone, and I had a feeling that she tried so hard not to be a burden – but she was not a martyr! Oh no. She was a lovely, incredibly smart and funny person and I would love to have Verity as a friend.
I think that the best parts of the book involve Verity’s family – her fours sisters, cats, dog and parents who also refers to themselves as Our Vicar and Our Vicar’s Wife – loved it! The sisters couldn’t be more different than Verity herself and they brilliantly complemented her, they were incredible, self – confident chatterboxes talking all the time. I laughed out loud at their antics and couldn’t stop smiling when they were planning Con’s wedding. They were all so warm and you could see they love each other incredibly.
The author also couldn’t come up with a better name for the antagonist. As it happens, I know one Marissa and even though she’s only a child, she’s as devil as the Marissa from the story.
And then we have the main male character. Oh boy. But before I start gushing about Johnny please let me tell you that there was one moment at the end of the story when I felt SO disappointed with him! I thought I’m going to kill him with my bare hands. Also, him being in love with a woman he can’t have, and the way he cling desperately to this illusion started to annoy me at some point and I wanted to shake him really hard. And he was a little like enigma to me, sometimes he just came across as self centred and arrogant, and sometimes he was so understanding and heartfelt. But whatever, I really liked him and the way he was around Verity, he was so patient with her and he had so much understanding.

What made me feel a little unsure was the fact that I was eventually asking myself if Verity and Johnny should really end up together? They worked brilliantly together in my opinion but there came a moment that we got to know Verity’s feelings about the situation and didn’t know about Johnny’s, and then came this another moment that I’ve mentioned above about being unsure about Johnny, and I was simply afraid that Verity is going to be hurt, because I was not sure what it really is what Johnny feels. Nevertheless, I loved the way this friendship evolved, it felt very genuine and natural. They both had issues and demons and I loved to see how they open up to each other and how it helped them.

I am only afraid that slowly there is only so much Jane Austen I can take and that with this book I’ve maxed up my limit of reading books based on “Pride and Prejudice” – however it was one of the best “adaptations” I have come across.

So altogether, even though the first book in the series was magically brilliant, I adored “True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop” and I hope that Annie Darling is going to write another book about one of the characters! I will be the first in the virtual queue to read it, that’s for sure. This book was full of a great, different romance, wonderful, larger than life characters and written in such a lovely way! The author has a great way with words, she always knows when it’s time for something poignant or some fun and some of the situations are either heart – breaking or hilariously funny, and I loved this balance. If you need to loose yourself in a humorous, heart – warming novel about friendship, family, love and hope than treat yourself to this book. Highly recommended!

My Top 5 Books of 2016

Hi guys, and happy Friday! as much as I can’t believe it we are already at the end of December and New Year is knocking at the doors. I have such mixed feelings about 2016, it was full of lovely moments, worthwile people and situations, things that I’ll never forget, new beginnings, new chances, new friends but it was also full of sad, painfull moments and I feel like saying, get lost 2016! It is time for something new and positive.

In 2016 I read 195 books. Not as many as the previous year but with life getting in the way and time being so precious I am glad that I could read so many books at all! And those were brilliant books, that I adored and gushed about. However, and I am not sure why, probably because I read so much and am picky, not many books have made it to my Hall of Fame – in fact, I am shocked that there are so few but I think that really, I love many books but only few of them have blown me away – the book must really have this something special!  And so, this year, there are only 5 of them – the very special ones, the crème de la crème of all the books that I had a pleasure to read. Here they are!

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 These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton. What can I say? I truly adored this book, it had everything I need and want from a book. All my family and friends have read this book thanks to my reccomendations and all of them loved it! The way the author captured all the feelings in this story and it touched and moved me, it made my cry and laugh, tit made me talk to the characters and experience everything together with them – a gorgeous, unforgettable book!  Here is my review of this astonishing novel.

Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin. Already in 2015 51aqd3kunvlher novel “The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes” has made it to my top read, and in 2016 Ms McPartlin has – again, and thanks so much for this! – delivered a beautiful, moving novel with a twist. I laughed and I cried when reading it, and I couldn’t stop to admire the incredible writing style and the way the author has written this story, and I can tell you one thing: whatever you do, please read this novel! Here you can read my review of this emotional, exceptional story.

