The Cottage on Sunshine Beach by Holly Martin (Blog Tour)

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach by Holly Martin

 

39719642Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 22nd June 2018

Series: Sandcastle Bay #1 (read my review of Book 1 here  )

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

Number of pages: 234

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 Synopsis:

The stunning new summer story from the bestselling author of Summer at Buttercup Beach. Step into the delightful seaside village of Sandcastle Bay, where you’ll discover golden sand, welcoming smiles and an unforgettable romance…

Melody Rosewood loves her new home in idyllic Sandcastle Bay. The beautiful little cottage on the edge of Sunshine Beach, with its bright yellow door and view of the sea has captured her heart. And she loves being close by to her family and best friend Tori Graham.

Life by the sea is pretty much perfect, there’s just one thing missing…

Gorgeous Jamie Jackson, with his cheeky grin and adorable puppy, works as a sculptor opposite Melody’s jewellery shop. From the moment he and Melody meet sparks fly. But despite their instant attraction, a past heartache is holding Jamie back.

As Melody starts to make a life for herself in the close-knit, quirky seaside community, she realises Jamie could be the one for her. But as the two of them take a chance on romance, it’s one dating disaster after another. Are they destined to always be just good friends?

Or will Melody finally find her happily-ever-after in Sandcastle Bay?

A perfect, feel-good summer read that will make you want to escape to the beach for a romantic day in the sun. If you enjoy reading Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Lucy Diamond this book is for you.

Rating: four-stars

“The Cottage on Sunshine Beach” is a second book in the Sandcastle Bay series. It can be read as a stand – alone, of course it can, because it’s following the adventures (and there are plenty of them! PLENTY!) of Melody and James but you would just miss out too much on a colourful, hilarious, sexy and quirky story – telling in “The Holiday Cottage by the Sea”. You don’t have to read them in the right order, I think, just read them both. Just saying.

So we return to Sandcastle Bay and are immediately thrown into the lives of Melody and her jewellery shop, and Jamie, an incredibly talented and sexy as hell sculptor. There is amazing chemistry between those two and Melody has the hots for Jamie but Jamie, sadly, has been badly hurt in the past and he’s holding back. However, Melody doesn’t give up and slowly it seems that Jamie starts to lose his reservations. But can one disaster date, when Melody poisons him, after other disaster date bring them together? Or is it too much for Jamie?

So guys. It is really hard to write this review as I truly am not sure what more should I say about Holly Martin’s writing and this book. I adore this author and her style but it seems that Holly has fallen for a pattern that is very successful and perfectly works for her, and it’s absolutely okay because when something works why should you change it? Sure, I can hear you saying, then don’t read Holly’s books – well, that’s not the point. As I’ve mentioned, I love her stories, they always made me laugh out loud and feel better, I just wish she’d surprise me with something different next time.

Nevertheless, I’ll try to explain what’s so special about this book. Because it is special 🙂

1) the setting – it’s gorgeous. Simply. Holly Martin is the champion of creating the most beautiful, desired places to live and I would move to any of the places she writes about in a couple of shakes.

2) the characters – are brilliant. As usually. They are full of humour and there is this lovely overwhelming community spirit and they all know everything about each other, there are no secrets in Sandcastle Bay.

The characters are so full of understanding and they’re so understanding and lenient that sometimes it’s too much. The guys always know what to say and what to do and sometimes it’s just  too good to be true. Don’t get me wrong here, pretty please, it’s lovely to see real gentlemen and how great they treat their women, how honest they are, there are no secrets between them, they do not lie, and sometimes, just sometimes, I missed a cold shoulder and a serious misunderstanding. To complicate the things a little.

3) the writing style. It’s full of humour and the best one – liners ever, and some of the scenes had made me laugh out loud. Really loud. The descriptions are so vivid and colourful and clear, you will have no problems to imagine them. Holly Martin has talent to effortlessly transport you into the heart of the story with her writing, to live the lives of the characters together with them.