29750478The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling. It was a story that just blew my mind away – it had all that I’m looking for in a book: it was full of warmth, INCREDIBLE humour, fantastic, vivid characters and it had one of the best plots ever, and well, it took place mostly in a bookshop! I still can remember how much warmth and feeling there were on the pages and this feel – good factor, and that it made me feel warm and happy. Here you can read my review of this gorgeous, charming, heart – warming book!

A year without Lisa Dickenson’s book would be a lost year, guys! I’ve no idea what ‘ve been 28798187doing before Lisa started writing books – I just can’t imagine my bookshelf without her gorgeous, heartwarming paperbacks! If you haven’t read You Had Me at Merlot I can only say drop whatever you do and buy it! It was a MUST READ this summer, and not only summer because it’ll brigthen the most grim days. It really deserves a standing ovation, folks, Lisa’s humour is an exceptional one, and you always have a feeling that her characters are your best friends – so no matter what, dear Lisa, please keep the books coming! You Had Me at Merlot  had all what I am looking for in a book and even more and I. FREAKING. LOVED. EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE.OF. IT. So there. Yes. I loved it. In case you don’t believe me, check my review here pretty please.

29622942And last but not least. It is a book by the author that her debut novel has also found itself on my top reads in 2015 list, and it always warms my heart to see that the second dreaded book is as great as the previous one! Please say hello to A Life Without You by Katie Marsh, a story that I loved with my whole heart. Full of emotions, tricky decisions to be made, brilliant characters and complex plot, written in incredibly beautiful way – and here you can read more why I loved this book so much.

Book of the Month: May + Q&A with Annie Darling

Hi guys! It’s already June (even though it doesn’t feel like June, right, what with the weather!) and it is time for my Book of the Month, so here we go!

It was easy – peasy this month, to be honest, as among all the brilliant books that I’ve read, there was one that just blew my mind away – it had all that I’m looking for in a book: it was full of warmth, INCREDIBLE humour, fantastic, vivid characters and it had one of the best plots ever, and well, it took place mostly in a bookshop! So, do you already know what book I’m talking about? Exactly! It’s the one and only „The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts” by Annie Darling and here you can read my review of this gorgeous, charming, heart – warming book! And if you scroll down, yours truly and the lovely Annie are chatting about the book!

 

Q&A WITH THE AUTHOR

1. How would your own bookshop look like? Would it be more Posy or Sebastian’s style?

Not surprisingly I’m #TeamPosy all the way. Happy Ever After is the bookshop of my dreams. I love those bookshops, especially those second hand bookshops you always unearth in small towns when you’re on your hols, that are a warren of rooms all running into each other. Books arranged higgledy piggledy on the shelves. Comfy armchairs arranged here and there. The kind of bookshop that invites you to linger. And definitely either a resident bookshop dog or cat.

  2. Do you believe in Happy Ever After?

Kind of. Sort of. Alas, I see more evidence of Happy Ever Afters in books rather than real life.

3. What inspired you to write such a charming story as „The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts”? And where did the idea for this title come from?

It originally started life as a standalone novel called Posy Morland’s Happy Ever After. I had this very clear idea of a slightly bumbling, dreamy girl who’d grown up on a diet of romance novels and who found real life quite disappointing by comparison and the story grew from there. So, when I originally submitted the novel the title had changed to The Little Bookshop of Happy Ever After but it turned out three other authors had written novels about bookshops and one, in particular, had a very similar title so there was a lot of headscratching and flip-charting until my editor, Martha, and I came up with The Little Bookshop Of Lonely Hearts.

4. Sebastian may have been „the rudest man in London” but I adored him – he is funny, with a great dose of sarcasm and he knows what he wants – is he totally fictional character or is he based on a real person (if so, could you please introduce us?)?

He is really the modern personification of those alpha male romantic heroes from Regency novels who stride about being haughty and issuing commands to the lower orders, but are still damnably attractive! I wanted to take that 18th century hero template and apply it to a contemporary man and Sebastian was the result. Though I feel like he has more than touch of the Sherlock Holmes about him. (Never a bad thing!)

5. And Posy – one of the loveliest people in the world. How much of you is in Posy and how much of Posy is in you?

What do Posy and I have in common? Permanently tangled hair, messy flat, too many books owned and too many biscuits eaten! We also have very vivid, some may say over-active, imaginations.