It’s, as always, a little gem of a book that I wouldn’t like to miss out. There is everything you could ask for in a perfect rom – com: enough drama, a sizzling romance, incredible chemistry that only Holly can write in such way about, three – dimensional characters and hidden depths in a hilarious storyline. Truly recommended!

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The Holiday Cottage by the Sea by Holly Martin / #BlogTour

The Holiday Cottage by the Sea by Holly Martin

 

38344308Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 12th April 2018

Series: Sandcastle Bay #1

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

Number of pages: 249

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The perfect place to fall in love this summer…

Tori Graham is in need of a holiday. Trying to piece her heart back together after losing the love of her life, she escapes to Blossom Cottage, with its picturesque views of the sea. And plans to spend the summer in gorgeous Sandcastle Bay, where her best friend Melody Rosewood lives.

Tori’s not expecting her summer by the beach to be eventful, until she meets handsome and mysterious Aidan Jackson…

Aidan looks after the holiday cottage Tori is staying in. Healing from past hurts, he wants to avoid any further chance of heartache. But could this newcomer be the breath of fresh air he needs?

Finding herself embracing life in the coastal community, Tori starts to fall in love with Sandcastle Bay and its welcoming cast of residents. But that’s not all she begins to fall for, as Tori is swept away by Aidan’s genuine heart and mischievous sense of humour. The attraction between them is undeniable, but will a simple holiday romance be enough?

As Tori’s stay in Sandcastle Bay comes to an end she has a tough decision to make…. Has her heart found a new place to call home?

A joyously romantic summer read that will make you laugh, cry and fall in love. If you enjoy reading Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Lucy Diamond this book is for you.

Rating: five-stars

It’s been too long since I’ve read Holly Martin’s book and this is why I was that excited to start reading “The Holiday Cottage at the Sea”, and really guys, I haven’t realised how much I’ve missed Holly’s gorgeous, warm writing and her hilarious characters. So whatever you do, you just have to find time for this brilliant novel – it made me smile so much and it made me feel better. Yes, with Holly’s book you know where you’re heading to and yes, I’d love Holly to surprise us with one huge unpredictable twist, but her books have so many other merits that even the mandatory happy ever after is not something that’ll put me off reading her novels.

This book captured me immediately and Holly Martin’s storytelling is vivid, evocative and absorbing. I am always admiring the fact how easily she adds a word or two that immediately change the mood, this timing is perfect, and the dialogues were full of brilliant one – liners. She has a great hand for all kind of small touches that just make the story complete. It is also full of perfectly hilarious moments, so don’t be surprised when you suddenly start laughing out loud or spilling whatever you have to drink in your hand all over the table – be warned, and it starts already at the beginning with Dobby the turkey. Ha – I have you intrigued there, right?

The banter between the characters, especially Aidan and Tori, was brilliant – so effortless and so hilarious! The one thing that bothered me though was the length of their dialogues, they were all, the other characters as well, incredibly chatty, and often their statements took one page or even more, so eloquent they were, and sometimes I just wanted to tell them to finally get to the point. Sure, it’s nice when you can so beautifully pass your thoughts and feelings, however it doesn’t happen so often when you’re speaking, right? Nevertheless, I immediately warmed to Tori, she was instantly likeable and believable, and I loved her passion to her job. I loved to accompany her on her journey to rediscover herself. Also Aidan, oh my *sigh* *going gooey*, so brilliantly drawn and believable, and he was so utterly perfect, yet not too wishy – washy or too meh.
Agatha was very unforgettable character, guys, and often such characters annoy me awfully but she was just spot on, with her ideas and predictions. Also, Leo, James, Isla and Melody – they were all immediately likeable and realistic.

Holly Martin can, no matter what, always brilliantly capture the chemistry between the main characters. It’s always sparking, sizzling and vivid and I love this, because reading so many books you get all kinds of chemistry, and it doesn’t always happen that it’s so perfectly captured and visible. Yes, there came a moment that I wanted to bang Tori and Aiden’s head together but still, it didn’t mean that the chemistry was lost, oh no, it was there all the time and it was simply marvellous.

So altogether, “The Holiday Cottage at the Sea” was sexy and incredibly romantic and of course, as usual, Holly Martin has set her story in the most beautiful place ever. This tale was full of sunshine, gorgeous places, characters to die for. It was a story about grief, sense of guilt, friendship, close community, romance, love and heartberries – yes, heartberries. A really wonderful book with many hidden messages about second chances and trust – highly recommended!

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The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke / #BlogTour + #Extract

Hi guys! Hope you’re all doing well. Today we have a wonderful spring – finally! – the sun is shining and the sky is blue, and really, this extract that I’m going to post right now is from a book that fits this weather absolutely – it’s my part on Karen Clarke’s blog tour for her new release “The Cafe at Seashell Cove” and it’s a story with a lot of sunshine. Enjoy the extract, guys!

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Extract from Chapter 1 of The Café at Seashell Cove

I’d known my early return would come as a surprise to my parents.

What I hadn’t anticipated, on stepping into the brightly lit living room,

was the sight of my mother’s breasts in all their naked glory.

‘Cassie!’ She goggled at me over the back of the sofa, as guilty as a

teenager, while I tried to snap my jaw shut.

‘What… are you… please tell me you’re having a hot flush and

that’s why you’ve taken your top off.’ I clamped a hand over my eyes

to block out the sight of her rumpled hair and fiery cheeks. Not to

mention her naked breasts.

‘I’m not menopausal,’ she huffed, as if I’d just returned from a

longish walk and interrupted her favourite TV programme.

‘Of course you are. You’re fifty-eight,’ I argued. ‘It’s simple biology.’

She gave an exasperated tut, which wasn’t the sound I’d imagined

her making on seeing her beloved daughter return to the fold. On the

journey down, I’d shaped a scene where tears of joy and perhaps a bit

of crying featured, considering she hadn’t seen me for nearly a year.

(Skyping didn’t count.)

‘We weren’t expecting you until tomorrow, love.’ Dad’s voice was

accompanied by the sound of a zipper, and I let out a quiet moan.

Glancing through my fingers, I was treated to an eyeful of his greying

chest hair, as well as his receding head hair.

 ‘For god’s sake, you two.’ I turned my back, reaching for the dimmer

switch to reduce the overhead glare, listening to them scrabble about

for discarded clothing. It was bad enough that they’d copulated twice

before, to conceive my brother and me, but faced with the evidence that

they were still ‘at it’, nearly thirty years later, was a bit much on an

empty stomach. ‘It’s barely seven thirty,’ I grumbled.

‘You should have phoned.’ Mum sounded reasonable, and I turned,

relieved to see she’d put her top back on. ‘We would have postponed

our lovemaking—’

‘LA-LA-LA-LA-LA LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA,’ I sang, childishly

jamming my fingers in my ears, while my parents exchanged coy smiles,

and Dad pulled on his ancient Garfield T-shirt, flattening his hair to

his scalp. He’d started going grey in his thirties, and at fifty-nine was

a shade that Mum called Silver Fox.

‘You should be pleased your parents still find each other physically

attractive and like a cuddle before dinner,’ he said, when I’d unblocked

my ears, with the merry twinkle that made people instantly warm to

him. ‘Shouldn’t she, Lydia?’

‘I’ve no objection to you cuddling,’ I said. ‘It’s’—I flapped my

hand—‘the groping I can’t cope with.’

In response, Dad lunged for Mum while making kissy noises,

causing her to let out a girlish squeal. ‘Stop it, Ed!’ She pretended to

bat him away, and I wondered whether I’d fallen asleep on the train

from London to Devon and was, in fact, dreaming.

It would explain the slightly surreal feel the day had taken on, which

had begun with me standing on a packed Tube train that morning,

sleep-deprived after another uncomfortable night on Nina’s sofa bed,

reminded of a different morning, two months earlier: the morning I’d

met Adam Conway. Finding myself sardined against a tall, dark-haired

man, who’d smelt like the interior of a leather-seated car, I’d taken the

unusual step of acting on Nina’s advice to ‘be more proactive in the

man department’, by slipping a business card into his jacket pocket

with a pithy ‘Call me, some time’, accompanied by a flirty eye-twinkle

(which might have come across like a nervous tic, because of being tired

and rubbish at flirting). Unfortunately, my watch strap had snagged on

his pocket flap, causing his head to jerk down and his dark-chocolate

eyes to rest on me with a glimmer of amusement.