6. People are already loving „The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts” – what is the best thing you heard about your novel?

It’s very early days as the ebook has only just come out, but I’ve been thrilled and quite blown away by the response so far, which has been really positive and so warm. I was worried that people might think I was poking fun at romance novels and their readers, so the best thing is that the readers of The Little Bookshop Of Lonely Hearts absolutely get that the book is coming from a place of love.

7.  What was the best – and worst – thing about writing this story?

The best thing was writing the scenes between Posy and Sebastian. The dialogue just snapped back and forth between them, such fun! And I also loved writing the Ravished By A Rake sections. The worst thing? There really wasn’t anything bad about the writing of The Little Bookshop Of Lonely Hearts. The words just poured out of me.

8. What did writing this book mean to you? What did you want your readers to take from this story?

I wanted to represent for the romance novel and the readers of romance. I think so often we’re looked down on and dismissed because we’re not reading ‚proper’ literary novels. I believe all the great literature is about love and even if it wasn’t, it’s important to read what makes you happy.

And what I want readers to take from this story is just a lovely warm feeling like they’re being hugged and a deep sigh of satisfaction when they read the four words that make up the final chapter.

 

The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling

The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts

by Annie Darling

 

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publishing Date: 19th May 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 416

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Contemporary, Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback (out on 25. 08. 2016)

 

  Synopsis:

Where happy ever after is only a page away…
A delightful new series set in a quaint old bookshop, for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jenny Colgan

Once upon a time in a crumbling London bookshop, Posy Morland spent her life lost in the pages of her favourite romantic novels.

So when Bookend’s eccentric owner, Lavinia, dies and leaves the shop to Posy, she must put down her books and join the real world. Because Posy hasn’t just inherited an ailing business, but also the unwelcome attentions of Lavinia’s grandson, Sebastian, AKA The Rudest Man In London™.

Posy has a cunning plan and six months to transform Bookends into the bookshop of her dreams – if only Sebastian would leave her alone to get on with it. As Posy and her friends fight to save their beloved bookshop, Posy’s drawn into a battle of wills with Sebastian, about whom she’s started to have some rather feverish fantasies…

Like her favourite romantic heroines, will she get her happy ever after too?

Rating: 5/5

 

Guys, really. I don’t remember when I adored a book so much – „The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts” is one of the most gorgeous, sweet, charming stories EVAH. Though the beginning of it was not so promising, I must say it – I had a feeling it drags on too much and that actually nothing is happening there, and you know, I’ve already started to panic and wonder what’s going on? I had such good feeling about this book, and I wanted to love it so much and Oh. My. Word. The cover. THE COVER. It is gorgeous! It is more than gorgeous and I love it with my whole heart and if I saw such a book shop somewhere on the street I’d go there and beg them to either give me a job or let me live there, and yet I had some problems to get into it. But. Guys. Those were only some difficult beginnings and soon, very soon, I found this book unputdownable.

First of all, it is a perfect book for such book – freaks like yours truly. It is full of books, mentions of books and authors and bookish things and it was lovely. Secondly, the characters. Thirdly, the humour. The humour – the bloody humour! Just my kind of humour, full of sarcasm, having distance from oneself and I was snorting with laughter almost all the way through it. Fourthly, the brilliant way the plot mixes some more serious issues with light – heartedness. Yes, it reminded me a little of Bridget Jones, but there is nothing wrong with this as I think I am the biggest Bridget’s fan in the world. The way Posy was, so helpless when it came to men, so willing to crying, and especially the one scene with Sebastian and Piers when they were fighting – I could so see Mark and Daniel and hear „It’s Raining Men” in the background. And I loved it!