‘Are you trying to distract me while you steal my wallet?’ he’d

queried, his gaze sweeping over my unremarkable work suit, carefully

made-up face (copied from a popular beauty guru on YouTube), and

strands of hair escaping my never-perfected topknot. ‘Because I don’t

carry a wallet in my pocket.’

‘Only old men carry wallets,’ I’d managed, my cheeks hotter than

molten lava, before freeing myself and leaving the train two stops too

early, wondering why I couldn’t have apologised like a normal person

instead of blurting out something that probably wasn’t true. What did

I know about wallets?

I’d almost fainted when he called to ask me out to dinner, certain I

was punching way above my weight. But although his job in investment

banking was as far as you could get from the frivolous world of event

planning, I felt like I’d managed to impress him. It had been a shame

that our hectic work schedules meant we’d only been on a handful of

dates before I was fired, and that I’d probably never see him again…

If you have enjoyed this extract from Chapter One of Karen Clarke’s A Café at Seashell Cove,
Grab your copy here: myBook.to/TCASCSocial

 

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Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances by Sue Watson

Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances by Sue Watson

 

35922915Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 12th October 2017

Source:  Received from publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 269

Genre:  Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Escape to Devon for blustery walks along the beach, hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and proof that miracles really do happen, especially at Christmas.

A year after she separated from her husband, Gianni, on Christmas Day, Chloe’s heart is still in pieces as she unpacks the decorations for her first ever festive holiday alone. That is, until the phone rings…

It seems Gianni’s new seaside restaurant is in trouble and Chloe must go to Appledore to save the business – and him. Equally famous for his experimental culinary extravaganzas and his explosive temper, Gianni has been really stirring up a sensation with the locals – and not in a good way!

As pans fly and the temperature in the kitchen rises, Chloe’s calming influence and magic touch might just get critics back on side in time to save the restaurant from sinking like a sad soufflé. But will it be enough to save their marriage?

Chloe came to Appledore in search of her Christmas sparkle, but when the snow clears, will she finally find the way back to her husband’s heart?

A laugh-out-loud festive treat that will give you the tingle of freshly-hung tinsel. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Abby Clements and Debbie Johnson.

Rating: two-half-stars

Each time I see a new Sue Watson’s book I’m getting really giddy with excitement – yes, it never dies, this feeling of seeing a new book by the author you adore, no matter how old you are. I really like Sue’s down – to – earth stories with brilliant leading heroines who have experienced a lot in their lives and they really know what they’re talking about. And “Snowflakes, Christmas Cakes and Second Chances” looked and sounded so inviting and so Christmassy, and I thought, well, what can go wrong?

Unfortunately, and I’m really not saying this easily, almost everything went wrong for me. I started reading the book with such great hopes and with every page turned you could see my hope and enthusiasm going downhill. The main character, Chloe, was also the narrator, everything was told from her point of view. It felt like reading someone’s memoirs, that were also very repetitive, as I had a feeling we are reading about old same, old same all the time. Chloe seemed to me as if she didn’t know what she really wants from her life and I was soon tired with all this what I want/what I don’t want – she was too old and too experienced for this blowing cold and hot all the time. I felt sorry for her, and that was all actually, but for me it was just the case of you make your bed, you lie in it…
And let’s start on Gianni. Oh my God. I’m not sure if he was supposed to be cute with his temper and va – va – voom, funny with the things he said to his customers and critics, if I should appreciate his “honesty” but he so didn’t work for me. There was not a drop of charm in him for me, he was a whiney, spoiled, arrogant piece of work and no matter what you’re going to say it won’t change my mind about him.

This is a third instalment in the Appledore series, however you of course can read this book as a stand – alone. The characters from the previous books do enter the scenes here but the story focuses on brand new characters, Chloe and Gianni. I love the setting of Appledore and this is why I am really sorry and upset that this book didn’t work for me, and even Sue Watson’s writing style didn’t help this time. I love books with the idea of second chances and for people coming back to each other but this one didn’t deliver. However, I can see it already has tons of fans so don’t let my review to put you off reading this story.

No – One Ever Has Sex on Christmas Day by Tracy Bloom / #BlogTour

Hi guys, and happy Wednesday! Today I am über – thrilled to be a part of Tracy Bloom’s blog tour – she has just gone and released a third book in the No – One Ever Has Sex series, and it couldn’t be more hilarious and feel good if you asked for it. I absolutely loved this story and I’m crushed that it should be the last in the series, as I would LOVE to see more from Ben and Katy, and Braindead of course! Really, if you haven’t read the three books, go and treat yourself to them, they are brilliant!

No – One Ever Has sex on Christmas Day by Tracy Bloom

 

35918407Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 24th October 2017

Series: No – One Ever Has Sex #3

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

Number of pages: 296

Genre:  Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Don’t you always plan the perfect Christmas?
Don’t you always think it will be the best one ever?
And doesn’t something – usually one of your loved ones – always come along and screw it up?

Katy’s been spending too much time in the office and not enough time with her family so she wants it all: snow (fake or real), the Michael Bublé Christmas album, whatever it takes.

There’s only one thing missing as far as her husband Ben is concerned: another baby to complete their family. Katy isn’t so sure…

Ben may be playing the role of Master Elf in the pre-school nativity but he is struggling to master his own family life. With romantically-challenged friends, an ex who refuses to go away and Katy’s mum’s 64-year-old toy boy thrown into the mix, Christmas looks like it could be going off the rails… Never mind family planning, can Katy and Ben even plan to make it to the end of Christmas Day?

Rating: five-stars

 

Oh guys, it was so great to be back with Katy and Ben and the chaos that surrounds them! This book was Tracy Bloom at her best and I raced through this story, not wanting it to end – yes, this is this kind of a book that you want to finish, and at the same time you don’t want to finish because it’s that good. I admit, the last few books by this author seemed to lack in her characteristic sparkle and brilliant, sharp sense of humour but I am incredibly happy to report sir, yes sir that “No – One Ever Has Sex on Christmas Day” is filled with everything that I have expected from Tracy Bloom and even more.

This is the third book in the No – One Ever Has Sex series, following Ben and Katy, but what I so adored in this book is that, next to Katy and Ben’s story, there are tons about Braindead, Alison, Matthew and his friend Ian. Sure, this is mostly about Katy and Ben but the other stories also takes up much room and this is just brilliant, guys – so hilarious and so entertaining, and it was so great to see that all the characters didn’t change, they were just as I left them last time – I absolutely loved it.
I felt immediately at home when I started reading this book. It was great to be back, and I didn’t even need any reminders or retrospections. Ben and Braindead’s antics are brilliant, and the scene when they told Katy about their Christmas tree shopping was absolutely hilarious – just like many others. Then there are some tricky situations for Katy, there is not only THE job offer, but she’s also hassled by her mother and her new toy boy, and there is also this thing that Ben wants from her, and moreover, Ben gets two new pupils at pre – school who turn out to be the children of… You probably guessed who are the parents but if not then just go and treat yourself to this brilliant book. And this all was written in the best possible way, the situations were so relatable and so easy to imagine, I am sure that putting inflatable Rudolf in the garden happens in many houses around the world around Christmas time, right? Also, all the dilemmas, troubles and problems were so brilliantly written – it is really hard to put into words how great this was, so really, just read it for yourself and thank me later for recommendation.

“No – One Ever Has Sex on Christmas Day” was a hilarious and fast – paced read and I found myself laughing my head of so often! It was so funny and feel – good, and it would be perfect to turn into a film, and if I’m saying this it means really something, as I don’t watch films, and I’d be the first in the virtual queue for this one. The dialogues were brilliant and the scenes were written in such a way that you could easily picture them in your mind, the characters and their body – language and it made the reading such a pleasure.
It was a feel good Christmassy story, already with a festive spirit to it and some great ideas for the next Nativity, with plenty scenes that made me laugh out loud. It was full of embarrassing situations, cringe-y text messages and exceptional proposal, and I knew that I’m going to like it but I didn’t have any idea how much – it has fulfilled all of my expectations. It was a great story about families and friendship and I am already looking forward towards a new Tracy Bloom’s book. Highly recommended!