But let’s get back to the second point. Characters. Oh Jesus, how brilliant the characters were. First of all, welcome Posy, who loves books above all, especially romances, and after inheriting the bookshop Bookends and getting a job of bringing it back to life she decides that romance is the future of the shop (though Sebastian, „the rudest man in London” who was ordered by his grandmother to keep an eye on Posy and to help her in a way that she doesn’t know he helps her, thinks that romance is meeeeh and wants to re – organize the shop into selling only crime. Who is going to win this duel?) To be honest, Posy has never thought about being Bookends’ owner – she loves book but being her own, and her colleagues, boss… well… it’s not her thing. But what must be done, must be done, right? So yes, Posy loves books above all and I love people who love books so no wonder that I immediately fell for Posy, right. But it was not only her love of books that made me like her so much. She was just so believable in all what she did and the way she acted, she had her ups and downs, she had better and worse days, she doubted in herself and wasn’t sure if she’s cut to be the owner of Bookends, she was not a long – legged size 0 sex – bomb, she was prone to accident and she more than often found herself in embarrassing situations and life was not a bed of roses for her, and this all, plus her inner warmth, sense of humour, loyalty made her so realistic and normal and I think you just can’t not like Posy.
But now enter Sebastian, „the rudest man” in London, and oh my word, he really took the rudeness to another level! He was telling the things just like he saw them, no matter if it was going to hurt the recipient. He was obsessed with his suits and he didn’t react to the word „no”, which I personally find not such a bad feature, I’d also love to be able to resist the word „no” :) He, in contrast to Posy, was not having his head in the clouds but was a having his feet on the ground entrepreneur and he had a little different to Posy’s idea what to do with Bookends, and while Posy wanted to paint the shop pink and specialise in romance, he saw it in red and black, selling crime only. But you know what, even with his rudeness, that I, by the way, found not irritating only entertaining (maybe because it was not directed to me personally, haha) and I loved the scenes with Sebastian – they were so full of sarcasm and you needed to take them with a pinch of salt, but it was just my kind of humour and I’d personally love to pat him on, and cry softly into, the lapel of his jacket.
At the first sight Posy and Sebastian were like chalk and cheese, full of contrasts, but you know what they say, right? That opposites attract, and these two were like two peas in a pod, and they complemented each other brilliantly. I adored the banter between them, I adored Posy`s „Fine. Whatever” and its consequences and there is one more aspect that I loved this book so much, and it is Posy’s historical novel that she’s writing. I’m not going to tell anymore but guys, you will understand me when you read this book. I WOULD LOVE to read „Ravished by the Rake” as a novel, absolutely, haha. This was a very unusual romance, I’d say, especially at the end, and I loved the way it was written.
There were of course some other characters, like Posy’s younger brother Sam or her colleagues from the book shop, or people that Sebastian brought with him, and oh my word, they were all brilliant. Just brilliant. Full of warmth, each of them with a very distinctive voice and their own personalities, and they added tons to this story. Tons of warmth, action and fun. All of them vivid and larger than life, even if they were present only in few scenes, but I grow to love all of them.

The plot is a brilliant mix of fun with some more serious issues and the author has wonderfully balanced those things. The way Posy was still grieving over the death of her parents was realistic and tugged at the right heart – strings, and it was the same with the way she tried to cope with the fact that suddenly she was the owner of the Bookends, responsible now not only for her younger brother but also for her colleagues. Then we have humour. Annie Darling has one of the finest sense of humour and I so GOT all her jokes, the irony, the sarcasm and I begged for more. Absolutely, totally my kind of humour, thank you Annie!

„The Little Bookshop of Happy Ever After” is an uplifting, funny story with fantastic, larger than life characters that I was rooting for and wanted to be a part of their gang. My heart went to Posy so many times, and when she cried because she missed her parents I wanted to comfort her. Life didn’t spoil her bur she was still so good and she saw only good in other people. Yes, there were moments that she was too tearful and too naive but this all was a part of her and made her so exceptional and likeable. She must have dealt with so many things in her short life but she never lost faith and went for what she believed is right.

It is a lovely story to escape from the world and when I got into it after my initial problems, I didn’t want to leave the characters and the bookshop for a single moment. You know this feeling, when the book is so good that you want to race through the pages and see how it’s going to end but on the other hand you want it to go on for ever – this is this kind of a book. It’s humorous and hilarious but also realistic and relatable and even though there is going to be Happy Ever After, the author complicates characters’ way to it. Annie Darling’s writing style is fun, warm and I had a feeling it’s embracing me in a hug – she has incredible way with the words and can describe the most normal situation in a hilarious, entertaining way, but she can also made you shed a tear or two. If you don’t believe in Happy Ever After, after reading this book you’ll start to believe in it, such convincing the author is. I highly, highly recommend this novel to all, not only book – lovers. Loved it!