 

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If You CouldSee Me Now by Keris Stainton

If You Could See Me Now by Keris Stainton

35294534Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 4th August 2017

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

Number of pages: 216

Genre:   Women’s Fiction, General Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

‘One of the funniest books I’ve ever read. It made me cry with laughter. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone looking for a complete gigglefest of a read!’ Kirsty Greenwood

Izzy Harris should have it all – but her boyfriend has been ignoring her for months, she’s been overlooked for a promotion, and the owner of her local coffee shop pervs on her every time she has a craving for a salted caramel muffin.

Then her life is unexpectedly turned upside down.

Izzy dumps her oblivious boyfriend, and leaps on the chance to win a big pitch at work. Needing to work closely with gorgeous colleague Alex is an added perk…

But then her best friend has her heart broken, the pitch is way more complicated than expected, and Alex is keeping secrets. Does Izzy have what it takes to help her friend, save her career and get the guy?

A funny, feel-good read about finding yourself – and love – when you least expect it, for fans of Joanna Bolouri, Cate Woods, and Lindsey Kelk.

Rating: four-stars

“If You Could See Me Now” was my first book by Keris Stainton, but also the author’s first try at writing an adult novel, and heck, Ms Stainton, if they’re going to be as brilliant as this book then pretty please, keep them coming! This book, guys, has totally taken me by surprise.

So, writing about such things as invisibility in woman’s literature may be a very tricky thing – sometimes it works, more often it doesn’t – but this time Keris Stainton has managed to really pull it off. It completely worked, even though – to be completely honest – at the beginning it was a bit confusing, this whole invesibility things as there was nothing explaning why this happened to Izzy. But the more I read, and especially after her becoming visible again, I just had a feeling that I’ve got it, this invisibility thing – Izzy changed, started to appreciate herself, to believe in herself, stopped to fear to stand out, and I really liked this message!

The author has delivered a brillianty funny, captvating and different story. She has created great characters, added many moments of uncertainty, when you didn’t know what’s going to happen and how the plot is going to turn out. Keris Stainton’s writing style is brilliantly light, entertaining and easy to follow and the story is fast – paced.
What was great was the depth of this novel. You know, there are really many laugh – out – loud or cringe with embarrassment moments but this book is so much more than meets the eye. It was about finding yourself and what it really is you want from your life, about overcoming your insecurities, realising how much you are really worth – so under all this lightness and humour here were many important and poignant messages to Izzy, and to us, and I truly appreciated how well the author has mixed it all.
So altogether, “If You Could See Me Now” was deliciously filthy, sexy, with a great balance between humour and seriousness and I totally enjoyed it. Already looking towards Keris Stainton’s next release!

Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice – Cream by Sue Watson

Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice – Cream by Sue Watson

34737607Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 27th June 2017

Series: The Ice – Cream Cafe #2 (you can read my review of “Ella’s Ice – Cream Summer here)

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

Number of pages: 294

Genre:  Romance,  Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Dani’s on a mission to get her life back on track by the end of the Summer. Running, rowing, aerobics and more, but perhaps all she needs are sweet treats and a second chance?

Twenty years ago, Dani fled Appledore with a broken-heart and a suitcase full of shattered dreams. Only now is she brave enough to put her past behind her and return for a summer selling homemade ice-cream and getting fit by doing sit-ups by the sea.

But the new-look cafe is filled with old memories of Jude, her teenage sweetheart-turned-sour. She thinks of him every time she swirls warm sauce onto a “chocolate-bockaglory” and even with the help of Chris, her gorgeous personal trainer, the urge to break her diet is everywhere she turns.

When Jude makes an appearance at the cafe on the eve of Dani’s birthday party, history threatens to repeat itself. Is Dani strong enough to say no? And is the love she’s been longing for much closer than she thinks?

A truly delicious, laugh out loud beach read that’s guaranteed to melt your heart. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond, Jenny Colgan and Debbie Johnson.

Rating: four-stars

I think that “Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice – Cream” is a story that many of the readers can relate too. I, for once, can. I’ve been struggling with my weight since I’ve become a mum – right after bringing the little one home I was so slender like never before and it stayed like this for some time but then the PND began, together with comfort eating and so the kilos started to pile and well, they don’t want to go away, no matter what. I am not overweight, well, maybe a little, but I just don’t feel well with me weight. And so I could SO completely understand Dani, and I could see all of the excuses that I am using to start better eating – it is always from the next Monday. So this is probably why I could so well connect with Dani – because I’ve been there, I’ve seen this. Sue Watson in a brilliant, sensitive way explains Dani’s feelings about food and I could nod my head as I was so getting it.

Even though this book is second in the series, you can absolutely read it as a stand – alone. And personally I think that this story was much, much better than the previous one! Yes, we meet some of the characters from the previous book but those are only small vignettes, as the story really focuses on Dani and her battle with her weight and her weakness. This journey is full of funny and poignant moments, full of strength and weakness, showing all the ups and downs of trying to pull their socks up and feeling better. Not all have such a willpower that one word and decision is all they have to do – sadly.

With “Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice – Cream” we are back in Appledore, meeting Dani this time. She’s left the town twenty years before, heartbroken, and now she’s back – overweight, unhappy, desperate to become thinner for her fortieth birthday. However, working in the Ice – Cream Cafe doesn’t help to keep her diets… What must happen that Dani sees what feeling good is really about? Is it really all about the weight?

I think Dani belongs to those characters that you can’t not like. She is determined but also weak, and she often gives up only to start again the next day – such a well – known vicious circle! She’s honest and she’s maintaining a healthy distance from herself but she also often uses the humour against herself.

There is a brilliant feel to this story, and I think it’s because Sue Watson has perfectly well blended together poignant and funny moments. Well, funny – they were funny for us but for sure not always for Dani! She is again your usual, normal woman, just like many of us, and Sue Watson can really write those characters. And it was truly Dani that has made this story – she was so lovely, bubbly and quirky, full of good intentions and with the right sense of humour and her favourite sport was coaching, and I immediately thought, my kind of girl! Talking too much, wearing her heart on her sleeve, here is our Dani. And it is great that at the end she’s going to find balance – it’s the most important thing, no matter if you’re overweight or not.

Each chapter of the book starts with Dani mentioning her previous diet – there were many of them, and all failed but you have to read the reasons why they failed and why she was trying this particular diet at all – oh, this was brilliant and very, very amusing! And thanks to Sue Watson (not!) I am turning into a real ice – cream fan. I’m not so much into ice – creams but all the descriptions were so mouth – watering, all the different flavours sounded so, so good, I would love to try them!

Sue Watson’s shows with her book that impossible is nothing for her – she has taken a very sensitive topic and managed to turn it into a great, honest, down – to – earth realistic story. She has got into Dani’s head and translated for us all of her feelings and emotions, explaining why she doesn’t feel comfortable in her own body and why she couldn’t change it. So truly, under the funny, light – hearted topping, there is a lot of depth to this story and it has many, many layers.
The strength of this book lies not in the characters, or the humour, or twists and turns but in the fact that Sue Watson has decided to write about such sensitive topic and she brilliantly pulled it off, so hats off to her for this, and standing ovation from me personally. She writes about insecure women that aren’t afraid to eventually and finally spread their wings, and it is always so inspiring. Her writing style is colourful, full of sharp humour, and vivid, easily bringing the events in the story to life.

So altogether, “Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice – Cream” was a very relatable story about a woman like many others trying to loose some weight, told in a sober, genuine, down – to – earth way with a lot of understanding and without patronising or offending someone. There are characters you can’t help but root for, a lovely setting, even more lovely background of the Ice – Cream Cafe, nice weather and feel – good factor – what more do you need than this lovely, sweet and charming story? Recommended!